banana bars

whenever i have an extra banana lying around, i put it in the freezer for baking. sounds like a good plan, right, since it always seems like whenever i actually want a brown, mushy banana, i don't have any on hand.

except that right now, i have six - yes, six - bananas in my freezer. which is better than the nine i had last week.

when i overheard someone ask "where's those banana bars?" when we were camping last week, i tucked away the thought of aunt judy's banana bars and made a mental post it note to go through my recipes and make it when i got home.

only i couldn't find it.


not in my binder with all the others passed via email or hand written note.

not stuck in a cookbook as a bookmark.

not stuck in a pile with recipes i pulled out of magazines.

no where. i don't have it.

after sulking for a good five minutes, i went through every cookbook i have. not a single one had a recipe for banana bars. i hadn't realized what an exotic food they are. strike two.

strike three. i did a quick search on some of my favorite food blogs. nope. nada. nothing. doesn't anyone else eat these things?!?

i turned to my last resort: google. almost strike four. i wanted something that replicated aunt judy's recipe. no nuts. no sour cream. no butter. especially no shortening.

i had just about given up, until one last final thought crossed my mind: good old betty crocker. and she pulled through.

and let me tell you, they're as close to aunt judy's as i remember them to be.

banana bars with cream cheese frosting
adapted from betty crocker
10 min prep, 30 min cook time, makes 24 bars

1 cup mashed bananas (it was three for me)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt
  1. heat oven to 350 and grease a 9" x 13" pan.
  2. in a large bowl, mash the bananas and mix in the sugar, oil, and eggs.
  3. stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. pour into the pan and bake, uncovered, about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. while the bars are cooking/cooling, make the frosting.

3 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
splash of vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

  1. if the cream cheese and butter aren't soft (straight out of the refrigerator), microwave a few seconds at a time until soft.
  2. mix in the vanilla. mix in the powdered sugar, half a cup at a time, until the desired consistency.
  3. spread on the bars when cool.
2012.04.09 this was bluebonnets & brownies' pick for the secret recipe club!
2015.02.01 this was my hobbie lobbie's pick for the secret recipe club!


  1. Gee Kate, why didn't you just CALL or EMAIL Aunt Judy for the recipe?! Aunt Judy

  2. I am making these immediately when I have enough over-ripe bananas saved up in my freezer!

  3. Hi Kate, I made these for the SRC reveal this month and we loved them. I had a lovely time going through your blog.

  4. Everyone needs to make these too! They are moist, tender and delicate.


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