Bake up a batch of these delightfully delicious banana bars with cream cheese frosting and watch them disappear!

Banana bars are extra moist and packed with banana flavor and pecans. They’re topped off with a buttery cream cheese frosting for the perfect bite.

slice of Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting with a bite taken out

This recipe has been sponsored by Challenge Butter.

Why We Love These Banana Bars

  • This sweet homemade bar recipe is a nice departure from a classic banana bread recipe and makes for an easy afternoon snack or dessert.
  • Everything’s better with butter including the buttery cream cheese frosting on these bars.
  • Use up those overly ripe bananas and make banana bars!
  • Make the bars ahead (uncut) and freeze, then thaw and frost when ready to serve!
flour , sugar , baking soda , cinnamon , pecans in bowls with bananas , eggs , lemon , milk and butter with labels to make Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients for Banana Bars 

Bananas – For best results, use overly ripe bananas with lots of black spots. If the bananas are ready and you’re not ready to bake, peel them and freeze them. That and use as directed in the recipe below.

Butter – Use unsalted butter in this recipe. A high-quality butter like Challenge Butter ensures these bars come out with a perfect crumb and great flavor.

We love Challenge butter because it contains no preservatives, additives, hormones, or dyes. It’s made from simple ingredients and cream from happy cows. It’s perfect to use in any baking recipe, from cakes to waffles!

Flour – All-purpose flour is the base for this dessert while sugar adds a bit of sweetness.

Add-ins – Pecans are the favored nut for this recipe, but walnuts, slivered almonds, or even hazelnuts will work. Mini chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, flaked or toasted coconut, and chopped dried cranberries make banana bars just a little more fun and festive.

No ripe bananas? No problem!

Ripen bananas by placing them in a paper bag for a couple of days or bake them in their peel for 15-20 minutes at 300°F.

Frosting for Banana Bars

We love cream cheese frosting with bananas (we spread it on our fluffy banana cake too). Soften cream cheese and butter at room temperature while the banana bars are baking. This helps them blend faster.

Other frosting options are coconut frosting or chocolate buttercream frosting. These are moist and tasty so you could also skip the frosting and serve with whipped cream instead.

How to Make Banana Bars

  1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Cream the butter & sugar in a separate bowl until fluffy. Add the bananas & remaining wet ingredients.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
  4. Spread the batter into baking pan and bake (as per recipe below).

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Combine all ingredients except powdered sugar with a hand mixer until smooth, (as per recipe below).
  2. Slowly mix in powdered sugar & milk as needed to reach a spreadable consistency.
  3. Spread over cooled banana bars, cut, & serve.
slice of Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting on a plate with dish full and challenge butter

Storing Banana Bars

  • Keep banana bars with cream cheese frosting in a covered container for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze portions on a baking sheet, then wrap individually and freeze for up to 4 weeks.
  • Make the bars ahead of time and freeze the whole sheet (uncut) wrapped in plastic for up to 1 month.
  • To thaw, unwrap and thaw at room temperature.

Got Bananas?

If you’ve got ripe bananas, here are some favorite ways to enjoy them!

Did you make these Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting? Leave us a comment and a rating below!

slice of Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting with a bite taken out
5 from 27 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist and decadent Banana bars are topped with tangy cream cheese frosting for a perfectly flavorful dessert.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 bars
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Banana Bars

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted Challenge butter 1 stick, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • cup milk
  • 2 small ripe bananas mashed, about ½ cup
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup pecans finely chopped , optional

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted Challenge butter softened
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Banana Bars

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 pan.
  • Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and set aside.
  • Cream butter and sugar with hand mixer until fluffy.
  • Add eggs, milk, mashed banana, & lemon juice. Mix well.
  • Stir the flour mixture and pecans into the wet mixture.
  • Spread into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • While the bars are cooling, beat cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer until fluffy. Mix in vanilla and a pinch of salt.
  • Add powdered sugar, a bit at a time, until incorporated. Spread over the banana bars and serve.



Store Banana Bars in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. 
5 from 27 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 388 | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 288mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 587IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American
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slice of Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting with a bite taken out and writing
Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting in the dish and plated slice with writing


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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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5 from 27 votes (23 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. These were delicious and easy to make! I’ve tried so many of your recipes, your my go to cook and your creations have never let me down! Thanks for another fantastic recipe- one that’ll be added to my recipe book!5 stars

  2. Very good Banana Bar recipe. Frosting was a hit also. Made this twice this week and the pan disappeared before my eyes both times. Don’t change anything. I made it with and without candied pecans. Both were good.

  3. Well Holly, I made these, and I doubled the recipe like I talked about and baked them on a quarter sheet cake pan and they came out fantastic!! and so moist. I didn’t double frosting though and still had enough for our liking and it still covered the whole sheet pan. Thanks for sharing your recipes. Tonight we are having your Crock Pot Meatballs.

    I wish I could send you a picture but I don’t see an upload button for pictures.5 stars

    1. I’m so glad it worked out well for you, thank you for coming back and letting us know!

      Enjoy the meatballs, if you have Instagram you can upload there and tag @spendpennies. I’d love to see them. Happy cooking!

  4. Hi,I posted a few days ago and I haven’t heard back so I was wondering if my post got through. I was wondering if this Banana Bar recipe can be doubled, I would like to make them on a quarter sheet cake pan and I need to make a few of them for an upcoming event. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes I do use quite of few of them on a regular basis. :)

    1. Sorry for the double posting, I thought for sure my first posting was 1/12/23, or otherwise I would have waited to make another comment. I’m so, so sorry,
      I got this event thing and I thought these would be really good to take. :)

      1. It’s no problem. We generally try to answer questions quickly, sorry for the delay!

    2. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you! I haven’t tried doubling this in a sheet pan but I do think it would work as they’re quite thin. Cooking time might need to be adjusted, bake just until a toothpick comes out clean. Let us know how it goes!

  5. Good Morning ! I have a question I need to make a good batch of these, can i make the batter in advance an stick in the frig , an then come back to it ? Also , i was planning on using a huge baking sheet instead of a 9×13, I assume that will work also