Banana Bread Bars

16 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Banana Bread Bars make an easy, tender, flavorful treat topped in cream cheese frosting and easy to share with a crowd. 

It’s hard to beat a Classic Banana Bread Recipe when you want a comforting, moist, sweet bread. This recipe has the same amazing flavor you know and love, but baked into a Dessert Recipe perfect for a party or potluck.

Traditional banana bread makes an amazing breakfast food or delicious snack to enjoy throughout the day. However, these Banana Bars are a little richer with the addition of Cream Cheese Frosting to the top. That way they become more decadent and cake-like.

Sabrina’s Banana Bread Bars Recipe

You and everyone who tries these Banana Bread Bars are sure to love them! The banana and sour cream in the batter gives the bars the perfect moist crumb consistency. Adding the layer of delicious cream cheese frosting makes the classic recipe sweeter. Plus, the tangy flavor from the cream cheese perfectly compliments the warm cinnamon and banana taste of the crumbly bars.

Just like classic banana quick bread, not only do these sweet bars taste amazing, they are incredibly easy too! You just need a few ingredients plus some ripe bananas and in less than an hour they are ready.


  • Sour Cream: If you’re new to baking, adding sour cream to sweet bars may seem strange. However, sour cream is an excellent dessert ingredient. It makes your baked goods nice and moist. While many liquid ingredients would thin out the batter and make the end results less fluffy, sour cream allows the batter to keep its thickness.
  • Bananas: To flavor the Banana Bars recipe, you’ll want 3-4 overripe bananas, enough to make 2 cups worth of peeled bananas. Mash the bananas before adding them to the batter so that they can easily blend into the other ingredients.
  • Cinnamon: Adding just ½ teaspoon cinnamon to the batter makes a huge difference in flavor that enhances the banana and makes the bars feel homier.
  • Cream Cheese: Make sure you give the cream cheese and butter time to soften before you start beating together the cream cheese frosting. That way, they can combine into a light and fluffy mixture quickly.
  • Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar is perfect for frosting because it’s so light that it doesn’t weigh down the ingredients like other sugar would. It all combines into the perfect fluffy topping for Banana Bread Bars.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Baking Dish: A 9 x 13-inch baking dish will be the perfect size to bake your bars. You can use glass, metal, or ceramic but the baking times might vary depending on what you use so watch the bars closely as they get near the end of baking. Glass pans will likely take more time to bake.
  • Cooking Spray: To ensure the bars don’t stick to your pan, you can coat the inside with cooking spray. Softened butter will also work. You could also use a parchment paper lining if you don’t want to use cooking spray or butter.
  • Electric Mixer: Use a stand mixer to bring all your ingredients together. If you don’t have one, you can use a handheld electric mixer.
  • Offset Spatula: A spatula will come in handy to even out your batter, and also to spread the frosting over the top once the bars are baked. An offset spatula has the handle at an angle that fits in the hand just right for making nice, even tops.

How to Make Banana Bread Bars

Time needed: 45 minutes.

  1. Prep Time

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper.

  2. Banana Bars Batter

    Add softened butter and white sugar to your stand mixer. Beat at medium speed using a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. After the butter mixture is blended, you can add the eggs, bananas, and vanilla. Then beat until the wet ingredients are smooth. Sift together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, kosher salt, and cinnamon into a separate bowl. Then add the dry ingredients to the stand mixer, and combine at the lowest speed until just mixed. Finish the batter by adding the sour cream and beating it until smooth.Banana Bread Bars batter in a bowl

  3. Cooking Time

    Pour the banana bread batter into the prepared baking dish, and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly. Then bake for 35-40 minutes, until the bars are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the bars cool completely before adding the cream cheese frosting.Banana Bread baked in the pan

  4. Cream Cheese Frosting

    Add the softened cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla to your stand mixer. Beat until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup sugar at a time until all 3 cups confectioners sugar are incorporated. Once the Banana Bread Bars are cool, you can use a spatula to cover the bars with cream cheese frosting.Banana Bread baked and frosted

Can Banana Bread Bars be made ahead?

