Banana Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

January 17, 2012

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These fluffy Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting are so simple to make, and the whole family will love them! The cinnamon cream cheese frosting perfectly complements the sweetness of the bananas. I’m warning you now, these are addicting! 

three banana bars with cream cheese frosting on a white plateBanana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Say goodbye to banana bread, because after trying these banana bars, this may likely be the only recipe you’re going to want to use those prime, overripe, generously speckled bananas for. I’m pretty sure I could have finished the whole pan on my own!

These bars are so amazingly moist, with the perfect combination of flavors. You get tons of banana flavor (notice there’s nearly equal portions of banana to flour) with a pinch of warm cinnamon flavor.

Then you get just a hint of richness from the sour cream and cream cheese along with the perfect balance of sweetness, then to finish an ever so slightly salty crunch from the pecans.

I love the simplicity of this banana bars recipe. I created it to be a one bowl recipe (granted, you’ll have to wash the bowl to make the frosting). All you have to do is toss all the ingredients into one mixing bowl, stir for 2 minutes and bake, bada bing bada boom! Love it.

I thought about creating this recipe to be a sheet pan size, but good thing I didn’t because I would have had a very hard time restraining myself from being engorged by these banana bars.

Banana Bars Ingredients

These frosted banana bars are incredibly simple to make and can be made using items already in your pantry.

For the banana bars, you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Salt
  • Sour cream
  • Vegetable oil
  • Applesauce
  • Egg
  • Bananas
  • Chopped pecans

And for the homemade cream cheese frosting, you’ll need:

  • Cream cheese
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Powdered sugar

banana bar with cream cheese frosting on a dark red plate

How to Make Banana Bars

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Combine all ingredients (except pecans and cream cheese frosting) in a large bowl and mix until combined.
  • Bake in 13×9-inch pan for 25 minutes.
  • While the banana bars cool, make the cream cheese frosting.
  • Frost the bars when completely cool.

Can I Use a Sour Cream Substitute in These Bars?

Without having tested it myself, I can’t say for sure whether a sour cream substitute would work in this recipe. But you may be able to achieve the same results with plain Greek yogurt.

Can I Make These Bars in a Smaller Pan?

Yes, you can also make these banana bars with cream cheese frosting in a 9×9-inch pan (you’ll need to increase the cook time, though!). three banana bars stacked on a plate

Can I Make These Gluten-Free?

I’ve only made these banana bars with sour cream as written, so I’m not sure if you can make them gluten-free. However, a few readers have reported success using gluten-free flours like Cup4Cup. If you make these banana bars gluten-free, please leave me a comment!

How to Store Banana Bars

Since these are banana bars with cream cheese frosting, you’ll need to store them in the fridge. Keep them tightly sealed or store them in an airtight container to prevent them from drying out.

Tips for the Best Banana Bars

  • For thicker, cake-like bars, either bake these in a 9×9-inch pan or make 1.5 the recipe and bake in a 13×9-inch pan.
  • Use overripe, almost black bananas for the richest flavor.
  • If you don’t have applesauce on hand, you can add extra vegetable oil to this recipe instead.

More Banana Desserts You’ll Love:

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5 from 6 votes

Banana Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

The perfect recipe for overripe bananas! These banana bars are so easy to make, and the cream cheese frosting just makes them sing.
Servings: 16
Prep20 minutes
Cook25 minutes
Ready in: 45 minutes


Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Combine all ingredients (except frosting and pecans) in a large mixing bowl, mix with an electric mixer on low speed for 2 minutes. Pour mixture into a buttered 13x9* baking dish and spread evenly into pan. 
  • Bake 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour (I'd recommend covering with saran wrap after cooling 20 minutes to help retain moisture). 
  • Frost with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and sprinkle optional chopped nuts evenly over top. Cut into bars.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

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


*A few people have commented below mentioning that these bars seem a bit thin. If you want a thicker, more cake like bar then either make 1.5 the recipe in a 13x9 pan, or do just 1 of the recipe in a 9x9 pan and bake a bit longer. I personally like the thinness (it makes them more bar-like) so I make them just as listed, but make them according to what you prefer.