I love banana bread. But what could be better than a warm, freshly made loaf of banana bread? Behold, I give you frosted banana bars. Moist, tender banana bars topped with thick, cream cheese frosting. Wow, these were so good. I had never had banana bars until a few weeks ago after a friend brought some over. I searched the internet for a recipe and realized there are variations of these beauties everywhere. Now that I’ve had these yummy treats, I admit I will be hard-pressed to use those icky, brown bananas for anything other than these bars. Delicious! By the way, my mom gave me this cream cheese frosting recipe a long time ago and I had yet to use it until now. I’ve never swapped out the butter in cream cheese frosting with whipped cream, but oh my, it was heavenly (remember I said heavenly not healthy). Just like the banana bars, I don’t think I’ll ever make cream cheese frosting another way!

Banana Bars with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana Bars with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

    Banana Bars:
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (I used three ripe bananas)
  • Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar (you can use either granulated sugar or confectioners’ sugar – the confectioners’ sugar tends to dissolve better and not be as grainy but either one works fine)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

Directions

  1. For the banana bars, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10 x 15 inch jellyroll pan or one 9X13 pan and an additional 8X8 pan. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the sour cream and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; stir into the batter. Finally, mix in the mashed banana. Spread evenly into the prepared pan(s). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow bars to cool completely before frosting.
  2. For the frosting, in a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Set aside. In another medium bowl, beat whipped cream until stiff peaks form (it helps to use a chilled bowl and chilled beaters). Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture. Frost to your heart’s delight!
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/banana-bars-with-whipped-cream-cheese-frosting/

Recipe Source: banana bars recipe from allrecipes.com

70 Responses to Banana Bars with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Gaye says:

    I made these for a superbowl party today, and they were a big hit. I am now sick to my stomach from eating too many, though!

  2. Ricki says:

    In the frosting is WHITE sugar powdered sugar or regular granulated sugar? Ricki

  3. Laura says:

    You’ve been tagged. Come to my blog for the details.

  4. Abby says:

    Banana bars are new to me, too. The colors remind me of banana pudding. YUM.

  5. Marisa says:

    My husband is always teasing me that I would eat ANYTHING if it had banana in or on it! I’ve never tried banana bars before. These sound amazing!

  6. Deborah says:

    What a great way to use up bananas! Better, and different than normal banana bread!

  7. Rachel says:

    I am sooooooo making these, you have the best recipes!

  8. The Blonde Duck says:

    This looks fabulous! The poor banana is often neglected!

  9. Maria says:

    The bars look delicious! I love the frosting too!

  10. Leslie says:

    Unhealthy= heavenly to me!!!!

  11. Melanie says:

    Kara – if you have a similar frosting recipe, you should let me know if you use granulated sugar or confectioners’ sugar. I like the result of confectioners’ sugar best because it isn’t as grainy but I would be curious to know how you make the frosting!

  12. Sara @ Our Best Bites says:

    Hey Melanie, you’ve won a prize on my blog – come check it out!Sara(from http://www.ourbestbites.com)Oh, and banana bars look divine!

  13. Melanie says:

    Gaye – oh no, sorry to make you sick to your stomach, but if it makes you feel any better, I was the same way when I made them. Thanks for commenting and letting me know they were a hit!

  14. Jenn says:

    This recipe is great!! I got it from a woman that works with my husband. I’m not such a big fan of banana bread, but I could eat these day and night!

  15. Patsyk says:

    I think even my youngest would love these… simply for the icing! LOL!

  16. Melanie says:

    Jenn, the issue with your frosting is partially my fault. I should have put in the frosting recipe that the cream cheese should be softened to room temperature. I’m sorry I didn’t include that! It probably would have made mixing it easier. Thanks for letting me know the results, though. I think you are right that the confectioners sugar will dissolve better – that is what I have found, too.

  17. grace says:

    bananas are never wasted in my presence, and this looks to be a tremendous use for them. the first word that came to mind when i saw your picture was MOIST. :)

  18. Melanie says:

    Ricki – good question. The original recipe called for white sugar but I found the result too grainy so confectioners’ (powdered) sugar works best because it dissolves better.

