Banana Bars with Whipped Banana Frosting

My mother had a family reunion planned for her side of the family on Saturday. I was given the usual "bring a salad or dessert" instruction for the dinner that we were having.

Sometimes it is hard to come up with something to make that would please the masses. But I hadn't made banana bars in a while and they sounded so good, so I made them for dessert.

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The reunion was great. We met up Emigration Canyon (just a northwest of Paris) at a campground and had a good time. It's so nice to get together with extended family that you don't see very often.

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My husband engaged in deep discussion around the dutch oven. Haha! He's on the right.

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My little babe, who's almost seven months old and teething! He loved it up there.

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And oh my word, did you see the supermoon over the weekend? Wow! Breathtaking. Of course, it helped that I was in one of the prettiest places on earth. This is the view from my parents' house. Aren't they so lucky? 

Now back to business. These banana bars are a serious crowd pleaser. I've taken them to work and other gatherings and they get gobbled up. I usually get asked for the recipe as well. It is a family recipe that we have made for many, many years. 

They might not be the most spectacular looking or breathtaking dessert, but they make up for it in serious deliciousness. The whipped banana frosting gives them a fresh banana flavor. They are awesome if you make them a day ahead and give the frosting and the bars a chance to mingle and get happy. 

Banana Bars with Whipped Banana Frosting
makes about 16-20 servings
print this recipe

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 medium-sized ripe banana
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Whipped Banana Frosting:

3 Tbs butter, at room temperature
1/2 medium-sized ripe banana
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

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Preheat oven to 375º. Start by creaming the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer (if you don't have one, you can use a hand mixer, or a bowl and a spoon). Once it is light and creamy, add the eggs and banana. If your banana isn't very ripe, then give it an extra mash with your fork before you mix it up. Mine was a little old and gnarly looking, so I just tossed it in and let the mixer mash it up.

Next, add half of the flour followed by the milk on low speed. Let mix for a few seconds, then add the salt and baking powder. Finish by adding the rest of the flour and mix on medium speed until it is incorporated. Make sure you scrape the sides as well. If you are adding nuts, add them at this point and mix until they are evenly distributed. Since I was going to a reunion with quite a few people, I didn't want to mix them into the batter just in case someone didn't like them or had allergies. So I set them aside and sprinkled them on about half of the pan on top of the frosting. This way people could see the nuts and choose to avoid them if they wanted to.

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Be careful not to overmix. If you've got some small chunks of banana, that's just fine!

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Spread in a greased 9x13" baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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Mix all the frosting ingredients together. If your banana is on the harder size, give it a quick mash with a fork just like you did for the bars.

I used my stand mixer again, big surprise! Mix on slow speed at first until the suger is mixed in, then beat on high speed for about five minutes until the frosting starts to look whipped. It won't look like a traditional buttercream frosting because of the banana, so don't be surprised if it looks a little separated. You didn't do anything wrong.

Once the bars have cooled, frost and serve! And marvel in their wonder.

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