Banana Bread Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze

I love banana bread anything and could eat it every day and not get sick of it.

I have 40+ banana bread and banana recipes but no banana bread bars. What? Time to change that.

Banana Bread Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze - Banana bread in bar form with a glaze that soaks in and is just so.darn.good!!!

The bars combine two of my favorite recipes into one: Cream-Cheese Filled Banana Bread and Fudgy Banana Bread Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze.

It’s a fast and easy recipe that uses melted coconut oil so there’s no butter to cream and no mixer to dirty. Oil keeps bread softer and springier than butter, and I prefer the taste. Coconut oil adds a nearly imperceptible undertone that’s sweeter and more fragrant than canola or vegetable oil, but substitute if you prefer.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Banana Bread Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze - Banana bread in bar form with a glaze that soaks in and is just so.darn.good!!!

I love baking with coconut oil for muffinscakesbreadcookies and more. I used Nutiva Coconut Oil from iHerb.com. Code AVE630 at checkout saves you $10 off your order. I love iHerb for everything like nutritional yeast , probioticsbulk cinnamonpumpkin pie spiceliquid vanilla stevia dropsbulk white stevia powdermedicinal fancy-grade honeychia seedsface cleanser, and mini chocolate chips.

Sour cream (or Greek yogurt) is extra insurance for a soft, springy, bouncy, fluffy loaf. Using sour creamGreek yogurt, or buttermilk in quickbread and muffin recipes ensures more tender results.

Banana Bread Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze - Banana bread in bar form with a glaze that soaks in and is just so.darn.good!!!

The glaze is adapted from Fudgy Banana Bread Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze. It makes the bars go from great to out-of-this world amazing and I’ve been topping everything I can with it. Browned butter and glorious specks of vanilla beans can do no wrong.

If you’ve never browned butter, read this tutorial. The 5 minutes it takes to do is the best 5 minutes you’ll spend all month. I used vanilla bean paste but scraping the seeds of a vanilla bean works. Vanilla extract is okay, but won’t be as flavorfully intense as paste or seeds.

Banana Bread Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze - Banana bread in bar form with a glaze that soaks in and is just so.darn.good!!!

After pouring the glaze over the warm bars, it seeps down and soaks in, and makes the bars even moister and softer. The rippled appearance that’s created as it sets up is unadulterated homey comfort food.

The bars are dense enough to be satisfying but is still perfectly light, fluffy, and packed with rich banana flavor. And that glaze. Oh my. I hoarded these.

Banana Bread Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze - Banana bread in bar form with a glaze that soaks in and is just so.darn.good!!!

Banana Bread Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze

These bars combine two of my favorite recipes into one. They’re dense enough to be satisfying but is still perfectly light, fluffy, and packed with rich banana flavor. I use melted coconut oil so there’s no butter to cream and no mixer to dirty. Oil keeps bread softer and springier than butter and sour cream (or Greek yogurt) is extra insurance for a soft, springy, bouncy, fluffy loaf. The glazes makes the bars go from great to out-of-this world amazing. After pouring the glaze over the warm bars, it seeps down and soaks in, and makes the bars even moister and softer.

Ingredients:

Bars
1 large egg
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup liquid-state coconut oil (canola or vegetable may be substituted)
1/4 cup cup sour cream (lite is okay; or Greek yogurt may be substituted)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large/3 med bananas)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2  teaspoon baking powder
1/2  teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste

Glaze
6 tablespoons (3/4 of 1 stick) unsalted butter, browned (how to brown butter tutorial)
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or seeds from 1 large vanilla bean; 1 tablespoon vanilla extract may be substituted)
pinch salt, optional and to taste
about 1/4 to 1/3 cup cream or milk, or as necessary for consistency

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Bars – To a large bowl, add the egg, brown sugar, coconut oil, sour cream, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the bananas and stir to incorporate.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, optional salt, and fold with spatula or stir gently with a spoon until just combined; don’t overmix.
  5. Turn batter out into the prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula and pushing it into corners and sides as necessary. Bake for about 27 to 28 minutes (start watching closely by 25 minutes) or until the center is golden and set, springy when touched lightly, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Baking times will vary based on moisture content in bananas; bake until your bars are done. Place pan onto of a wire rack to cool while you make the glaze.
  6. Glaze – Brown the butter (click for tutorial). Cook butter over medium-high heat in a small saucepan until it’s amber to brown in color, about 5 minutes depending on pan size, but watch it closely so it doesn’t burn. I swirl the pan in the last minute or so to make sure I can really see the color changes. Butter will go through stages of hissing, sputtering, and making noise until the water cooks off at which point the browning occurs. Butter will smell nutty and aromatic.
  7. Transfer butter, including brown bits at the bottom of the pan (they’re flavor powerhouses, keep them) from pan to large mixing bowl which stops carryover cooking.
  8. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla bean paste, optional salt, and slowly add the milk, whisking until smooth. As necessary, add additional cream (or confectioners’ sugar) to reach desired glaze consistency.  Glaze should be of medium thickness and easily pourable.
  9. Evenly pour glaze over bars (they don’t have to be cooled first), smoothing it lightly with a spatula if necessary, but glaze will likely just slide into place.
  10. Allow bars to cool in pan uncovered for at least 2 to 3 hours, (or overnight and cover with a sheet of foil) before slicing and serving so glaze can set up. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week (I’m comfortable storing glazed items at room temp), or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Adapted from Cream-Cheese Filled Banana Bread and Fudgy Banana Bread Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze

Only Eats

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44 comments on “Banana Bread Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze”

  1. Oh these bars look so good. I mean, brown butter glaze – hello. That’s a win! Thanks for sharing!! XO

  2. I bought coconut oil a month or so ago to try in a recipe. After all, if Averie recommends it, it must be good. :) Maybe this is the recipe to try (although I’m pretty addicted to your recent chocolate banana muffin recipe!).