  19. Melanie says:

    Dolores – wow, just your description of the salted caramel buttercream frosting was enough to make my mouth water! I bet it was fantastic. Thanks for commenting and letting me know!

  20. Laura says:

    Ooooooo. That frosting sounds divine. Both whipping cream and cream cheese! It’s gotta be good.

  21. Stacie Aho says:

    Yum yum! I call this “glorified banana bread”. So good and easy to make! Thanks!

  22. Dolores says:

    I made these tonight to use up leftover bananas and sour cream. Topped them with a browned butter salted caramel buttercream from the most recent Daring Baker challenge. Yum! Thanks for sharing.

  23. Jenn says:

    I made these this evening, and followed the frosting recipe, white sugar and all. I found that I needed to let the sugar and cream cheese sit for awhile to dissolve. Then I’d turn on the mixer every once and awhile to stir it up. Next time I will probably use powdered sugar–just to eliminate the waiting.

  24. Kara@ Creations by Kara says:

    I am going to have to try these. I have been making a similar frosting for years and it is divine. Great on carrot cake, chocolate cake, pumpkin cake, and just about anything. Heck, I could just eat it out of the bowl, it’s that good!

  25. Brianne says:

    Made these yesterday with my little girl. Oh my!!! They were delicious!!! We did not have the right size jelly roll pan so I made them in a 9 x 13 pyrex pan and lowered the heat so the bars were more like a cake. The frosting was amazing!!! I usually use butter in my cream cheese frosting and the whipping cream is so much better!!! I usually have great self control but I could not stop licking my fingers. I printed this recipe from allrecipes about one year ago and I am glad I waited to make it because the combination of the bars with this frosting is perfect. Thanks for sharing!!! I really enjoy your recipes and Aunt Marilyn’s.

  26. Mel says:

    Hi Brianne – so glad you liked these banana bars – I agree that the frosting is downright evil. Thanks for your comment!

  27. Melanie C says:

    Hey Mel!! these look divine! I’m curious, have you ever made these into cupcakes?? if not, how do you think they would turn out? how full do you think I should fill the cupcake liners???
    I just thought they might be good as cupcakes with the frosting piped on top!

  28. Mel says:

    Hi Melanie – I’ve never personally made these into cupcakes so I can’t give you a heads up on how they would work. But as a guess, I think they would bake up fine and to be safe, I’d only fill the cupcake liners about halfway full. Let me know if you try them!

  29. Melissa says:

    Just made these, another super star recipe! Fantastic!

  30. Mel says:

    Thanks, Melissa!

  31. Reyna says:

    I just made these this afternoon and I couldn’t have been more thrilled with them! It took no time to throw it all together and have them baking. Every time I have a stray banana that doesn’t get eaten because it’s too ripe I peel it and throw it in a big ziploc in the freezer. That way I always have some on hand for smoothies and now I’ll have them on hand for this! The best part about having them already in the bag is I could just squish it all up inside the bag, snip a corner off and then squeeze it right into the mixer. They turned out insanely moist and fluffy and bananariffic (and yes, I’m pretty sure bananariffic is a word). The frosting was the perfect match for this. Now the question is: why would I ever make boring ol’ banana bread again??!

  32. Mel says:

    Reyna – well, of course I’m glad you liked this recipe and as always, thank you for checking in, but seriously, the best part of your comment was that I learned what to do with those onesie, twosie bananas that go bad. I know, I’m really slow, but I’ve never thought to peel them and throw them in the freezer. Brilliant. Feel free to send more ingenious tips my way.

  33. Reyna says:

    Mel, I’m just glad to have contributed one little thing to make your life easier–though I will never be able to repay you for all the excellent recipes, great ideas and tips that have made cooking such a joy the past 6 months since I’ve found you!

  34. Reyna says:

    Hey–I had a happy accident with these I had to tell you about. I wanted to take these to a friend the other day, and I had everything ready to go when I realized that I didn’t have enough bananas, so I used a cup of pumpkin puree, and added a tsp. of pumpkin pie spice and cut the sour cream back to 2/3 cup because the pumpkin puree is so wet. They only took 15 minutes to bake in the jelly roll pan. I made the same whipped cream/cream cheese frosting and they were sooooooo good. The perfect fall treat. I loved the light fluffy and moist texture. I will continue to make these with both bananas and pumpkin depending on my mood! I love that I have options!

