Let me introduce you to one of my all-time favorite desserts to make: the oh-so-humble, delicious, incredibly flavorful, banana bar.
This has been a staple in my family for years. I believe the recipe originally came from my aunt. Over the years, as I have been making them, I’ve made a few changes here and there based on my mood. Sometimes I add walnuts, sometimes I don’t. I was definitely in a walnut mood when I whipped up this batch. Don’t like walnuts? Don’t worry, they will still be delicious without them.
Not in the mood for chocolate, but just want something pure banana? Skip it! See, isn’t that easy?
One moment while I go on and on about the frosting. By the time you whip it up, it is super soft and not too thick. It spreads really easily and sets up nice. And the best part: the flavor! It tastes just like sinking your teeth into a fresh banana. Actually, I think it’s better than that. Because you add sugar and butter, and I’m pretty sure that’s a rule for making anything better.
What’s better about these lovely little things is that, like banana bread, they taste even better the next day. That is, if they last that long. They’re perfect as a quick dessert for summer barbecues, treat for friends, or heck. You don’t need an excuse to make them. Just do it!
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!
Banana Bars with Chocolate Chunks and Fresh Banana Frosting
Easy, fast, and one of the best banana desserts you'll ever have.
For the bars:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup salted butter, at room temp (I love Kerrygold salted butter)
- 2 large eggs, at room temp
- 1 medium ripe banana
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk, at room temp
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the frosting:
- 3 tablespoons salted butter, at room temp
- 1/2 medium ripe banana
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or chocolate, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a 9"x13" cake pan and set aside. Combine the flour and baking soda together in a small bowl and set aside. Start creaming the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (if you don't have one, you can use a hand mixer). Once it is light and creamy, add the eggs and banana. If your banana isn't very ripe, then give it an extra mash with your fork before you mix it up. Mix until incorporated.
Next, add half of the flour mixture followed by the milk on low speed. Let mix for a few seconds, then add the rest of the flour mixture and mix just until it is incorporated. Make sure you scrape the sides as well. Stop mixer, add nuts and chocolate, and mix until just combined. Spread mixture evenly in the greased pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
For the frosting:
Mash banana with a fork on a plate just to remove big lumps. Add that to the bowl of your stand mixer (or large bowl, if using a hand mixer). Add the remaining frosting ingredients and beat on high speed for up to 5 minutes, or until frosting is smooth and looks a little fluffy. Spread over the top of your cooled bars and add chopped nuts or chocolate as garnish, as using. Cut into 12 or 16 pieces and enjoy!