I confess that I have an addiction to these Banana Bread Bars with Almond Peanut Butter Frosting. I make them almost every week and there is no 12-step program for these. I’m just warning you up front … if you are a fan of peanut butter & banana together, you’ll be hooked too!
I like banana bread because it’s dense and chewy, but I prefer bars because they are easier to put together in a 9×13 pan and just leave there until they are all eaten up. OK, so I’m
a bit lazy. I was hunting through some recipe websites when I saw a recipe for Banana Bread BARS!! Holy Freckled Monkeys, Batman — they have such a thing??? Why didn’t somebody tell me?? These Banana Bread bars are SO GOOD they never last long enough to get stale. Long before that happens, we’ve eaten them and I’ve shared them with friends (right from that 9×13 pan)!
I found a recipe I really liked over at A Fork’s Tale and tried it! Wow, just wow! I totally agree with her that these dense & chewy bars are just bursting with banana flavor. Totally YUM! However, I beg to disagree on the frosting. Her frosting is really good. And I can’t wait to try it on some chocolate or chocolate malt bars. But my combination of chewy, dense bananas with sweet, creamy peanut butter and just a hint of salt is just so much better! I guess this is why there are so many awesome recipes and recipe blogs out there. We find great recipes & tweak them to suit our taste buds! I’ve always loved the combination of peanut butter and banana (the way most people love chocolate & peanut butter). It’s a win-win at our house because this is one of the few desserts The Hubster will eat (silly man is not fond of sweets, if you can fathom that).
These banana bread bars only have 7 ingredients (I didn’t count the salt or baking soda) and is very easy to throw together. I use my Kitchen Aid mixer and just toss the ingredients in and pour right into the baking pan. Easy Peasy.
When I started searching for the perfect Peanut Butter Frosting it took me awhile to find just the right one. I wanted a frosting that was light & creamy because the bars are dense. And I wanted the focus on the rich peanut butter flavor instead of being sugary sweet from the confectioners sugar. After trying a few recipes that weren’t the right fit, I found the perfect recipe over at Sally’s Baking Addiction. This recipe has only 5 ingredients and I’ve never looked for another peanut butter frosting recipe since.
The last time I made these, I discovered that I didn’t have enough peanut butter to make a full batch of the frosting. No, no, NO! That . cannot . happen! After a short panic attack, I remembered that I had a jar of almond butter. So I finished out what I needed with almond butter. It changed the texture of the frosting a bit and made is a heavier frosting, but it’s really good too. The recipe below gives you the option of using all peanut butter or a combo or peanut and almond butter. Variety is the spicy of life!
Scrumptious Banana Bread Bars with Almond Peanut Butter Frosting
- Banana Bread Bars:
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 4 ripe bananas mashed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Almond Peanut Butter Frosting
- 5 tbsp butter room temp
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter or 2/3 cup peanut butter & 1/3 cup almond butter
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Banana Bread Bars
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Flour and grease a 9x13 baking dish.
- In a large bowl, beat together sugar, sour cream, eggs, and butter until creamy.
- Blend in bananas and vanilla.
- Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until completely blended.
- Spread into pan and bake for 25 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. (Be careful not to overcook. You don't want to dry them out. They will continue to bake as they rest in the pan.)
- Allow to completely cool, even overnight. Frost with peanut butter frosting.
- Almond Peanut Butter Frosting
- With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the peanut butter, confectioners' sugar, heavy cream, vanilla extract and salt with the mixer running on low.
- Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes.
- Add up to 1/4 cup more confectioners' sugar if frosting is too thin or another Tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick.
- If not using immediately, cover tightly and store for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.