Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Tender morsels with a cake like texture and light banana flavor these Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting so special!

Thick layer of cream cheese frosting smoothly coating a banana bread bar on a white plate on a blue napkin

Banana Bars with Frosting Recipe

These Frosted Banana Bars are the sweetest, richest and best banana recipe we have!  And we have several great recipes with bananas from our Banana Split Cake to Banana Pecan Bread.

Natural banana flavors from nicely ripened bananas creates a sheet cake that is a wonderful treat on it’s own. The cake is made in a quarter sized sheet pan, so it is thin yet so moist from the bananas and sour cream. Add the rich and creamy frosting to make a wonderful dessert or snack.

The frosting is so rich and creamy it just sets the banana bars apart from our Chocolate Chip Banana Bars.

Another way to give these bars a twist is to use our Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting. There’s a few more steps, but the browned coconut is wonderful.

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Bite of light and moist banana bar on a fork in front of a bigger piece coated with cream cheese frosting

A friend in western Ohio that follows along with all of our recipes often shares her best family recipes.  Thank you, Amy, for sharing this recipe!  She and her husband are dairy farmers and this banana cake recipe is filled with butter and sour cream and iced with a cream cheese icing that also has butter.

I like knowing that when I buy name brand or store brand dairy products at the grocery store I’m supporting farmers like Amy and her family and many other similar families across the United States.  There are lots of farmers that work hard every day to grow the food that is sold in the grocery store!

Ingredients Needed To Make Frosted Banana Bars

  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Sour Cream
  • Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Ripe Bananas
Flour, baking soda, vanilla, butter, eggs, bananas, sour cream and sugar are the ingredients to make banana bread bars on a brown wood counter top

Another popular recipe to share with friends and family is our Crescent Roll Cream Cheese Danishes.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • Cream Cheese
  • Butter
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Powdered Sugar

While we’re fans of whipping up a homemade Cream Cheese Frosting another poplar option is Brown Butter Frosting. My friend Kelsey is a food scientist that created these amazing Pumpkin Bars with Brown Butter Frosting. Her frosting could be used on these bars for another delicious variation.

What To Do With Bananas About to Go Bad

I work hard to keep an eye on how quickly our bananas are ripening so that we can be sure and use them before they get rotten.  If we have several bananas that are about to go bad I may freeze a few to use in smoothies. Or I make a banana flavored baked good like Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins.

Putting bananas that are about to go bad in the refrigerator will make them turn brown, so I always avoid that.  We store bananas on the counter or place them in an airtight bag in the freezer.  Bananas may continue to turn slightly more brown in the freezer, the process will be slowed significantly compared to storing on the counter or refrigerator.

What Does a Ripe Banana Look Like

A ripe banana is yellow and fairly firm!  The amount of green on the banana peel will decrease as it ripens.  As the ripening process continues the banana will get soft and the skin will begin to turn brown.  The browning process can happen more quickly than turning from greenish to yellow.

Over head view of moist banana bars with rich cream cheese frosting with a fork and sheet pan of banana bars in the background

What Should Bananas Look Like For Baking

Bananas used for baking should not have any green on the peel.  As the banana peel turns from yellow to brown the banana flavor will strengthen.  I like to use bananas that are yellow or have a few brown spots when baking, but this is personal preference.

A piece of the banana can be eaten to determine if you like the flavor before including in a baking recipe.  If the banana is too soft and strong tasting I would recommend not using that banana.

How to Make Frosted Banana Bars

  1. Soften butter and cream cheese prior to beginning the recipe
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla
  4. Mix flour and baking soda
  5. Gradually add flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture
  6. Stir in bananas and spread batter into greased baking sheet
  7. To make frosting beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy
  8. Gradually beat in powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency
  9. Warmer icing spreads easier, also spreads easier on a warm cake

Step By Step Instructions

In a mixing bowl beat softened stick of butter and sugar.

Mixing bowl with sugar beaten into softened butter

Add eggs, vanilla and sour cream and mix well.

The mixture should become light and fluffy.

Sour cream, eggs and vanilla added to butter and sugar mixture in a mixing bowl

Use a fork to mix flour and baking soda together.