  35. Mel says:

    Reyna – look at you, you little baking queen! I love your improvisations! It’s like a dual recipe: banana bars by day, pumpkin bars by night. Love it.

  36. Micki says:

    I was looking for a good banana recipe and decided to try this one. BOY am I GLAD I did. These are FANTASTIC!!! Easy enough for a non-baker (like myself) and delicious. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

    Thanks Mel!

  37. Mel says:

    Thanks, Micki!

  38. Just made these into some pretty awesome, moist cupcakes! Sprinkled with a dash of nutmeg and 3 candied hazelnuts on top. Recipe to be posted soon if you want to see how they turn out. Maybe next wk sometime….thanks Mel!

  39. Marian says:

    Really, really awesome! So moist! and the frosting is light-even tho super rich-doesn’t taste it!
    This is a super good option over banana nut bread. No more soggy, under-cooked middle of the loaf!

  40. Ok, just wanted to update- I finally posted those Banana Cupcakes recipe utilizing your recipe :) Thanks Mel! http://savedbytheeggtimer.blogspot.com/2011/05/banana-cupcakes-with-candied-hazelnuts.html

    ~Natasha

  41. Stephanie D says:

    These banana bars are amazing. I didn’t change a single thing (and I’m the queen of substitutions) because I had a feeling they’d be just right. Well, they WERE perfect, although I had to cook them a bit longer due to my lame toaster oven. This recipe made two 8×8 pans plus six full-sized cupcakes… and I had a ton of icing leftover, probably because I made the cupcakes (cake to frosting ratio is a bit different with those) and I piped icing on top of individual pre-cut bars (instead of smearing it over the whole pan.)

    The piped frosting looked awfully cute when I took the bars to two Memorial Day parties on Monday. At the first party where they were the only dessert, fewer than 8 people polished off at least a pan and a half of bars. Everyone was ooohing and aaaahhhing and moaning from the deliciousness. Thanks for making me look good. ;)

    My only problem is, now I’m looking at the frozen bananas in my freezer (the ones I normally use for my protein smoothie) and thinking, “It wouldn’t hurt to make those bars again… right?? Maybe a half-recipe?”

  42. Jnl2211 says:

    Oh my this frosting is to die for! I made mini pumpkin cupcakes and used the frosting for them. Oh.my.goodness was it good. I need to try these banana bars soon.

  43. Jodie says:

    Hi Mel,
    I came to your site for an easy frosting recipe for a chocolate cake I’m making, and this looks perfect. Although I want to make it chocolate flavored. I’m wondering how much unsweetened cocoa powder I should add, do you have a suggestion? Thanks for any help you can offer! Jodie

  44. Mel says:

    Jodie, I’ve never made a chocolate version of this so I’m not really sure. If I were you, I might google search a chocolate banana bar recipe and see how it compares. If all else fails, start with 1/2 cup cocoa but you will probably want to decrease the flour a bit to compensate. Good luck!

