Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Icing

If you have some overripe bananas, these banana bars with cream cheese icing are the perfect alternative to banana bread! Read more after the recipe!

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Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Icing

  • Author: kate jones

Description

These moist, flavorful banana bars with cream cheese icing come together in just a few minutes and are a fun alternative to banana bread!


Scale

Ingredients

banana bars

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into the measuring cup and leveled with a knife
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 cup ripe, mashed banana

cream cheese icing

1 8-ounce block cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract (you can use another teaspoon of vanilla if you prefer)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar


Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 15 x 10 x 1″ jelly roll pan with shortening and set aside.

Add the sugar and butter to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, cream until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream (or yogurt), eggs, and vanilla and mix until well-combined. Whisk together the dry ingredients and then slowly add them to the mixture. Add the banana until just combined and then spread in the prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a knife or pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely.

While the bars are cooling, use the handheld mixer to whip together the frosting ingredients until the frosting is light and fluffy. When the pan is completely cool, spread the icing on top and cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator.


Anyone else feeling this?

2020 has been an, um, interesting year (“interesting is an interesting adjective,” as my dad says). Sara and I have both been sharing quite a bit about social justice and what we’re doing over on our Instagram accounts (mine and Sara’s–check the stories and archives, too). As social media has evolved over the last 12 years that we’ve written Our Best Bites, we’ve found that’s a better place to have hard discussions. But. In case you don’t know where we stand, here’s a picture of my kids (and a kid I claim as mine) at a peaceful rally last week.

We will continue to voice our support over the coming days, weeks, years, and throughout our lifetimes. But. I’m also sharing banana bars with cream cheese icing today because I think some comfort food is in order.

If you’ve never had banana bars, they’re similar to banana bread and banana cake, but the batter is a little denser (which gives them a more brownie-like texture) and they’re baked in a jelly roll pan so they are thin and have the perfect bar-to-frosting ratio. They’re the perfect finger snack for potlucks or brunches, and they 100% count as breakfast food because they have bananas and eggs, which practically makes them health food (have I ever told you I’m an excellent enabler?)

How to Make These Banana Bars

For the bars, you’ll need flour, sugar, butter, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, salt, baking soda, bananas, and vanilla. If you’re feeling wild, you can also add in a teaspoon of cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 15 x 10 x 1″ jelly roll pan with shortening and set aside.

Add the sugar and butter to a large mixing bowl.

Using an electric hand mixer, cream until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream (or yogurt), eggs, and vanilla and mix until well-combined.

Whisk together the dry ingredients and then slowly add them to the mixture. Add the banana

and stir until just combined and then spread in the prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a knife or pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely.

While the bars are cooling, use the handheld mixer to whip together the frosting ingredients until the frosting is light and fluffy. When the pan is completely cool, spread the icing on top

and cut into bars.

Admire your handiwork.

Eat.

Store any survivors in the refrigerator.

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