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 =).
- 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
- 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 3 Tbsp butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 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.
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, mix until smooth and fluffy 1-2 minutes.
*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.