Soft banana bars with a rich brown butter frosting. My favorite way to use up ripe bananas. These bars have the best banana flavor and never last long!
These are one of my absolute favorite desserts. They’re moist, soft and are topped with a delicious brown butter frosting. I also love pumpkin bars, sugar cookie bars, congo bars and s’mores bars. Seriously so delicious!
Whenever I spot a bunch of brown bananas at the store or end up with some on my counter, I know exactly what I want to make: frosted banana bars! As much as I love banana bread (especially with chocolate chips), these bars are always on my mind.
What takes them over the top is the rich and creamy brown butter frosting. It adds the best flavor and is seriously divine!
The only problem with these bars is that they make a lot, so I have to find a place to take them or I will eat the entire pan! You can definitely cut this recipe in half and bake them in a 9×9″ pan, but I love to make the whole sheet. They’re great to make for a crowd and both adults and kids always love them!
How to make banana bars
Step 1: Combine wet ingredients
Cream together the butter and sugars in a large bowl. Next add in eggs, sour cream and vanilla and mix just until combined.
Step 2: Combine dry ingredients
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir just until smooth. Fold in the mashed bananas and then pour into a greased large rimmed 12×18″ baking sheet.
Step 3: Bake in oven
Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean and the top is golden. Remove from oven and allow the bars to cool completely.
Brown butter frosting
I love to top my banana bars with a brown butter frosting. Brown butter adds a deep, rich flavor to baked goods and is seriously delicious. And while on the topic of brown butter, have you tried my brown butter chocolate chip cookies or brown butter blondies? They are life changing!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3 1/2 -4 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 Tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium-heat. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until it has turned a golden brown color and has a nutty aroma. As soon as you notice the color change, quickly remove the pan from heat to prevent it from burning.
Then whisk in the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Pour the brown butter frosting immediately over the bars and spread evenly with a spatula. Move quickly, as the frosting will thicken fast. Cover until ready to serve.
Tips for the best banana bread bars
- Use ripe bananas! The riper they are, the more sweetness they add.
- This recipe makes a lot! Feel free to cut it in half and bake in a 9×9″ pan.
- Can add chopped walnuts or pecans to banana bar batter.
- Brown sugar frosting thickens fast, so move quickly! Pour immediately on top of bars.
- Cream cheese frosting also tastes great on top as well.
- Add banana slices on top right before serving so they don’t get soggy and brown.
More banana recipes:
- Easy Banana Pudding
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- No-Bake Banana Cream Pie
- Banana Bread Muffins
- Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies
- Double Chocolate Banana Bread
For the banana bars:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature (plus more for the pan)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 5 brown bananas)
For the bars:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a large rimmed baking sheet (12×18″). In a large bowl, cream together the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Mix just until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Slowly add the flour mixture into the other bowl and stir just until smooth. Fold in the mashed bananas and then pour into the baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean and the top is golden. Remove from oven and allow the bars to cool completely.
For the frosting:
- For the brown butter frosting, melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the butter has turned a golden brown and has a nutty aroma. As soon as you notice the color change, quickly remove the pan from heat to prevent it from burning.
- Whisk in the powdered sugar, milk and the vanilla. Pour immediately over the bars and spread evenly with a spatula. Move quickly, as the frosting will thicken fast. Cover until ready to serve.
- This recipe makes a lot! Feel free to cut it in half and bake in a 9x9" pan.
- Cream cheese frosting also tastes great on top of these bars as well.
- Add banana slices on top (if desired) right before serving so they don't get soggy and brown.