Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Baking Beautiful Banana Butter Bars

We all have a few "go-to" dishes that we feel comfortable and confident making. So when I'm asked to bring something sweet to a party or other gathering and I don't have the time to try out a new recipe, I make a batch of these banana butter bars. They always go over big. You can eat them with your hands or if you want to fancy it up, it's perfectly appropriate to eat them with a fork. I generally have all the ingredients on hand - other than the ripe bananas. Lucky for me, a few local markets always seem to have a few heavily spotted bananas tucked to the side or put in bags at a reduced price. I think it's funny that they sell delicious, sweet, succulent ripe bananas CHEAPER than they sell the hard, tasteless, inedible green ones. I guess it's a question of shelf-life for the grocer, so they need to get the brown bananas out. To me, the ripe bananas are a premium!

These bars are heavenly. I've heard similar bars referred to as "gooey cakes" by my southern friends. While they are gooey, I don’t think of them so much as cakes, but one could argue they have some cake-like qualities. Life is too short to argue about such things, I say, so call them what you want but just enjoy them with people you love.

Banana Butter Bars

One box of yellow cake mix
1 egg
1 stick of butter, melted

1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 stick of butter, melted
2-3 ripe bananas, mashed
½ tsp banana extract
1 lb. box confectioner’s sugar

First make your crust. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish (I like glass) by giving it a spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. Using an electric mixer, combine cake mix, egg and melted butter. Beat until combined. Batter with be very stiff. Remove from bowl and press into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Come up the sides of the baking dish a little bit. You now have your crust.

Prepare the filling by putting the cream cheese in your mixing bowl (the cream cheese should be softened - leave out at room temperature for about an hours) and beat cream cheese until creamy. Then add melted butter and three eggs and combine well with cream cheese. Then add the mashed bananas and banana extract (if you don't have the banana extract, don't worry....they will still taste dee-lish.. You could put in a little vanilla instead - it wouldn't hurt any!). Mix bananas in well. Finally, add the powdered sugar and beat until all is well combined. Pour batter over crust and put in 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. The top should have a nice golden color to it, but you don't want to overcook these! The filling should remain soft, even after it cools. Because the filling stays soft, when you cut it into bars, have a paper towel handy and wipe your knife after each cut and it will make for a cleaner slice. Enjoy! 


  1. You represent CoS very well with those nice legs!!! Great recipe. I will try it with my ripe bananas instead of my go to banana bread every other week!

  2. Thanks for the comment and I'm glad to know my legs do CoS proud! This is perfect for those ripe bananas! All the best!