These bananas bars with cream cheese frosting are moist, big on banana flavor and the perfect dessert for a crowd. Use up ripe bananas to make frosted banana cake that your family will love!

banana bars with cream cheese frosting and walnuts in sheet pan

For 27.75 years of my life, I just figured I didn’t like cream cheese frosting. Just like I thought I didn’t like cheesecake when I was younger because it had the word “cheese” in it.

Same thing goes for cream cheese frosting. But I got adventurous one day (yes, I’m laughing at this now!) and tried cream cheese frosting on cake, and what can I say?

It’s dreamy. It’s even better when paired with banana cake. Banana cake with cream cheese frosting were meant to be best friends.

spatula holding slice of banana bar with cream cheese frosting

Banana Bar Ingredients

  • unsalted butter: adds flavor and and tender texture
  • water: water and butter are melted together to form the wet ingredients
  • granulated sugar: adds sweetness, flavor and encourages browning
  • brown sugar: adds sweetness & flavor, keeps the bars moist
  • mashed bananas: adds banana flavor and acts as a binder
  • buttermilk: adds moisture & fat, activates the baking soda
  • eggs: binds the bars together by providing structure
  • vanilla extract: adds flavor
  • all purpose flour: flour is necessary to build structure
  • baking soda: helps to leaven and lift the batter, affects browning and flavor
  • salt: enhances the other flavors in the bars
  • optional walnuts: add them into the batter or on top of the cream cheese frosting
 

how to make banana bars collage with text overlay

How to Make Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. On the stove top, melt the butter and water together. Remove from heat once melted.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, mashed bananas, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla.
  3. Gently stir in the flour, baking soda and salt (and chopped walnuts if you want).
  4. Gently stir in the melted butter mixture.
  5. Pour into a sprayed 10.5 x 15.5 pan and bake.

See our cream cheese frosting recipe instructions.

banana bars with cream cheese frosting and walnuts in sheet pan

How to Ripen Bananas Quickly

To ripen bananas quickly, turn your oven to 300º F, place the bananas (with peels still on!) on a baking sheet and place them in the oven for 15-30 minutes. You want the peels to turn black and the bananas to be soft.

How to Store Banana Bars

Unfrosted banana bars can be covered in an airtight container and stored at room temperature on the counter for up to 3 days. For longer storage, place in the fridge.

If they are frosted with cream cheese frosting, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. My husband actually prefers them cold, straight from the fridge!

banana bar with cream cheese frosting and banana slice on white plate

How Long Does it Take to Make Frosted Banana Cake?

  • 10 minutes to prep the bars
  • 22ish minutes to bake
  • 1 hour to cool the bars
  • 10 minutes to make the cream cheese frosting and frost the bars

What is a Jelly Roll Pan?

A jelly roll pan is a cookie sheet or baking sheet that has a raised edge. Our recipe calls for a 10.5 x 15.5 inch pan.

If you don’t have the specific size of pan, bake these bars in a 9×13 inch pan. The bars will be thicker and require a longer baking time. If baking in a 9×13 inch pan, check the bars at 25 minutes and adjust the baking time as needed.

banana bars with cream cheese frosting and walnuts in sheet pan

Tips for Making Banana Bars Recipe

  • Properly measure the all purpose flour using the spoon and sweep method.
  • Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until they are combined. Over mixing could lead to dry, dense bars.
  • Don’t skip the cream cheese frosting, it’s amazing!

More Banana Desserts

Healthy Banana Breakfast Cookies
Strawberry Banana Muffins
Easy Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
Bakery Style Banana Bread Muffins


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For a step-by-step of how to make this banana bar recipe, watch this short video:

Such a popular banana nut bar recipe with cream cheese frosting! Will make again and again, could be called banana nut cake!

Banana Bars

Yield: 10x15 inch pan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 32 minutes

These bananas bars with cream cheese frosting are moist, big on banana flavor and the perfect dessert for a crowd. Use up ripe bananas to make frosted banana cake that your family will love!

Ingredients

Banana Bars

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup mashed banana, about 2 large bananas
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • optional: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts in the batter

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

Banana Bars

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Spray a 10x15 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. On medium-high heat over the stove, melt the butter and water and bring to a boil. Once it boils, remove it from the heat and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine the sugar, brown sugar, banana, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla, beat with an electric mixer until smooth, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and optional walnuts, then gradually add to the banana mixture.
  5. Gently stir in the melted butter mixture until incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter onto the baking sheet and bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the bars to cool completely before adding the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a mixing bowl combine the cream cheese and butter, beat with an electric mixer until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add in the vanilla extract and gradually add the powdered sugar, beat until smooth and thick. Spread the frosting on top of the cooled bars. Garnish with walnuts if desired. Slice and serve.

Notes

How to Store Banana Bars

  • Unfrosted banana bars can be covered in an airtight container and stored at room temperature on the counter for up to 3 days. For longer storage, place in the fridge. 
  • If they are frosted with cream cheese frosting, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

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