Overripe bananas live their best lives yet when you make a big pan of Banana Bars, slathered edge to edge with a thick layer of Cream Cheese Frosting. One of the best banana desserts ever. They’re irresistibly moist and fluffy—just the thing for a mid-afternoon snack.

Banana bar with cream cheese frosting on a white plate.

Are you the type of person who has the ideal point of ripeness for your banana, but won’t eat it even if it’s just one minute past its prime? Don’t throw them out. Homemade banana bars to the rescue.

As soon as your bananas hit the point of no return, just peel them, bag them up, and stow them in the freezer. Add those overripe bananas to a smoothie, homemade pancake batter, or this amazing dessert.

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled banana bar ingredients in various bowls.

Ingredient notes:

  • Mashed ripe bananas: Three whole bananas, to be precise. If frozen, let them thaw on the counter while you get things ready. To ripen bananas in real time, preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Arrange the unpeeled bananas on the baking sheet. Bake until banana skins are completely black all over, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool. Scoop the banana pulp from the peel, then mash.
    Baked bananas on a baking sheet.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat the inside of the baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking soda in a medium bowl. Beat the softened butter and the sugar together using the paddle attachment. Continue until the mixture turns pale and fluffy. Mix in the mashed ripe banana and the vanilla, beating until well incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well in-between each one. Gradually add the flour/dry ingredients and mix just until the batter is uniformly combined.
    Banana bar batter in a silver mixing bowl.
  2. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. When finished baking, a toothpick inserted into the middle of the batter should come out cleanly, with only a few crumbs on the toothpick.
    Banana bar batter on a baking sheet.
  3. Patience. Before you frost the bars, they must be absolutely cool to the touch.
    Banana bars on a baking sheet.
  4. Wash out the mixer bowl and rinse off the paddle attachment to make the frosting. With the mixer, beat the cream cheese and softened butter until smooth.
    Cream cheese frosting in a silver mixing bowl.
  5. Add the powdered sugar in small amounts and the vanilla, and continue to beat.
    Cream cheese frosting in a silver mixing bowl.
  6. Spread a thick layer over the uncut bars. That’s it!

Banana bars with cream cheese frosting on a baking sheet.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Yield: We (mostly) cut this recipe into 24 delicious squares of banana bliss, but you may want a bigger piece.
  • Toting: To bring frosted banana bars to a party, keep them in the pan. Stick toothpicks at regular intervals into the top of the frosting, then drape plastic wrap lightly over the toothpicks. This looks funky while you’re on the road, but it prevents the plastic from sticking to the frosting.
  • Storage: Refrigerate any uneaten bars within 2 hours in an airtight container. You can bring them to room temperature before serving or eat them cold (I personally love cold cream cheese frosting).
  • Freezing: Tightly cover unfrosted or frosted bars and freeze them up to 2 months. When ready to eat, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Optional ingredients: Cinnamon (or any warming spice, like ginger or nutmeg), raisins, chopped walnuts or pecans, chopped candied ginger, or mini chocolate chips can be folded into the batter.

More delicious desserts:

Banana bar with cream cheese frosting on a white plate.

Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Overripe bananas live their best lives yet when you make a big pan of Banana Bars, slathered edge to edge with Cream Cheese Frosting. One of the best banana desserts ever. They’re irresistibly moist and fluffy—just the thing for a mid-afternoon snack.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 5 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Servings 24 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 267

Ingredients 

For the bars:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter softened (1 stick)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium, see note 1)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup butter softened (1 stick)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

To make the bars:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 15” x 10” x 1” pan (jelly roll pan) with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In an electric mixer fit with the paddle attachment, or with an electric hand mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Add eggs and beat until incorporated. Beat in banana and vanilla until incorporated. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until uniformly combined.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean with a few crumbs attached. Let cool completely, at least 30 minutes.

To make the frosting:

  • In a standing mixer fit with the paddle attachment, or with an electric hand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat well. Spread evenly over cooled bars.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Mashed ripe bananas: Three whole bananas, to be precise. If frozen, let them thaw on the counter while you get things ready. To ripen bananas in real time, preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Arrange the unpeeled bananas on the baking sheet. Bake until banana skins are completely black all over, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool. Scoop the banana pulp from the peel, then mash.
  2. Yield: We (mostly) cut this recipe into 24 delicious squares of banana bliss, but you may want a bigger piece.
  3. Toting: To bring frosted banana bars to a party, keep them in the pan. Stick toothpicks at regular intervals into the top of the frosting, then drape plastic wrap lightly over the toothpicks. This looks funky while you’re on the road, but it prevents the plastic from sticking to the frosting.
  4. Storage: Refrigerate any uneaten bars within 2 hours in an airtight container. You can bring them to room temperature before serving or eat them cold (I personally love cold cream cheese frosting).
  5. Freezing: Tightly cover unfrosted or frosted bars and freeze them up to 2 months. When ready to eat, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. Optional ingredients: Cinnamon (or any warming spice, like ginger or nutmeg), raisins, chopped walnuts or pecans, chopped candied ginger, or mini chocolate chips can be folded into the batter.

Nutrition

Serving: 1barCalories: 267kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 135mgPotassium: 53mgFiber: 1gSugar: 37gVitamin A: 276IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

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Comments

    1. Ha ha ha! Thanks. :) Yeah that Mitch Hedberg quote is one of my favorites and I’ve just been WAITING to pull it out. Photography – thank you! I try very hard, the struggle is real, it doesn’t come naturally, all of that. It’s a lot of practice, I take several hundred photos per week and eventually I get better, very slowly! Always room for improvement! Thanks again. :)

  1. 1. I love banana bread! 2. I could eat cream cheese frosting out of the bowl. 3. I’ve never had the two together, but it sounds like the perfect pairing! 5 stars

    1. Hi Valerie, yes. I have made it that way. But, I think I had to bake it longer, and I do not recall exactly what that bake time was. I will test it again though and post my results. You won’t have the 50/50 cake/frosting ratio though… for better or for worse! ;)

    2. Hi Valerie, I made this cake in a 9″ x 13″ pan today. It worked out great! I ended up baking it 50 minutes total at 350 degrees. The thing you have to watch for is making sure the center is set. I know that probably sounds obvious, but there were multiple times where I thought the cake was done but the center wasn’t. The top gets browned, but it tastes perfect. I actually left the frosting off today too, and it’s like a giant pan of really great banana bread! I’ll update the recipe to reflect this info. Thanks for the question!

  2. What a great idea! Mine usually wait out until I get the urge to make banana bread, but this looks even better! Great recipe.

  3. Great use for bananas….plus it’s frosted….I would be one happy camper with a plate of these in front of me. ;)