Banana Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

01.17.2012

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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 =).

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Banana Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 2 votes

Yield: 12-20 Bars

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

Instructions

  1. 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

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, mix until smooth and fluffy 1-2 minutes.

Recipe 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.

63 comments

  • Lanette: Love these!!! Making them for the second time this week! January 9, 2018 at 1:19pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for taking the time to comment Lanette – glad you loved them! January 17, 2018 at 11:11am Reply

  • Violet: Best banana bread ever really does not need the frosting if you are on a diet. September 13, 2017 at 5:36pm Reply

  • NJTMOM: This is a delicious recipe. My family prefers thicker cake like treats so I baked these in a glass 8×8 Pyrex in my convection oven for 35 minutes.My bananas were super ripe so I cut the sugar down to 1/2 cup so the cake wouldn’t taste overly sweet. I only had light sour cream on hand as well. It tasted fantastic! My only small critique is that the recipe assumes certain baking knowledge or experience. If you are a novice, this recipe may be difficult to follow. For example, listing the specific steps to make basic cream cheese frosting would be really helpful to beginners.
    I served the cake for dessert tonight and it’s almost gone! Thanks for another great use for over ripe bananas. January 5, 2016 at 8:09pm Reply

  • teresa: Ohhhhhhhh my this was wonderful! I wanted something sweet and moist a I had banana’s that were going past brown quick! I didn’t have any sour cream so I used a 6oz cup of vanilla yogurt I had on hand!!! I also sprinkled the top of my batter in the pan with a cinnamon/sugar mix before baking!!! I put plastic wrap over it and allowed it to sweat a little in front of the AC….when it was almost cool I topped it with some leftover cream cheese icing in my fridge that I sat at room temperature. I served myself a slice of banana bar and a scoop of salted caramel ice cream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was great!!! July 13, 2015 at 10:42am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I am so glad you loved them Teresa! July 14, 2015 at 5:28pm Reply

  • Rachel Page: Looks delicious! I love all kinds of cakes with bananas, they are so yummy! May 21, 2015 at 3:24am Reply

  • Lauren: Hey, just wanted to say I’ve made these for a party and everyone went nuts for them. I doubled the recipe, and they came really thick. February 26, 2015 at 9:03pm Reply

  • Melissa: Hi, I would love to make this, however applesauce is not very common in Asia! Could i substitute it with olive oil instead? December 23, 2014 at 12:17am Reply

    • Jaclyn: That should be fine. Hope you love them! January 18, 2015 at 5:14pm Reply

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