This is a quicker and easier way to sift the dry ingredients.

Pour half of the flour mixture into the wet mixture in the mixing bowl and mix.

Use a spatula to scrape the edges of the bowl and then add remaining flour and mix it up.

Flour and baking soda added to liquid mixture with bananas in a silver mixing bowl

Mash up two bananas in a measuring cup. Use about 1 cup of mashed bananas.

Add to the batter and stir it up. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl a couple times until batter is uniform.

Thick batter with a yellow tint to make banana bars

Pour into a lightly greased 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pan.

Bake in a 350°F oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow to cool for about 30 minutes and mix up frosting ingredients. Cover with frosting and enjoy!

How Many Bars Does This Recipe Make?

We can cut 20 pretty generous sized bars or 40 smaller bars that only take a few bites to eat.

It’s nice to have options. My kids made these to serve along with No-Bake Cookies without Cocoa and our White and Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies for a snack at a 4-H meeting. The smaller pieces went over better since there were other options.

Quarter sheet pan with a cross between banana bread bars and a light moist cake made better with an easy homemade cream cheese frosting on top

Storage & Freezing Directions

The bars are best eaten in 1 to 2 days.

Be sure to store in the refrigerator since ripening fruit is in the bars and dairy products are in the frosting.

If you would like to freeze the bars they will preserve the best quality being frozen without frosting.

With frosting on the bars the quality will decrease a bit in the freezing and defrosting process because of the amount of moisture in the frosting.

Other Easy Cakes for a Potluck or Family Meal

Close up piece of a frosted banana bar on a stack of white plates with a fork in the back ground

Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Servings 20 bars
Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life
Tender morsels with a cake like texture and light banana flavor these Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting so special!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients
  

Bars

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 medium ripe bananas mashed (about 1 cup)

Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 3/4 – 4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Grease 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan.  Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  • Add the eggs, sour cream and vanilla; mix well.
  • Combine the flour, baking soda; gradually add to the creamed mixture. 
  • Stir in bananas.  Spread into greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Frosting

  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy. 
  • Gradually beat in enough powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency.  Frost bars.  Store in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Calories: 446kcalCarbohydrates: 75gProtein: 3gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 175mgPotassium: 96mgFiber: 1gSugar: 63gVitamin A: 539IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!

Originally shared on May 4, 2019 with pictures updated on March 21, 2023.

Cream cheese Frosted Banana Bars are the perfect way to use browning bananas

8 Comments

  1. Amy Hoying says:

    5 stars
    I hope your readers love this recipe as much as we do! It is always a hit whether it’s for a family gathering, for work, or just as a dessert at home!

  2. Hello. I am wondering if you’ve ever tried freezing this? Considering making two cakes…

    1. Hello! Great question! I have not tried freezing the cake and I’m asking myself if the banana flavor would change very much over time or through the freezing and thawing process…and I don’t know the answer. I should try to test this sometime. If you do give it a try please let me know how it turns out.

      Thanks so much for stopping by! ~Jennifer

  3. TINA W MATZUREFF says:

    5 stars
    I never commented on anything, but this cake was so moist and very easy to make I just had to let you know that I absolutely loved it!! Since I had 5 overly ripe bananas I used all of them but other than that I followed the recipe. Will definitely make this cake again and again!!

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      So glad to hear this! Thanks so much for letting us know! We hope you find some other recipes to enjoy here on the site 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    I accidently used a cake pan for this and after I figured it out? I kept an eye on it and checked to make sure it was done, after the time was up, I turned the oven down to 300 and did 10 extra minutes while poking a tooth pick and another 10 minutes and finally was baked through. It was good!!!!

  5. 5 stars
    I’m not an experienced cook, so I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out deliciously perfect and was so easy! I made them the night before.

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve been making this recipe for a long time, received from a girlfriend whose mother made it. It is a wonderful recipe. Are use a 15 x 10 pan.

    Someone asked if it could be frozen? Absolutely! I cut it in bars, then put it in either a glass or plastic container with a lid. I take it out to thaw, but it never makes it to the table because I love it frozen! The frosting is like candy, and because the cake has such a moist context, it doesn’t freeze solid.

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