Banana Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

01.17.2012

Say goodbye to banana bread because after trying these banana bars, this may likely be the only recipe you’re going to want to use those prime, overripe, generously speckled bananas for =).  I’m pretty sure I could have finished the whole pan on my own.  These are so amazingly moist, with the perfect combination of flavors.  You get tons of banana flavor (notice there’s nearly equal portions of banana to flour) with a pinch of warm cinnamon flavor, then you get just a hint of richness from the sour cream and cream cheese along with the perfect balance of sweetness, then to finish an ever so slightly salty crunch from the pecans.  I hate to brag, but I have to say it, these bars are undeniably incredible =)!  I also love the simplicity of this recipe, I created it to be a one bowl recipe (granted you’ll have to wash the bowl to make the frosting).  All you have to do is toss all the ingredients into one mixing bowl, stir for 2 minutes and bake, bada bing bada boom!  Love it.  I thought about creating this recipe to be a sheet pan size, but good thing I didn’t because I would have a very hard time restraining myself from being engorged by these banana bars =).

Banana Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 12-20 Bars

Banana Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp applesauce (or 2 additional Tbsp vegetable oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mashed overripe bananas (about 2 large bananas)
  • 1 recipe Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients (except frosting and pecans) in a large mixing bowl, mix with an electric mixer on low speed for 2 minutes. Pour mixture into a buttered 13x9* baking dish and spread evenly into pan. Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour (I'd recommend covering with saran wrap after cooling 20 minutes to help retain moisture). Frost with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and sprinkle optional chopped nuts evenly over top. Cut into bars.
  • Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, mix until smooth and fluffy 1-2 minutes.

Notes

*A few people have commented below mentioning that these bars seem a bit thin. If you want a thicker, more cake like bar then either make 1.5 the recipe in a 13x9 pan or do just 1 of the recipe in a 9x9 pan and bake a bit longer. I personally like the thinness (it makes them more bar-like) so I make them just as listed, but make them according to what you prefer.

http://www.cookingclassy.com/2012/01/banana-bars-with-cinnamon-cream-cheese-frosting/

52 comments

  • Amalia: Wow, this definitely looks better than banana bread! It looks so delicious and moist, the perfect dessert! And the equal ratio of flour to banana is genius; it makes for a more flavorful cake. But my favorite part is that cinnamon cream cheese frosting, oh-my-gosh it looks amazing!! I would eat the whole pan too :) Great recipe! January 18, 2012 at 5:42pm Reply

  • Mary: These really look delicious. I am new to your blog, so I spent some time browsing through your earlier posts. I’m so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary January 19, 2012 at 2:39pm Reply

  • Jenn @ Peas and Crayons: ooh they look SO FLUFFY! =) I’m awful at making banana bread but maybe I could successfully whip these up instead! January 19, 2012 at 4:19pm Reply

  • Marissa Grace: Wow, these look amazing! I’ll have to try these out! January 20, 2012 at 10:16am Reply

  • pureglow*16: these look delicious!!!! i will have to make up my own version sometime :D January 20, 2012 at 12:39pm Reply

  • Nats: I just made this and it is soooo tasty and moist! January 20, 2012 at 7:57pm Reply

    • Kathy: did you like the thin version? May 30, 2013 at 1:21pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Thanks everyone for your comments! I hope you get a chance to make these! I made them twice this week =). And Nats, I’m so glad you liked them thanks for your comment! January 20, 2012 at 10:34pm Reply

  • Hayley: Wow, I love banana and these look SO amazing. January 22, 2012 at 1:32pm Reply

  • Marie Tashkoff: Gorgeous banana bars! I especially like how you’ve mixed banana bread with cream cheese and nuts. Thanks for the lovely post! :) January 23, 2012 at 2:44pm Reply

  • Diane: I just took this out of the oven & tried a little bite with a spoonful of the icing (couldn’t wait for the whole cooling thing)and it is yum! I usually sub all applesauce for oil but was out so will try that next time. Thanks for the recipe! March 25, 2012 at 3:20pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Diane – thanks for your comment! I always do the same thing, I can never wait. It’s hard enough waiting the entire time it’s in the oven =). Youre welcome, I’m so glad you enjoyd! March 25, 2012 at 7:56pm Reply