Yes, these are great bars to make ahead of time. You can make them a couple of days ahead and just wait to cut them until the day you want to serve them to maximize freshness. Another idea to make them feel super fresh is to make them ahead and store them covered in the refrigerator for a few days. When you’re ready to serve them, make the frosting fresh, spread them over the Banana Bread, and cut into bars to serve them.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Banana Bread Bars
Amount Per Serving
Calories 371 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Trans Fat 0.3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 61mg20%
Sodium 179mg8%
Potassium 127mg4%
Carbohydrates 59g20%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 44g49%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 483IU10%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 33mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Tips & Tricks

 Make picture-perfect, delicious bars using these helpful tips.

  1. Cut Neat Squares
    • To make nice, clean cuts and produce neat, professional-looking bars, use a serrated knife or a bread knife to cut the squares. It will make nice, smooth cuts for each bar.
  2. Avoid Over-Mixing
    • If you want tender Banana Bread Bars, make sure to mix until just combined at the end of the batter. If you over-mix the batter, it can make your Banana Bread tough.

How to Store

Serve: You shouldn’t leave Banana Bread Bars out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, especially because of the cream cheese frosting.

Store: To keep the bars fresh, you can cover them in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. If you only have a few pieces left, you could also put the bars in an air-tight container, then store the Banana Bread Bars in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Freeze: As long as you carefully wrap the bars or seal them in an air-tight container, they can stay good frozen for up to 3 months.

Ideas to Serve Banana Bread Bars

Making this favorite recipe into bars also makes it easier to serve delicious banana bread for different situations. These frosted Banana Bars are great for bringing to a party or potluck. The bars are easier to cut than a classic cake and easier to make than other more extravagant dessert recipes.

They also would be a lovely addition to a brunch table as a sweet finish, or a replacement for muffins or danishes. If you’d like to serve them for brunch and make them a little less sweet, you can serve them without the frosting, or simply use the frosting to drizzle a small amount over the top. No matter whether you serve these for brunch, a snack, or dessert, try slicing some bananas right before you serve them and place a couple on top of each bar for a wonderful finishing touch.

Frequent Questions

How can I make bananas ripen faster?

To speed up the ripening process, preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Then place the bananas on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the peels are blackened, and the bananas are soft. Then let the bananas cool before removing them from the peel and using the soft bananas for baked banana bars.

What to do if I don’t have enough bananas?

You can still make this recipe even if you don’t have quite enough bananas. You’ll want to have at least 2 bananas to give the Banana Bar recipe their banana flavor. If you don’t have a third, you can substitute in other ingredients. Use unsweetened applesauce to replace the third banana. It will add the proper amount of moisture and won’t overwhelm the banana flavor.

Recipe Card

Banana Bread Bars

Banana Bread Bars make an easy, tender, flavorful treat topped in cream cheese frosting and easy to share with a crowd. Bake them today!
Yield 16 Servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


Banana Bread Bars:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups bananas , very ripe and mashed (about 3 bananas)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup sour cream

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar


Banana Bread Bars:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with baking spray or line with parchment paper.
  • To your stand mixer add the butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
  • Add in the eggs, bananas, and vanilla and beat until smooth.
  • Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  • Add to the stand mixer on the lowest speed setting until just combined.
  • Add in sour cream and beat until smooth.
  • Pour into baking dish and spread evenly.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • While the bars are cooling, make the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Add the cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla to a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time until smooth and incorporated.


Calories: 371kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 179mg | Potassium: 127mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 44g | Vitamin A: 483IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Banana Bread Bars

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  • Gluten-free Banana Bread Bars: If you want to make the banana bars gluten-free, you’ll just need to substitute the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free alternative. Coconut flour, almond flour, oat flour, or buckwheat flour would create the best results.
  • Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Bars: If you want some chocolate flavor in your bars, you can add semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter. For this version, you can still add the cream cheese frosting, or you can leave it out if you’re worried the combination of frosting and chocolate chips will make the Banana Bread Bars too sweet.
  • Nuts: Banana nut bread is a classic alternative to simple banana bread. Feel free to mix macadamia nuts, almonds, pecans, or walnuts into this bar recipe.
  • Ingredient Swaps: Making this recipe at home means that you can substitute ingredients to make the bars work for any dietary restrictions. If you want healthier ingredient swaps, try using wheat flour to replace the white and low-fat yogurt to replace the sour cream. You can also swap out the eggs for unsweetened applesauce or flax egg.

More Delicious Banana Bread Recipes

Banana Bread Bars Pinterest Image

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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