Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Incredibly moist and delicious banana bars topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting that’s certain to brighten anyone’s day. These banana bars are incredible…of course it is hard to go wrong when something is topped with a thick layer of creamy cream cheese frosting. Especially when that something is a moist and flavor packed banana bar.

These bars get an extra boost of banana flavor by adding a splash of banana extract. Make sure you use really ripe banana in this dessert to get the best flavor. You know, those bananas that you are embarrassed to have out on your kitchen counter so you hide them in your pantry only to find them a week later? Yeah those bananas. The bananas that are so spotted and black you wonder if you should just throw them away? That’s them! ;)

Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 24 bars

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Banana Bars:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon banana extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. Place another piece of parchment paper in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the sour cream, vanilla, and banana extract. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in the mashed banana. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake 22-25 minutes. or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool completely.
To make the cream cheese frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled banana bars.

Source: adapted from Allrecipes.com

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