These banana bread bars are so quick and easy to make and it’s the perfect way to use up those spotty ripe bananas! Plus, it’s made extra special with brown butter both in the batter and the frosting on top. It’s the perfect dessert for a crowd and everyone LOVES them!
How to make brown butter banana bread bars
Rather than just making brown butter frosting and calling it day, I decided to put brown butter both in the bars and in the frosting! So to make this recipe quick and simple, the butter is all browned at once.
This is both the butter for the batter and for the frosting. Once the big batch of butter is nice and browned, it’s divided in two.
First, 1/2 cup is poured out and reserved for the batter. The remaining brown butter goes into a mixing bowl. Then 2 tablespoons of extra butter are stirred in which helps the hot butter cool down faster.
This is important because the butter must be solid before making the frosting. So while the bars are being prepared, the frosting butter chills in the refrigerator.
By the time the bars are baked and cooling, the frosting butter should be at the perfect consistency! It’s mixed with powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk to make the most delicious brown butter frosting.
The frosting is spread over the slightly warm bars which allows it to ever-so-slightly melt into these delicious banana bread bars.
How to make brown butter
If you’ve never made brown butter before, check out my guide on how to make brown butter. It’s a quick and simple process but there are a few important things to note before diving right in!
Banana bread bars baking tips
These bars are SO easy to make, but here are a few tips to ensure yours turn out just right:
- Bananas – Measure the bananas to exactly 1 1/2 cups. Don’t go just by the amount (about 4 bananas) as this is just a suggestion to help you gauge how many you will need. Bananas come in many different sizes, so 4 bananas to you might be too much or too little. Mashing and then measuring is the best way to ensure accuracy every time.
- Brown Butter – All the flavor in brown butter is in the little brown bits that tend to sink to the bottom of the butter. So when pouring the butter into the batter, make sure to scrape in every last drop.
- Flour – I always say to measure the flour if you can. If a scale isn’t available, gently spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level it off for a light and fluffy cup of flour. Never scoop directly down into the flour as this packs it down into the cup, leaving you with way too much excess flour in the batter.
- Mixing – When mixing in the flour, don’t over work the batter. Mix just until it comes together, otherwise your bars will be tough rather than soft and tender.
Banana Bread Bars FAQs
I haven’t tested it myself, but I do think these bars could work really well with gluten free flour! Sub in a cup for cup gluten free baking flour and you’re good to go.
Yes, although a jelly roll pan is much more traditional to this type of bar. But if you do bake in a 9×13 dish, add on about 5 extra minutes and test in the center for doneness.
If you’re just short of 1 1/2 cups, you can supplement the rest with sweetened or unsweetened apple sauce.
Stored in an air tight container, these bars can keep at room temp for a couple days. But any longer than that and they will need to be placed in the refrigerator where they will keep for about a week.
Yes, the recipe can be halved and baked in an 8×8 pan. I suggest about 20 minutes.
Use my popular chocolate chip banana bread recipe instead! Feel free to brown the butter for that batter as well.
For more banana recipes, check out my:
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosting
- Banana Coffee Cake
- Peanut Butter Banana Upside Down Cake
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and leave a review below if you make these banana bread bars. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print