Roasted Banana Bars with Browned Butter–Pecan Frosting

Roasted Banana Bars smothered in a browned butter pecan frosting are the perfect light dessert. You read that right, this recipe is light!  This dessert comes from Cooking Light Magazine. I just love recipes from Cooking Light, especially desserts! This banana bar is so delicious you would never know that they are light! Roasting the bananas before adding them to the batter gives them a delicious caramel flavor. If you usually make banana bread when you find yourself with over ripe bananas, keep this recipe close at hand, you will be happy you did! :)

Roasted Banana Bars with Browned Butter–Pecan Frosting

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For the Banana Bars:

  • 2  cups  sliced ripe banana (about 3 medium)
  • 1/3  cup  packed dark brown sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 3/4  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4  cup buttermilk
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1/2  cup  butter, softened
  • 1 1/4  cups  granulated sugar
  • 2  large eggs

For the Browned Butter–Pecan Frosting:

  • 1/4  cup  butter
  • 2  cups  powdered sugar
  • 1/3  cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1/4  cup  chopped pecans, toasted


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Combine banana, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon butter in an 8-inch square baking dish. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes, stirring after 17 minutes. Cool slightly.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°.
  4. In a large bowl, combine flour, soda, baking powder, and cinnamon; set aside
  5. In another medium bowl, combine banana mixture, buttermilk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla; set aside.
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; mix well. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternating with banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  7. Pour batter into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with baking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  8. To prepare frosting: melt 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly. Combine browned butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth. Spread frosting over cooled bars. Sprinkle with pecans.

Source: adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, January 2009

13 Responses to “Roasted Banana Bars with Browned Butter–Pecan Frosting”

  1. #
    The Food Hound — January 31, 2011 @ 8:03 am

    Browned butter is my new go-to ingredient!! I love it any way I can get it! I remember when this recipe came out, and I think I saved it… somewhere… :)

  2. #
    Tes — January 31, 2011 @ 8:32 am

    Ohhhh wow those bars look so stunning! The browned butter- pecan frosting sounds suer delicious :)

  3. #
    Stephanie @ okie dokie artichokie — January 31, 2011 @ 8:35 am

    Hey there!

    Light, eh? Wow, looks decadently rich! I’ll take it!

    BTW, I made some PB brownies over the weekend and used your recipe for the PB frosting (via Brown Eyed Baker). They turned out wonderful!

  4. #
    briarrose — January 31, 2011 @ 9:01 am

    Oh my…I would never have thought light when I saw these. They look delicious. Roasting the bananas is a wonderful idea….the flavor must really pop.

  5. #
    Katrina — January 31, 2011 @ 9:02 am

    These look delish! :) I’m baking with bananas in my kitchen today too!!

  6. #
    happywhennothungry — January 31, 2011 @ 9:03 am

    Yum this looks awesome! I love Cooking Light too… they have some great recipes!

  7. #
    Danielle — January 31, 2011 @ 9:05 am

    That’s funny, I was just looking at my frozen ripe bananas and wondering what to do with them. This might be the answer. I don’t have cake flour, I have all purpose and whole wheat, do you think either of these would work? I’m not really a baker, but I do know when I try to modify a baking recipe, it usually doesn’t work well for me :)

  8. #
    Junia @ Mis Pensamientos — January 31, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

    you never cease to amaze me – this bars look delish!!!! i need to try roasting bananas!

  9. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — January 31, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

    Oh my gosh, Christina, these bars are absolutely heavenly! I love banana treats and I bet the butter-pecan frosting just takes these over the edge. Thanks so much for sharing. You have a beautiful blog, and I’m so glad to have found it.

  10. #
    ezsrecipes — January 31, 2011 @ 3:24 pm

    OMG these look so stinking good. Although now I must move on to the whoopie pies in the next post.

  11. #
    Sara — January 31, 2011 @ 11:37 pm

    I’m almost at a loss for words – these look phenomenal. This reminds me of banana bread but sooo much better. I will definitely make these soon. Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. #
    thoma — February 2, 2011 @ 12:53 am

    now i know where to look for cakes and desserts! lovely!

  13. #
    Patti — October 14, 2012 @ 5:01 pm

    These are moist and have wonderful flavor – and I don’t even like bananas! Nicely spicy and the icing is a great match.

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