  • Anonymous: I made mine in a 9×13 pan as directed but they came out EXTREMELY thin…did you mean that or 9×9 pan? April 3, 2012 at 3:37pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous – these are meant to be fairly thin, that’s why they are bars rather than cake =). They should be about 1 1/2 (before being frosted) if I’m remembering right. I’ve made them about 5 times though in the last 2 months so I hope that guess is close. Basically they should be about half/third the size of a 13×9 cake. Hope that helps! April 3, 2012 at 7:22pm Reply

  • Shannon McCarthy: Love the blog. This is my first time commenting. These banana bars looks great – especially the addition of the cinnamon frosting =) I’ve been looking for various banana cake recipes to try! I recently made banana flavored cup cakes from a recipe I found on recipes.com. For Easter, we ordered
    Banana flavored New York Style Crumb Cake from an online bakery called Crumb Cake Creations! To die for. Thanks for sharing yours. I look forward to future posts. April 16, 2012 at 11:59am Reply

  • Anonymous: These bars were amazinggggg! My family could not get enough! I also thought they were thin in a 13 x9 pan…do you think this recipe could work in a 9×9 or even a loaf pan? April 26, 2012 at 12:21pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Glad you enjoyed! These would probably work in a 9×9 pan as well they would just need to be baked a bit longer I think. Thanks for your comment! April 26, 2012 at 12:51pm Reply

  • Sara: Mine did not come out as fluffy and cake-like as yours. Mine were a lot more dense, much like a bar, which is what you’ve said in other responses. Maybe the picture is throwing me off. Is the photo you posted what yours look like regularly? July 25, 2012 at 12:29pm Reply

  • Jaclyn: Sara – mine have always turned out like the ones pictured, they are usually the texture between banana bread and cake. Somewhere in the middle I think. They are definitely more dense than your average cake which is one thing I do love about them. I have a banana cake posted that is definitely much fluffier and cake like if you’d like to try that, it’s the banana split cake. July 25, 2012 at 6:18pm Reply

    • irene hoffman: i would like the recipe for banana split cake April 4, 2013 at 5:39pm Reply

  • Anonymous: I whipped these up faster than my oven could preheat! Looking good in there!
    Angie July 30, 2012 at 12:33pm Reply

  • stacielk: Jotting this recipe down. Making them for this weekend cuz I have TONS of bananas waiting to be used up in the freezer. Can’t wait to try this recipe out! August 15, 2012 at 11:48am Reply

  • stacielk: Coming back to give a review. LOVED these bars. Super moist, fluffy and delicious. Brought them to church for coffee time and got some rave reviews. I made 1 1/2 the ‘bar’ part b/c of the few comments you got on them being too thin. I think doing that turned them into more of a cake than a bar, so depending on what you want, I would suggest lvg the recipe as is for a bar or maybe even doubling it (at least 1.5 the recipe) for more of a cake. Thanks for the recipe! August 20, 2012 at 3:30pm Reply

  • Jenny: I made these in a flash last night and they are sooooo good! I made them in a 9×9 baking pan. Turned out great! August 23, 2012 at 6:02am Reply

  • Jaclyn: stacielk – great review and recommendation for others with complaints of bar being too thin. Great idea! Thanks!
    Jenny – also another wonderful recommendation for a thicker bar, I should just add these ideas to the recipe, thanks! August 23, 2012 at 5:52pm Reply

  • Anonymous: Made them in the 9×9, my husband is super picky about food and he even loved them. Thanks for this awesome recipe they are sooooo good September 2, 2012 at 2:09pm Reply

  • Anonymous: made these with my 3 year old. we both loved them :) September 28, 2012 at 4:01pm Reply

  • Anonymous: DEEEEELICIOUS! I added nutmeg and cinnamon to the cake and frosting. SO good! Thanks! September 29, 2012 at 5:36am Reply

  • Anonymous: Do you refridgerate these or just put them in an airtight container? We live in Australia and it’s starting to warm up here…. Cheers! September 29, 2012 at 5:39am Reply

  • Jaclyn: Anonymous – I just store them at room temperature in an airtight container, I don’t refrigerate them but may be a good idea if your house is real warm. I would recommend letting them rest at room temperature once removing from the fridge before enjoying. September 29, 2012 at 7:54am Reply