  3. We always have browning bananas on our counter top after a few days and I’m always trying to think of ways other then “momma, not banana bread again?”. I will have to stick this one up on the fridge for the next browning batch.

  4. Oh my oh my, these bars look SO good, Averie!

  5. Another delicious looking banana recipe! I love the way the glaze sets up–all those little ripples across the top with the vanilla bean flecks. I like making quick breads in square pans–the baking time isn’t as long as for a loaf and I worry less about the center getting done ( without the top getting too brown).

    • nd I worry less about the center getting done ( without the top getting too brown) <---TOTALLY agree and understand! That's why I often bake things in 2 8x4 pans rather than 1 big 9x5 or I go very skimpy with how much batter I will put in a 9x5 for that very reason!

  6. I’m a sucker for banana bread so these bars look heavenly! I love the vanilla browned butter glaze! Such a fabulous idea, Averie! Pinned!

  7. My mouth is definitely watering. I love banana bread but haven’t had it for a while. These bars look fantastic.

  8. I just had a kid come to my house yesterday and he gave me 4 bananas (yes really. yes, weird.) I guess I should take that, plus this post, as a sign to make some banana bread bars!

    Maybe I’ll be nice and make a big batch to share at work on Monday. Or….maybe I won’t. :D

  9. We love banana bread here too. Love the idea of turning it into a bar, and of course anything with glaze calls my name. Pinned!

  10. I love that you use coconut oil in most of your bars, Averie. And that glaze! How did you not just eat it with a spoon!?

  11. Your dessert recipes are sooooooooo decadent!!!!!!!!!

  12. These bare look so good! I love banana bread and I’m sure browned butter takes it totally over the top!

  13. These banana bread bars sound fabulous Averie!! I would be hoarding them too :) Pinned!

  14. These look so good and moist I love bars with an icing makes it feel like your eating a fancy cake…I see a banana cookbook in your future…

  15. Well I’m glad you’ve rounded out your banana bread collection with these bars ;) They look AWESOME!!

  16. I am so in love with these Averie! Banana anything rocks, and that frosting. Drool!

  17. Banana desserts seriously rank high on my list of LOVES. These bars are awesome!!!

  18. Averie, these bars look so divine!! You can just tell how moist they are, oh and that glaze – yummy!!!

  19. Wow these bars look so incredibly moist! Bananas disappear so fast over here, cause it’s the only fruit my bf actually likes hahaha.. I’ll be sure to hide a couple for browning next time we do groceries tho’ ;)

  20. i love banana bread so this is right up my alley it sounds amazing! ;-)

  21. Saw these on Foodgawker and practically ran to the kitchen to make them. I added 1/2 cup cinnamon chips and made a cream cheese frosting for the top with some chopped pecans to strew over. Can’t wait to cut into them tonight. If the taste of the batter is any indication, they will be awesome. =)

    • Thanks for finding me on FG and for running right over and for literally getting in your kitchen and making them! And just WAIT til you add the browned butter glaze. Truly takes them to the next level (don’t skip it!). LMK what you think after you’ve sampled them!

      • I just cut into them (still a bit warm) and oh my goodness….SO good. They are so light and springy. This is such a great alternative to banana bread and I imagine I’ll make several variations with peanut butter chips/frosting, butterscotch chips/browned butter glaze, etc. I really loved that they were done in 25 minutes. THANK YOU!!

      • Glad that you love them and that you’ll make several versions! And being done in 25 minutes, I know, so nice as compared to a big fat loaf of banana bread that takes an hour+!

  22. I could use a pan of these right now. And yes, it’s 10:50 p.m. :)

  23. I totally wanted to nibble on my screen just now! ;) These bars look irresistible! Pinned!

  24. okay I’m sat here at like 3am looking through all these baking blogs and I’m hooked, ahhh want some of this right now! cannot wait to try it out :D

  25. These are amazing, but … Did anyone else have trouble with their glaze? Mine tastes good, but it’s more the color/consistency of brown butter snot (sorry for the imagery). I used a bit of milk instead of cream; maybe that’s where I went wrong? It didn’t set up overnight, so I’m trying some time in the fridge.

    • It’s a very loose glaze but does set up. Milk probably was the issue since it’s so much thinner than cream or half-and-half, therefore you’d need less. And/or add more sugar. Now you know for next time :) Glad the bars themselves are amazing!

  26. My life is complete now. Thanks for sharing!

  27. I am making this right now but without the glaze.
    Can’t wait to see how it turns out

  28. How can I make this in a 9×13 pan?

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