Friday, June 15, 2012

Banana Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Again with the bananas.  But bananas are super versatile and clearly want to be turned into delicious desserts and lovely baked goods or else they wouldn't turn overripe so quickly.  So I'm actually doing the bananas a favor.   And these bars are yet another example of how to make a delicious treat with what you have on hand.  Perfect.  Moist with a pleasant banana flavor and a hint of cinnamon, the cakey bars are a nice treat.   Topped with a bit of cinnamon cream cheese frosting and this is the perfect match for a cup of coffee at a morning meeting--or at least that's what I understand from my coworkers.  I brought a few leftovers home and then Cindy came over.  She finished the last two and didn't even realize she'd polished off the second one since they are so light and yummy. 

Another recipe from Jaclyn at Cookin' Classy, I really like how she incorporated the lower fat alternatives of sour cream and applesauce instead of just butter or oil.  These small changes still allowed for a light and fluffy cake without sacrificing any flavor.  While I didn't use Jaclyn's cream cheese frosting recipe (I had some leftover frosting in the fridge from another recipe and just added some cinnamon to it), I've included it below for your benefit.  Alternatively, you could probably skip the frosting and do a cinnamon sugar streusel with the nuts mixed it.  Either way, you're in for a lovely alternatively to banana bread.  Instead of pecans, I used walnuts, which were classically delicious with the banana flavored bars.  Also, I added a bit of cinnamon to the batter because it's such a great pairing and I don't think it overwhelmed the bars when topped with the frosting.  I did cut my bars into 24, because I thought 12 would make bars that were just too big. I like to offer small tastes that you can go back for seconds rather than just one big serving, but do what comes naturally to you, because it will still be tasty.

Banana Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting


1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 large)
1 recipe Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (I didn't use this, but the recipe is below)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sour cream, vegetable oil, applesauce, egg and mashed banana until combined, about 2 minutes.

Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan and spread to an even layer.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until set, lightly browned and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack for about an hour before frosting and topping with chopped walnuts.  Cut into bars and serve.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until smooth and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.

Makes 24 bars.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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1 comment:

  1. These bars look like a tasty treat. I like using applesauce in baking, it does a good job for butter replacement. Your changes to walnuts with a touch of cinnamon improved on the original as far as I am concerned. Have a great weekend!