These bars are rich dessert bars that are made with brown sugar to give them that extra sweetness. They are moist and dense with a wonderful banana flavor in every bite. Although these bars would be delicious on their own, the homemade salted caramel buttercream frosting puts this dessert over the top!
There are two parts to these ooey-gooey banana bars treat–the banana bars and the salted caramel buttercream.
This batter is made up of melted butter, a fair amount of brown sugar, and much less flour than normal which is great for a soft and chewy dessert bar. But the addition of the bananas in the mix, as well as the homemade salted caramel buttercream, really makes these bars a special treat.
- First, combine the melted butter and brown sugar in a large bowl. Stir well before adding the vanilla and eggs.
- Next, add the flour and salt, mixing well.
- Then, fold in the mashed bananas. It is fine if there are a few chunks of banana in the mix.
- Finally, bake at 350°F for 45 minutes, or until the center is set.
- Let the bars cool completely before adding the buttercream.
Having your butter and milk at room temperature helps greatly in this buttercream recipe. You can substitute whipping cream for milk, but it is not necessary if you get the butter whipped up nicely. (I do not recommend skim milk in this recipe.)
First, in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the butter, confectioners’ sugar, salt, and caramel topping. Mix on low until every ingredient is combined. Next, mix it on high for a couple of minutes, or until the buttercream is smooth and fluffy.
Finally, add the milk. The milk is added for your desired consistency, so start with just a little bit, and continue to add more milk to make it smoother. Buttercream can be made in advance, so to save some time, make it ahead of time! Store it in the refrigerator for up to a week or the freezer for up to 3 months.
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) butter, melted
- 2 cups (400g) brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 (about ⅔ cup) ripe bananas, mashed (some chunks okay)
SALTED CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM
- ½ cup (1 stick or 113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups (250g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup (82g) caramel topping
- 1½ teaspoons whole milk, as needed
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, combine the butter and brown sugar until creamy.
On low speed, add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.
Add the eggs, mixing on low until incorporated.
Add the flour and the salt, mixing well.
Fold in the mashed bananas.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until the center is set.
Let the bars cool as you prepare the buttercream frosting.
SALTED CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM
Combine the butter, sugar, salt, and caramel topping in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
Start mixing on low speed until the sugar is incorporated with the butter.
Increase the mixing speed to high and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Adjust the consistency with milk as needed.
Frost the banana bars with the buttercream after they have cooled completely.