  45. Jodie says:

    Hi Mel, thanks for your response. I guess I should have specified I was wondering about making the FROSTING ONLY part of this recipe, not the banana cake. I wanted to frost a chocolate cake I was making for a party with this frosting, but I wanted to make the frosting chocolate flavored. I was wondering how much cocoa you would suggest to put in the frosting? Anyway if you have a suggestion, maybe I’ll try that next time. Since I made this cake yesterday, I used a frosting recipe that I make all of the time and everyone seems to love it. It’s SOOOOO easy!!! If you ever want to try it, here it is – there’s only 3 ingredients and it’s yummy!
    INGREDIENTS:
    1CUP OF COLD MILK
    1 BOX OF INSTANT CHOCOLATE PUDDING (3.9 ounce) – not mixed according to directions on the box, just use the powder mix inside the box
    1 EIGHT OUNCE TUB OF COOL WHIP – I use the “extra creamy”, it tastes better to me.
    (or you could use 8 ounces of home made whipping cream)
    In a mixer, beat together the milk and pudding mix until thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes.
    Then beat in the tub of coolwhip. (You may have to scrape your bowl a few times while beating together since the pudding mixture is thicker than the cool whip…the pudding mixture sometimes stays to the bottom of your bowl.)
    Once they’re thoroughly mixed together, frost your cake! You can also use a vanilla pudding mix instead of chocolate if you want a vanilla flavor instead. Store the frosted cake in the fridge. Another secret: if you make a boxed cake mix, (which I’m sure is rare for you to do! LOL!) add 1/2 cup of sour cream in the cake batter along with all the other ingredients. IT MAKES IT SOOOO MOIST! People always wonder how I get my cakes so moist. You’ll have to let me know if you try this frosting and if you like it. It’s a very mild frosting and not super sweet.
    Have a great day!!!! Jodie

  46. Jnl2211 says:

    Hey Mel, I was just wondering if you’ve tried this frosting recipe with Marscapone cheese? DIVINE!

  47. Cathy says:

    Made it into a sheet cake, but served it cut up in little pieces and put a scoop of the whipped frosting on top, kind of like Cool Whip buts MUCH better! Loved the taste of the cake!

  48. tonya says:

    Overbought bananas last week, hence the buttermilk banana bread this week AND banana bars. These bars are SO good!! The frosting was really good, too, but in typical tonya fashion I messed it up. I will definitely make the frosting again, but next time we want to try the banana bars w/ the peanut butter frosting from your peanut butter texas sheetcake recipe (drool!!). As always, thanks for the GREAT recipe – we are swallowing these whole on this rainy Saturday!

  49. alina says:

    Would this frosting be good enough for a cake? Would it be stuff enough or runny?

  50. alina says:

    I meant stiff, sorry

  51. Mel says:

    Alina – this frosting is definitely on the soft, silky side of things so it definitely wouldn’t hold up well to piping decorations on a cake.

  52. Anissa says:

    Great recipe! I didn’t have sour cream on hand so I used the fat free plain Greek yogurt and it substituted just fine. We also added chocolate chips to the batter, which upped the sweetness and eliminated the need for the frosting. Very tasty!!!

  53. [...] Banana Cake with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from http://www.melskitchencafe.com/2008/11/banana-bars-with-whipped-cream-cheese-frosting.html) [...]

  54. Cindy says:

    Has anyone tried to make these bars ahead and freeze them? I am thinking that the bars should be frozen without the frosting, and then the frosting added later.

  55. Michele says:

    I made these last night and they were scrumptious. Better than banana bread. Thanks for sharing. I am excited to try more of your recipes. I already have a list!

  56. Mary says:

    I made these this morning to bring in to work but made it in a smaller 11×9 pan and called it banana cake. After initally making the frosting and testing it I wasn’t that impressed. But as it rode in my 3degree car, blasted frigid temperature, it changed and by the time I had a piece I loved the frosting! I’m so glad I decided to keep the little 1/2 cup that was left over and put into the fridge. It’ll be my dessert tonight.

    Oh and everyone at worked loved it too. A guy who doesn’t like bananas had 2 pieces.

  57. Jennifer G. says:

    I had 3 bananas to use up so I thought I’d see if you had a recipe for something with bananas other than banana bread. I made this and we are all enjoying it. I added 1 tsp. cinnamon to the batter because I love it in my banana bread. It gives it a little something without being overly noticable. Also, I always add some banana extract along with the vanilla in banana bars, cakes and breads. It really helps give a more “banana-y” flavor. I had half a bag of Moana Loa dry roasted macadamia nut pieces that needed to be used up so I sprinkled them on top of the icing. Yum! Thanks for a great base recipe that I will make again.

  58. Sara says:

    Oh my gosh – make these tonight! I had a can of Pillsbury cream cheese frosting and “cheated” on the frosting. I can just imaging them with coconut in the frosting or German chocolate cake frostings, or just plain, or with confectioner’s sugar dusting, or….

