If you've got overripe bananas, don't toss them, make some cake! Deliciously moist and perfectly portable, Gluten-free Frosted Banana Bars are sure to be a hit! Packed with banana flavor and frosted with a tangy cream cheese frosting, these bars don't even require a fork!
These frosted banana bars bring me back. Growing up, I remember my mom making these quite often. I'm pretty sure every mom of the '80s & '90s made these! It was the perfect dessert to bring to church potlucks and family parties.
I've always loved banana bars, especially with the tangy cream cheese frosting. It pairs so well with the sweet banana flavor. So when I had some overripe bananas the other day, I knew it was time to convert the old classic recipe to gluten-free!
Sure I could have made gluten-free banana bread or even muffins, but sometimes you want something more interesting, something more fun. We all know what I'm getting at here, it means we just want cake!
Bars vs. Cake
Yes, frosted banana bars are a cake, but what makes them bars? Well, the cake part is thinner and a little denser than a regular cake. Honestly, to me, a bar recipe essentially means, "fork optional" and it's true! You can pluck one of these off the pan and sneakily eat it by the light of the fridge or you can be more proper and sit down with a plate and a fork! It's probably not too hard to guess which option I'm going for and it's always the one that results in fewer dishes!
Ingredients in Gluten-free Frosted Banana Bars
To make this cake, you'll just need a handful of baking essentials and a few ripe bananas.
- Ripe bananas: Resist the urge to add an extra banana! Especially with gluten-free baking, stick to the amount listed in the recipe. Use spotty brown to fully brown bananas.
- Gluten-free flour blend: I used Namaste perfect flour blend, but Bob's 1-1 baking flour would also work great in this recipe.
- Sugar, canola oil, eggs, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, & salt.
- For the frosting, you'll need cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, & vanilla
Making Banana Bars
This cake is one of the simplest recipes ever. No wonder it's such a classic! Also, don't ever be intimidated by making frosting... it's really easy and it tastes so much better than the pre-made stuff in the can!
- Combine the wet ingredients (sugar, bananas, oil, and eggs).
- Blend in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt).
- Make the frosting by blending the frosting ingredients together until smooth.
- Spread the frosting evenly over cooled bars. Cut into squares and enjoy!
- Store these bars covered in the refrigerator. It's best to keep them cold so the frosting doesn't get too soft. They will keep for several days but I doubt they will last that long!
- These bars can be kept frozen if tightly wrapped.
- This recipe makes a 9x13 pan, but you can double it to put in a larger 13x18 inch pan if desired.
- You can skip the frosting and dust with powdered sugar, but I highly recommend the frosting!
Gluten-free Frosted Banana Bars
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas, about 2 medium
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup gluten-free flour blend, such as Namaste Perfect Flour Blend
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13 pan.
- Mix the sugar, bananas, oil, and eggs.
- Blend in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- Spread in the greased pan.
- Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Gradually blend in the powdered sugar, until smooth.
- Spread the frosting evenly over the bars. Cut into squares. Store covered in the refrigerator.
Recipe slightly adapted from the original Betty Crocker recipe.