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Banana Nut Bars
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?
This cream cheese frosting is paired with a banana bar base, which is also a new thing to me.
I love banana bread – we have a classic banana bread recipe and a healthier banana bread recipe that is always in the top 10 most viewed posts each month. Both are great recipes and I frequently convert them into muffins, but a banana bar is new to me!
It’s kind of like banana cake, and I’m pretty sure I did eat this dessert with a fork, so I guess it’s versatile!
A few recipe notes:
-this recipe calls for a 10×15 inch baking pan, also known as a jelly roll pan. I have not tried this recipe in a 9×13 inch pan, so I am not sure how to adjust the baking for that size.
-the recipe calls for buttermilk, I have not tried it with any substitutions
-don’t skip the cream cheese frosting!!
In the mood for banana cupcakes with cream cheese frosting? I’m already drooling! The Cupcake Project has a banana cupcake recipe I’ve been eyeing!
For a step-by-step of how to make this banana nut bar recipe, watch this short video:
- 2 sticks butter (1 cup), cubed
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 & 1/2 cups 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 cup chopped walnuts
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup), softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Spray a 10x15 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- 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.
- In a mixing bowl combine the sugar, brown sugar, banana, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla, beat with an electric mixer until smooth, 1-2 minutes.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, and walnuts, then gradually add to the banana mixture.
- Gently stir in the melted butter mixture until incorporated.
- 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.
- 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. Slice and serve.