  • Cupcakes on St Marks: […] week I stumbled across this recipe on my favorite food blog, CookingClassy.com, and decided I had to try it. Considering I […] January 13, 2013 at 4:12pm Reply

  • 
Krystyna Cooks In Sydney Australia: G”Day Jaclyn (Famous Aussie/Australian way of greeting a mate/friend) I am in like with your recipes this is my 2nd recipe from your blog that I have made in the last week-On Feb 17 2013 I made your extremely yummy Chinese Orange Chicken I have not stopped raving to people about the dish
    Today I’ve just finished baking the Banana Bar recipe You say to bake it in a 13×9* baking dish – I baked mine in a 12″ X 8″ cake tin My cake ONLY rose 1/2″ Is that what some of the other reviewers mean when they say “these bars seem a bit thin”? In your photos it seems to be a lot bigger height wise I did not have applesauce so I used the extra 2 Tablspn Oil – The toothpick came out clean so I assume it was cooked thoroughly It tastes great YET it looks moist almost still RAW when I cut it I would certainly appreciate ANY FEEDBACK Many Thanks February 20, 2013 at 10:45pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Krystyna – That is so great to hear you enjoyed the chinese orange chicken! Did you increase the baking time for the banana bars since you decreased the pan size slightly? If you want a thicker bar you can do 1 1/2 or double the recipe and bake them for a longer period of time, or you could use the 8×8 and bake them for a longer amount of time. They definitely shouldn’t be gooey, so I imagine it’s just the baking time. I hope that helps! February 27, 2013 at 10:40am Reply

  • Julie: These bars are amazing! I don’t think they should be any thicker than what the recipe calls for…they are bars. Well done, Jaclyn! This recipe is a definite keeper! March 6, 2013 at 4:59am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Julie =)! I’m so glad you enjoyed these! March 8, 2013 at 5:00pm Reply

  • Liz: Thanks again for the nice recipes. May 17, 2013 at 1:33pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome :)! May 17, 2013 at 3:43pm Reply

  • Connie: wonderful! Followed exactly and I like the thin bar. Everyone loved them. June 24, 2013 at 12:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked them Connie and happy to hear you liked the thin version too :). Thanks for your comment! June 26, 2013 at 3:45pm Reply

  • Liz: Thank you for the nice recipes. Have a good weekend! July 20, 2013 at 1:29pm Reply

  • Jamie: Hi! I made these earlier today and it was gone in a flash! :)) Thank you so much for this recipe! Quick question, can I double the recipe and make 2 9-inch round cakes? Thanks! July 21, 2013 at 8:53am Reply

  • Tee: This was so good! Very flavorful, loved the frosting the most! Great recipe… August 1, 2013 at 12:22am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked these Tee! Thanks for your comment! August 11, 2013 at 7:04pm Reply

  • Beatrice: Hi Jaclyn..
    Had some bananas that were begging to be baked. Had to decide whether it was banana bread or bars.
    Tried this recipe out, the flavor was awesome, my husband and I couldn’t stop eating them.

    However, I would maybe try with butter instead of oil the next time. The bars were a bit oily the next day.
    Would that work? September 3, 2013 at 3:02pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes you’d probably be fine to swap the oil out for butter. I’m glad you liked them :)! September 4, 2013 at 5:26am Reply

  • Cathy: OMG! Everyone needs to make these too! They are moist, tender and delicate. The cinnamon cream cheese is a perfect compliment to the banana
    flavor. Absolutely delicious!
    Another 10 star recipe Jaclyn!!!! March 31, 2014 at 2:24pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked these too Cathy!! March 31, 2014 at 7:32pm Reply

  • Song: I just made this and I LOVE cream cheese frosting and this one was DELICIOUS! I love you recipes I’ve been browsing and seeing which ones to make for days! April 1, 2014 at 2:27pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked these bars Song and that you’ve enjoyed my blog :)! Thanks for your comment! April 4, 2014 at 10:14pm Reply

  • B-A-N-A-N-A-S ! | AndreaElle: […] CREAM, or as the fitness world calls it: Nicecream. The recipe for the banana bar or bread is from Cooking Classy. Awesome and […] July 31, 2014 at 4:22pm Reply

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