Going Bananas for Banana Bread Bars

Bananas have always been an inside joke on my Dad’s side of the family. My Mimi doesn’t waste anything: tin foil, wrapping paper, and especially not food. It wouldn’t be Mimi and Papa’s home without a fruit bowl with very ripe fruit and at least one black, shriveling banana. Luckily, my cousin Luke decides to rescue the poor things and turn them into delicious banana bread.


It seems like my sisters are following in my Mimi’s footsteps, considering there were four black bananas pitifully sitting instead of hanging by our banana hanger. I hate bananas, their consistency freaks me out, but I adore all types of banana bread. When I saw the pathetic bananas laying there, I knew I had to do something. I’d seen a few recipes for banana bread brownies on Pinterest lately, so I thought it would be fun to give them a try.

I decided to make my own version by adapting several recipes, but not so much by choice. We didn’t have any regular sugar or all-purpose flour in the house. Come on people, these are basic ingredients! How do they survive when I’m at school? Luckily, I found I had Turbinado sugar and cake flour in the baking drawer. Since I was already curdling my own buttermilk because that isn’t a basic ingredient, why not give these substitutes a shot? It ended up making these banana bread bars even better than I imagined. They’re probably one of my favorite things I’ve ever made, mostly because it became my own recipe from scratch. The Turbinado sugar adds a molasses flavor and crunch to the bars, which tastes incredible with the rich brown butter frosting.


P.S. Making your own buttermilk is much easier than you think! Simply add a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk and let it sit for about 10 minutes. I added an extra splash of lemon juice to the top of the milk to make sure it curdled evenly.

Banana Bread Bars

Prep Time: 1o minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total time:  35 minutes
Yield: about 2 dozen medium bars


Banana Bread

  • 1 cup of Turbinado sugar
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • ½ cup of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups of cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon of salt

Brown Butter Frosting

  • ½ cup of butter
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons of milk


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 13 x 9 inch pan.
  2. Beat together the sugars, buttermilk, butter, and eggs until creamy in a large bowl.
  3. Blend in the mashed bananas and vanilla extract.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and blend for about a minute until smooth.
  5. Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Cool until warm, then frost.

For Frosting

  1. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, watching carefully.
  2. When it reaches a medium brown color, immediately turn off the heat.
  3. Whisk in a cup of powdered sugar at a time, adding a tablespoon of milk as it thickens.
  4. Add in vanilla.
  5. Immediately pour over the warm banana bread bites and smooth
  6. Let frosting set and cool completely before cutting.

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Cheers, Josie

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