There’s been a lot of chocolate around the house lately so it was good timing for something different. Lucky for me, I had bananas that were the perfect ripeness for baking moist, cake-like bars with creamy frosting.
Even if you don’t have ripe bananas at the moment, you most likely know that you can freeze extra ripe bananas and thaw them when you are ready to bake. My preferred method is to peel, smash, and put the banana mush into freezer bags labeled with the number of bananas I used. Most recipes call for approximately one to one and a half cups of banana, which you can usually get out of 3-4 medium-sized bananas. It works best to freeze them in that portion size. Or, you can mash and measure or weigh the bananas and bag them with that label.
Use a standard jelly roll pan (approximately 15 in. length, 10.5 in. width 1 in. height) like this made in the USA Nordicware pan, to bake these banana bars.
Cinnamon Banana Bars with Vanilla Cream Frosting
- 1 15×10.5×1 baking pan (jelly roll pan)
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups brown sugar
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, 1½ sticks
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, large
- 1½ cups mashed ripe bananas
- 6 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 cups powdered confectioners sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 15×10 pan.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- In a large bowl beat brown sugar, butter and vanilla extract. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Beat in bananas. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
- Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes of until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan.
- Beat cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar in a small mixer until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Spread on completely cooled bars. Store in the refrigerator and serve at room temperature.
All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets