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banana bars with cream cheese frosting

March 18, 2012

I’m a big fan of banana-flavored treats, so much so that sometimes I buy banana with very good intentions of eating a very healthy fruit — but then, whoops! They’re black and inedible and need to be baked into banana bread or banana bars. Oh well! What a happy “accident.”

Banana bars with cream cheese frosting

Banana bars with cream cheese frosting

There are just some recipes that you love just because of the memories tied to them. My grandmother and mother have always made banana bars with cream cheese frosting — and I’m crazy about them.

Ingredients

For the batter:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup ripe bananas (about three), mashed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt

Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 eight ounce package cream cheese (I used neufchâtel cream cheese to cut calories)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
Banana bars with cream cheese frosting

Banana bars with cream cheese frosting

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 cooking pan.

2. Cream butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs, bananas and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in separate bowl and then incorporate into banana mixture.

3. Pour into 9 x 13 pan (my grandmother also uses a 15 x 10 x 1 pan, so that would probably be better, but I realize most people do not have this size of a pan). Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes (the 9 x 13 pan will take longer than the 15 x 10). The bars will be done when they are not incredibly wiggly, slightly browned and a toothpick can be removed cleanly. Set aside to cool before frosting.

4. Cream butter and cream cheese. Incorporate powdered sugar and add vanilla to help with mixing. Do not frost bars until cake is completely cooled. Frosting is thick, so try to spread the mixture more initially instead of laying it all on the middle, as that will make it more difficult and might tear some of the bars.*

*I highly recommend keeping the bars refrigerated, especially because of the cream cheese, but also because they taste better that way!

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