  59. Ashley says:

    Made these this afternoon for dessert, didn’t change anything, and they are WONDERFUL! My kids were fighting over who got the biggest piece, it was a little ridiculous but they loved them so much.
    –Doubled the bars so I could freeze one pan (unfrosted). If for any reason they do not freeze well I’ll post back but they should be fine.
    –The frosting is perfect and I’ll be using it for other recipes from here on out. If you are a light-froster you really only need to make HALF the frosting recipe and you’ll still have more than enough.
    –Instead of mashing the bananas with fork I processed them just a couple pulses to make smooth and the texture is awesome.

    Coincidentally we had your Chicken Corn Chowder for dinner followed by these for a Presidents Day dessert! Thanks so much for your blog!

  60. Georgia says:

    These were deeeevviiiine! Made the recipe exactly as written except used a 9.5 X 13.5 pan… The rest of the batter? Well we ate it straight from the bowl like banana pudding :P The only thing id do differently was decrease the whipped cream 1/4 c because I really like cream cheese frosting :))

  61. Rebekah says:

    I made these about two weeks ago and my husband, daughter and I ate them all in two says. A shame, I know. I even forgot to add the sour cream! ( Pregnancy brain) Then I made you cream cheese pumpkin muffins and shared with a friend who when I told him about these he was upset I didn’t save some of these for him too. He doesn’t know how hard it was to save him the pumpkin muffin! These banana bars are just…….SOOOOOOOO good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!BTW, I am 7 months pregnant and finding your blog is one of the BEST things to have happened to me! I LOVE food, LOVE IT!!!! And am so excited to have access to these wonderful dishes with such simple ingredients. I am a mom on a budget and my husband eats some of these meals and desserts and says to me ” This tastes like something you could order at a nice place” I just say, “See why I am always on that site” Thank you!

  62. Raquel says:

    This recipe is so incredibly good. The bar to frosting ratio is perfect. And that frosting, by the way, is some of the best I’ve ever had. I am not the type of person who usually craves frosting on its own, but this delicious, amazing stuff I could just eat with a spoon from a bowl. It takes everything in me to stop sneaking tastes of it before I put it on the bars. Thanks for sharing this! (And thanks for filling me in on the ingredient amounts that I was unable to read off of my computer a few months ago. I’ve already made these more than once.)

  63. JAN says:

    I can’t get your recipe for banana bars with whipped cream cheese frosting to print.
    Any suggestions? I would love to make these. They sound delicious. Thanks/

  64. Mel says:

    Jan – Thanks for your note. Unfortunately if you are using Internet Explorer, the print function isn’t working right now. I am working to get it fixed but in the meantime, I’m encouraging those who are having issues to switch to a different browser like Chrome, Safari or Firefox. Internet Explorer has issues with many website functions and one of those other browsers will be much better (not just for the print function). If you don’t want to switch browsers, know that I am working on it but am not sure when there will be a fix available. I’m sorry for any inconvenience!

  65. danielle says:

    hi mel, well i just found this recepie and im about to try it! but, i was wondering if i could turn them in to cupcakes. my concern is if i would still have the same result or the extra minutes in the oven will produce a different texture in the batter or affect its moistness. ive been searching for a good recepie that makes a good, spongy, moist banana cupcake but nothing has come even closer to that. the main problem is in the texture, too dry or too dense (because of the banana). pleasee help!

  66. danielle says:

    also, i was wondering for how long does the frosting lasts because whipped cream even refrigerated is quite delicate and i would love if you could share some tips on how you keep it stable and stiff and how should i store the bars to keep them as fresh and good a possible! thank you soo much!

  67. Mel says:

    Danielle – I’ve never tried them as cupcakes so you will have to experiment. I’d cut down the baking time a bit. As for the frosting, I’ve left it in the fridge for a day or two with no problems. With the cream cheese in it, it tends to do ok in the fridge for a day or so. If you want a stabilized whipped cream (that doesn’t release a bit of liquid), you might need to google a recipe. Good luck!

  68. jody says:

    Does the frosting require refrigerating after applied?

  69. Mel says:

    Jody – Yes I usually refrigerate these after frosting them.

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