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Easy Bananas Foster Bars

If you’re crazy about the combination of bananas, caramel, and pecans, but you don’t want to the hassle of making bananas foster from scratch, do I have a treat for you! These easy bars have all of those delicious flavors, but start with a box of cake mix! 

Easy Bananas Foster Bars

What is Bananas Foster? 

Talk about a rich, delicious dessert! Bananas Foster is made up of bananas, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and rum, usually served over vanilla ice cream.

Often a trained restaurant chef will prepare this dish by sautéing ripe bananas in a mixture of butter and brown sugar until the sugar caramelizes and forms a rich, sweet sauce. (Are you swooning yet? I know I am!)

The original bananas fosters dish is often flambéed by adding rum to the pan and igniting it, creating a dramatic flame that quickly burns off the alcohol and enhances the flavors. 

I can still remember the first time I ever saw this classic dessert. I was at Brennan’s having lunch with my dad. What a great memory!

How is Bananas Foster Served?

The warm banana mixture is usually spooned over a scoop of vanilla ice cream, creating a contrast of hot and cold temperatures. I don’t know about you but I love hot and cold items together.

History of Bananas Foster

This popular dessert originated in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is often associated with classic Creole and Cajun cuisine.

It is a favorite choice in many restaurants and is known for its decadent taste and visual presentation.

Can I Make Bananas Foster in Bars Form? Really? 

Easy Bananas Foster Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

I don’t know about you but I’m absolutely crazy about the flavors in bananas foster but I’m super intimidated by the process. 

That’s why I decided to come up with this recipe for Bananas Foster Bars. 

I had the bananas. I had a canister of salted caramel frosting. I had a cake mix. I had pecans. So, I decided to use those items to create luscious banana-themed bars. 

Can I Bake with a Can of Frosting? 

Until today I had never baked with salted caramel frosting. I recently made some Butter Pecan Bars using coconut pecan frosting. And I baked a canister of coconut pecan frosting into my German Chocolate Pound Cake.  

But a simple, plain frosting like salted caramel? I wasn’t sure how it would bake up. 

After all, frostings are meant to be spread on the cake, not baked into it! 

But you know me, folks: I love a challenge and I’m always looking for fun new ways to use old ingredients. 

So, I went for it! I popped open that can of salted caramel frosting and plopped it on top of my banana bars. . .and prayed it would all work out. 

More about the results in a bit. For now, let’s look at the ingredients you’ll need for these delectable bars. 

Bananas Foster Bar Ingredients

Easy Bananas Foster Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

There is a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. For now, here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need. These are simple ingredients you might already have on hand. 

  • golden butter cake (or yellow cake) 
  • room temperature butter
  • salted caramel frosting
  • overripe bananas
  • chopped pecans (more or less)

That’s it! Just five simple ingredients! 

How to Make Bananas Foster Bars

These came together so quickly and easily. Can I just say. . .I’m having so much fun coming up with all of these fun bars recipes using cake mix. They’re perfect for my “out of the box” theme! 

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Prepare a 9×13-inch rectangular dish by spraying with non-stick spray, then putting down a sheet of parchment paper. Lightly spray the paper with more non-stick spray. (Alternatively, you could use a 10″ square pan for this project.)

Mash your three bananas in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a medium bowl with an electric mixer) and set aside. It makes about one cup bananas, mashed.

Easy Bananas Foster Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Place your dry cake mix in a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment). Add the softened butter. 

Easy Bananas Foster Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Combine butter and cake mix by blending on low speed. Unlike the dough in some of my other bars this one should remain crumbly.  

Easy Bananas Foster Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Set aside 1/3 of the crumbs in a small bowl for later on.

Easy Bananas Foster Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Place about 2/3 of the crumbly crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared dish. 

Easy Bananas Foster Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes. 

Spoon the mashed bananas on top of the partially cooked crust and spread them out to cover it as best you can. 

Easy Bananas Foster Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Now it’s time to grab that canister of frosting. Don’t worry about spreading it out. (You’ll make a mess.) Just place little dollops of it all over the bananas. 

Easy Bananas Foster Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Sprinkle chopped pecans over the caramel frosting. 

Easy Bananas Foster Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Now it’s time to loosely sprinkle the rest of your crumbly cake mix on top. 

Easy Bananas Foster Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Place the dish back in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until it’s bubbly and golden. 

Easy Bananas Foster Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Remove and place on a wire rack to cool. 

I leave mine for a full hour, then I cool them a while in the refrigerator until they’re set and ready to cut. 

Easy Bananas Foster Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Cut into 2-inch squares.

Easy Bananas Foster Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Enjoy these delicious treats as a dessert, a breakfast bar, or a mid-afternoon snack!

Easy Bananas Foster Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

If you like, you can serve with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Leftovers should be store in an airtight container in the refrigerator (or covered with plastic wrap). They should stay good in the fridge for 3 – 4 days. I don’t recommend freezing these bars. 

