If you love bananas, you are going to love this Banana Bars Recipe. They are easy to make and very delicious. Even though they are denser than banana bread, they pair great with cream cheese frosting.
Healthy Banana Dessert
These banana bars are considered a healthy food and are a much better choice over a traditional brownie or cookie. They’re not too sweet but are still very tasty. My kids are banana lovers, and they love banana bread. So, when I introduced this banana bars recipe into their lives, I knew they would be fans.
We are banana eaters in our house, so I buy a bunch or two of them every week. Sometimes a few get away from us, and we end up with overripe bananas. Banana bread is a favorite, but there are moments when we are in the mood for a new treat. These healthy banana bars are perfect as a snack, breakfast, or dessert. I can eat them any time of the day!
What You’ll Need to Make Banana Bars
If you like to bake, you will likely have many of these ingredients in your kitchen already!
For the Banana Bars:
- Sugar – granulated sugar.
- Bananas: The riper the bananas are, the sweeter the banana bars will be with more of a banana flavor. So make sure you start out with ripe bananas that you can easily mash.
- Vegetable Oil
- Eggs – we recommend large eggs.
- Vanilla: I use pure vanilla extract for this recipe.
- Flour – use all purpose flour.
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Ground Cinnamon
- Salt: It is just as important to use salt in baking as it is in cooking. It enhances the other flavors!
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Cream Cheese: This must be softened before being mixed with the other ingredients to prevent lumps.
- Butter: I prefer unsalted for the frosting.
- Vanilla: Once again, I also use pure vanilla extract here.
- Powdered Sugar
How to Make Banana Bars
Here are the step-by-step instructions to make the best banana bars you’ve ever had.
- Step 1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Step 2. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish by greasing it with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
- Step 3. Mash the bananas in a large bowl and then add sugar. Still until well combined.
- Step 4. Next, add the vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in these ingredients until they are thoroughly mixed. Set it aside.
- Step 5. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl. Whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Step 6. Gradually add the flour mixture to the banana mixture. Stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Step 7. Pour the banana bar batter into the baking pan and spread evenly.
- Step 8. Place it in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. It’s ready when you insert a toothpick into the center, and it comes out clean.
- Step 9. Transfer the banana bars to a wire rack to cool completely while you make the frosting.
- Step 10. Using a stand mixer, add the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla to the mixing bowl. Beat until smooth.
- Step 11. Next, add the powdered sugar gradually, blending in between small portions until all of it has been added to the cream cheese mixture. The result should be thick and creamy.
- Step 12. Once the banana bars are cooled, cover them in frosting. Allow them to set at room temperature for 30 minutes. You can place them in the refrigerator to set if you prefer.
- Step 13. Slice and enjoy! This recipe makes 20 banana bars.
Add-In Ideas & Variations
Here are some optional ideas for things you can add to these banana bars to make them your own!
- Chocolate Chips: Add ½ cup of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips.
- Raisins: Add ½ cup of regular raisins or golden raisins.
- Nuts: Add ½ cup of your favorite chopped nuts, such as walnuts or pecans.
- Frosting: Not a fan of cream cheese frosting? Try topping with our amazing peanut butter frosting.
How to Store Leftovers
Leftover banana bars can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days. I do not recommend freezing them. They retain too much moisture.
Freezing: Tightly cover unfrosted or frosted bars and place in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
More Banana Recipes
- Banana Bread Cheesecake
- Peanut Butter Banana Egg Rolls
- Banana Bread Brownies
- Upside-Down Banana Cake
- Chocolate Chip Banana Muffin Tops
- Banana Pudding Poke Cake
For the Banana Bars
Banana Bars Instructions
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 X 13 dish, with Butter, or Cooking Spray.
- In a large bowl, mash the Bananas, and add the Sugar and stir until well blended. Add the Vegetable Oil, Eggs. and Vanilla, and stir well, until all ingredients are mixed.
- In a separate bowl, add the Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, and Salt, and mix well. Add the Flour mixture to the bowl of wet ingredients, and stir to mix.
- When mixed well, pour into the 9 X 13 dish, and place the dish in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the Bars comes out clean. Remove from the oven to a wire rack, and cool completely.
- When bars are cooled completely, make the frosting.
- In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add the Cream Cheese, Butter, and Vanilla, and blend until smooth.
- Add the Powdered Sugar a little at a time, blending between additions, until all the Powdered Sugar has been added, and the Frosting is thick and creamy.
- Frost the Banana Bars, using all the Frosting, and allow the Frosting to set about 30 minutes.
- You can place the Bars in the refrigerator to cool completely, and keep Frosting cool. Serve, and enjoy!