These banana bars are a tasty treat, especially when topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting. You can go the traditional route with the frosting and just use vanilla, but we used a special treat, Fiori di Sicilia, which is a blend of vanilla and citrus by King Arthur Flour. It was amazing with the cream cheese frosting. I recommend picking up a small bottle and you can use it in place of vanilla in your desserts.
I used the base of the Banana Blondies for this. As I found out, you want to make sure you don't over bake as it will lose some of its tenderness when baked too long. All ovens vary so keep an eye on it if you know your oven already runs hot or bakes faster than the recipe calls for.
On a side note, I had someone ask over at Mom Spark why their cream cheese frostings were turning out with little clumps. This is because your cream cheese is too cold when you prepare the frosting. Make sure it is actually at room temperature before you make the frosting. If it is too late and you have a lumpy frosting, put it in the microwave for 20 seconds and beat well to dissolve any cream cheese clumps. Enjoy!
Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes an 8x8" pan
- For the bars:
- 1/2 cup butter, melted and if desired browned
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup mashed banana (1 medium banana)
- For the frosting:
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (You can substitute 1/2 teaspoon of Fiori di Sicilia if you have it. It is a blend of citrus and vanilla that tastes fantastic with cream cheese frosting)
- For the Blondies: Preheat oven to 350°-f. Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside
- In bowl of stand mixer combine melted (or browned) butter and sugar. Mix until combined. Add in egg and vanilla and continue mixing until incorporated. Stir in salt, flour and banana until batter is smooth and even. Spread in prepared pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until center is set. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool. Frost the blondies when they are cooled.
- For the frosting: In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract.
- Serve the brownies either at room temperature or chilled (we prefer chilled). Keep leftovers in the fridge.
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