These super moist, frosted banana bars are the perfect treat for any occasion! Bake in a 9x13 pan and top with smooth cream cheese frosting for the perfect dessert for a crowd!
Don't toss those brown bananas!
Do you have overripe bananas that are about to turn bad? Make my family's favorite banana bar recipe (also referred to as banana cake) for the perfect banana dessert! It's easy and delicious, and the best quick & easy dessert. Move on over banana bread (just kidding, I still love you), it's time to switch things up with these moist and fluffy banana bars!
Tips and tricks
- Ripe Bananas: It's important to use ripe bananas so the cake turns out moist!
- Do not over mix: overmixing can create a tough, chewy cake and we want light and fluffy banana bars.
- Add Cornstarch: Adding cornstarch to the cake batter will help make the banana bars extra moist. But if you don't have it on hand, simply omit it.
- Bake in a sheet pan for a crowd: While I love baking these moist banana bars in a metal 9x13" pan for a thicker cake-like bar, you can also bake this in a larger sheet pan for large groups. Growing up we baked this in a 13x18" rimmed jelly roll pan for 20-24 minutes to feed more people (it's will just result in a thinner cake).
- Mix-Ins: Add in some chocolate chips for a little bit of extra flavor and texture!
How to Make Frosted Banana Bars
Step 1: Prep & Mash Bananas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a metal 9x13" pan with nonstick cooking spray and lightly dust with flour (or cover in parchment paper). Mash ripe bananas with a fork in a large bowl and set aside.
Step 2: Mix Ingredients
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth (about 1 minute). While the mixer is on low, add in the eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Add in cornstarch and flour and mix until combined. Lastly, mix in mashed bananas until incorporated; do not overmix.
Tip: If you've never made frosted banana bars with sour cream and cornstarch, you will love how incredibly moist they are! The best banana bars use these two secret side-kick ingredients!
Step 3: Bake
Pour batter into greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 28-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Top should be slightly golden brown, as shown in the photo below.
If baking in a larger 13x18" rimmed jelly roll pan, bake closer to 20-24 minutes.
Step 4: Frost
Allow bars to cool completely before frosting.
To make cream cheese frosting, beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and milk on medium speed until combined. Slowly add in powdered sugar and beat smooth and creamy (about 1-2 minutes). If frosting is too thick, add more milk until desired consistency.
- Make your banana bars festive by topping with some holiday sprinkles!
- Sprinkle a little cinnamon in the frosting or on top of the banana cake before serving for an extra touch.
- Top with shaved dark chocolate for extra flavor and texture.
Storing & Freezing
How do I store my banana cake?
Once frosted, this banana cake needs to be refrigerated. Banana cake is best when served fresh but can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days if needed!
Can you freeze frosted banana bars?
Banana cake can be frozen for up to three months when stored properly in the freezer. For best preservation, wrap cake in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving!
Frequently Asked Questions:
How long will banana cake last?
Banana cake lasts a maximum of five days when stored properly and covered tightly at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Always make sure your banana bars have been completely cooled before covering them this prevents condensation from ruining the top layer of icing on your delicious treat!
How do I know if my banana is ripe enough to use?
If the banana is soft with brown speckles on its skin, it's ripe enough to use in a recipe!
How do I make banana bars gluten free?
Use our favorite gluten-free flour or your own blend and substitute it for the all-purpose. We recommend sifting your flour before measuring so there aren't any clumps when you're ready to bake this moist banana cake. Also be sure not to over mix once the dry ingredients have been added into your wet mixture, which can lead to tough baked goods.
How to ripen bananas fast?
- Brown Paper Bag: Place them in a brown paper bag and store at room temperature. The bananas will become ripe faster this way!
- Place With Apples: Place the bananas in a bowl and add some apples. The apples will release ethylene gas, which helps speed up the process of ripening.
- Ripen Bananas In Oven: Place the bananas in a single layer on a rimmed metal baking pan. Bake at 200 degrees for around 30 minutes. The skin will turn black but the bananas will be soft and have a strong banana flavor.
More delicious recipes:
The BEST Frosted Banana Bars
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup sour cream (8oz tub)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch this mades them more moist but if you don't have it, you can leave it out
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
- 1 ½ cups mashed bananas (about 2-3 large bananas)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon milk
Before you begin! If you make this, will you do me a huge favor and leave a review and rating letting me know how you liked this recipe? This helps my small business thrive so I can continue providing free recipes and high-quality content for you.
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Spray metal 9x13" pan with nonstick cooking spray and lightly dust with all-purpose flour (or cover in parchment paper). See notes below for baking in jelly roll pan.
- In a small mixing bowl, mash bananas (1 ½ cups, or 2-3 large bananas) with a fork until broken up. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the softened unsalted butter (½ cup, i.e., 1 stick), granulated sugar (1 cup), and light brown sugar (½ cup) until smooth (about 1 minute). While the mixer is on low, add in the eggs (2 large), sour cream (¾ cup), vanilla extract (1 teaspoon), baking soda (1 teaspoon), and salt (¼ teaspoon). Add cornstarch (1 tablespoon) and all-purpose flour (2 ½ cups) and mix until combined. Lastly, mix in mashed bananas (1 ½ cups) until incorporated; do not overmix.
- Pour batter into greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350℉ for 28-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Top should be slightly golden brown, as shown in the photo above. Allow bars to cool completely before frosting.
- Note: If you're using a 9x13 pan, this recipe makes a THICK layer of cream cheese frosting. If you prefer less frosting, cut this recipe in half. If baking bars in a 13x18" jelly roll pan, I suggest making the full amount of frosting.To Make: Beat cream cheese (8 ounces), unsalted butter (½ cup, i.e., 1 stick), vanilla extract (1 teaspoon), and milk (1 teaspoon) on medium speed until combined. Slowly add in powdered sugar (3 ½ cups) and beat smooth and creamy (about 1-2 minutes). If frosting is too thick, add more milk until desired consistency.Spread onto bars and cut into 24 squares. To help the frosting firm up, place in refrigerator.
- Cover and store in fridge for 3-4 days.
Last Step! Please leave a review and rating letting me know how you liked this recipe! This helps my small business thrive so I can continue providing free recipes and high-quality content for you.