If you love banana bread but enjoy the ease of a bar, you’ve come to the right place. This recipe is simple, tasty, and doesn’t require a plate or a fork!
I recently posted a recipe for an exciting new recipe: Pecan Pie Blondies. They’re crisp and loaded with luscious flavor. I highly recommend them.
So, why make another blondie recipe? Because I had bananas that needed to be used, of course.
What can I Make with Ripe Bananas?
If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time at all you know I’m always buying bananas and forgetting to eat them. They reach the speckled stage and I panic, wondering if they’ll end up in the trash. In today’s economy we can’t afford for food to go to waste.
With that in mind, I created a master list of 20 Amazing Ways to use Ripe Bananas. In that post I came up with all sorts of fun recipes, like my Caramel Banana Cake, my Healthy Banana Pancakes, and my Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.
Yes, you read that right. . .mayonnaise.
Looking for a New Banana Recipe?
That said, I wasn’t in the mood for any of those things when I looked at the bananas in my kitchen this afternoon. I wanted to try something different. I wanted something simple, more in line with my blondie recipe.
Basically, Blondies are brownies that are brown sugar based instead of cocoa based. They have a caramel flavor and are a favorite in the south, which happens to be where I live.
Still, I’d never made blondies (or bars) out of bananas before. Would it work?
Before I answer that question, let me give you the list of ingredients I chose to use. You’ve probably got most of these things in your pantry or refrigerator with now!
Ingredients for Easy Banana Bread Bars
You’ll find a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post, but here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need:
- over-ripe bananas, mashed
- light brown sugar
- room temperature eggs
- pure vanilla extract
- all purpose flour
- Baking powder
- quick oats
- chopped pecans (optional)
- chocolate chips
How to Make Easy Banana Bread Bars
Place your bananas in a large bowl and mash them. You can do this by hand (with a large serving fork or spoon) or with an electric mixer on low speed.
Add brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs to the bananas and gently mix until incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients (all purpose flour, oats, and baking powder). Mix until fully incorporated but be careful not to over mix. You don’t want to over activate the gluten strands.
Stir in chocolate chips and chopped pecans.
Prepare your 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
Spread the banana blondie mix into the bottom of the dish making sure it’s even.
Place your pan in the preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes. The time will vary, depending on your oven.
Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool before attempting to cut.
Cut into squares and serve.
Store in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap. There’s no need to refrigerate. Store at room temperature for 3-4 days.
What to Expect from these Banana Bread Bars
Because this was an experiment, I wasn’t sure what to expect from these banana nut bread bars.
I was tickled that these turned out to be so yummy! The addition of all of that brown sugar gave them the perfect flavor. This was a moist banana bread recipe.
These bars have the flavor of a good banana bread (or cake) but a slightly heavier texture. The nuts give them some crunch and the chocolate chips add layers of sweetness.
I particularly enjoyed the fact that these don’t require a plate or fork. They’re solid enough you can hold them and nibble, nibble, nibble.
Variations on this Banana Bread Bars Recipe:
If you’re not a fan of pecans, you can always skip them (or substitute walnuts). I happen to love pecans in just about everything I make!
- Drizzle melted chocolate on top of these for added sweetness.
- Use my Pecan Pie Filling recipe as a topping before baking. (Yum!)
- Bake this recipe in a loaf pan to turn it into traditional banana bread. (I haven’t tried this but I’m guessing the texture is right.)
- Top these banana bread bars with my Easy Brown Butter Frosting.
- Add sliced almonds instead of pecans and cover the top with sliced almonds before baking.
- Serve with peanut butter frosting. (Peanut butter and bananas just go together!)
Looking for something different? Check out this Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread recipe from Cookies and Cups. It looks delicious!
That’s it for this recipe, folks. Thanks for stopping by!
About the Author
Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.
- 3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar (or a combination of light and dark)
- 2 room temperature eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup quick oats
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Place your bananas in a large bowl and mash them. You can do this by hand (with a large serving fork or spoon) or with an electric mixer on low speed.
- Add brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs to the bananas and gently mix until incorporated.
- Add the all purpose flour, oats, and baking powder. Mix until fully incorporated but be careful not to over mix. You don’t want to over activate the gluten strands.
- Stir in chocolate chips and chopped pecans.
- Prepare your 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
- Spread the banana blondie mix into the bottom of the dish making sure it's even.
- Place your pan in the preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 - 35 minutes. I baked mine for 32 minutes but the time will vary, depending on your oven.
- Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool before attempting to cut.
Cut into squares and serve.