What to Expect from These Bananas Fosters Bars

Easy Bananas Foster Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

Besides being beautiful to look at, these bars are absolutely packed full of flavor! I never know when I come up with these crazy ideas just how they’ll work out. This is one of my new favorite desserts! Those decadent bananas, y’all. . .they’re over the top!

I’m happy to say, this one worked out well! The warm delicious caramel flavor from the frosting was perfection over those brownies and that crisp crust. These banana bread flavors are familiar but the texture is completely vastly different.

(Can I pause for a moment to say how grateful I am that the can of caramel frosting baked up so beautifully?) This is the perfect decadent dessert.

Easy Bananas Foster Bars from Out of the Box Baking.com

The crunch of the nuts and added cake mix on top were exactly what this dish needed. 

All in all, I would say this one’s a bonafide winner! I can’t wait to share the recipe with banana lovers everywhere! 

Whether you’re serving it for a typical cajun meal or something else altogether, your guests will be won over by this one, folks! 

Variations on this Delicious Recipe

You guys know me well enough to know that I can’t leave good enough alone. When I create a recipe I’m always looking for more ways to dish it up. Here are a few ideas that come to mind for this one next time around: 

Coconut pecan frosting in place of caramel. If you’re put off by coconut you won’t like this idea, but the coconut pecan frosting could easily take the place of the caramel frosting and the chopped pecans. (Talk about saving on ingredients!) 

Caramel drizzle on top. Reach for a jar of salted caramel (or make some of your own) to drizzle on top of cooled bar cookies just before serving. 

Rum extract: If you like, you can add one teaspoon rum extract to the mashed bananas. Or use this recipe for dark rum sauce. (Yum!) You can use a kitchen torch if you have one, just like they do in the fancy restaurants! (Use care, y’all!)

Dark brown sugar (or turbinado sugar): Sprinkle a little on top before baking.

Caramel sauce: You can make your own or buy caramel sauce ready made, but it will be perfect on this dish.

Pecan halves: Place one pecan half on each square before baking.

Banana liqueur: Talk about sending this recipe over-the-top!

Ground Cinnamon: Add teaspoon cinnamon to mashed bananas for more flavor.

Simmer bananas in advance: Simmer bananas in a large skillet before adding them to the recipe to add extra depth of flavor.

Cream cheese frosting: Drizzle with thinned cream cheese frosting for even more sweetness!

For a thicker bar, bake in a slightly smaller pan. Talk about the perfect dessert!

Other Banana Favorites from Out of the Box Baking

Questions People are Asking: 

What’s the difference between bananas flambe and bananas foster? 

Bananas foster is a dessert dish, while flambé is a method of cooking where alcohol is added to food and ignited. Since bananas Foster incorporates the flambé method, it is often referred to as “bananas Foster flambé.”

What does the Foster mean in banana foster? 

In 1951, Chef Paul created Bananas Foster. The scrumptious dessert was named for Richard Foster, who, as chairman, served with Owen on the New Orleans Crime Commission, a civic effort to clean up the French Quarter.


Learn more about doctored cake mixes, the theme of this blog. 

For the master list of all doctored cake mix recipes on this site, visit Doctored Cake Mix Recipes, Master List. 


That’s it for this post, friends! I hope you enjoyed this easy bananas foster dessert. I’m happy to present this new recipe.

See this recipe at

Full Plate Thursday 

Weekend Potluck

The Lazy Gastronome

Busy Monday


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.

Bananas Foster Bars

Bananas Foster Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

If you’re crazy about the combination of bananas, caramel, and pecans, but you don’t want to the hassle of making bananas foster from scratch, do I have a treat for you! These easy bars have all of those delicious flavors, but start with a box of cake mix!

Ingredients

  • 1 box golden butter cake (or yellow cake)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) room temperature butter
  • 1 canister salted caramel frosting
  • 3 overripe bananas
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (more or less)

Instructions

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare a 9x13-inch dish by spraying with non-stick spray, then putting down a sheet of parchment paper. Lightly spray the paper with more non-stick spray.
  3. Mash your three bananas and set aside.
  4. Place your dry cake mix in a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment). Add the softened butter.
  5. Combine the two by mixing on low speed. Unlike the dough in some of my other bars recipes this one should remain crumbly.
  6. Place about 2/3 of the crumbly crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared dish.
  7. Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Spoon the mashed bananas on top of the partially cooked crust and spread them out to cover it as best you can.
  9. Now it’s time to grab that canister of frosting. Don’t worry about spreading it out. (You’ll make a mess.) Just place little dollops of it all over the bananas.
  10. Sprinkle chopped pecans over the caramel frosting.
  11. Now it’s time to loosely sprinkle the rest of your crumbly cake mix on top.
  12. Place the dish back in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until it’s bubbly and golden.
  13. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool.
  14. I leave mine for a full hour, then I cool them a while in the refrigerator until they’re set and ready to cut.
  15. Cut into squares and serve with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  16. Leftovers should be store in an airtight container in the refrigerator (or covered with plastic wrap). They should stay good in the fridge for 3 - 4 days. I don’t recommend freezing these bars.

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