Glazed Banana Bread Bars — Banana bread in bar form with a glaze that soaks in and is just so darn good! Dense enough to be satisfying, but still perfectly light, fluffy, and packed with rich banana flavor!
Glazed Banana Bread Bars Recipe
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.
The banana bread bars combine two of my favorite recipes into one: Cream-Cheese Filled Banana Bread and Fudgy Banana 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.
If you need another great recipe, this one for Banana Pudding Brownies is a keeper.
Sour cream (or Greek yogurt) is extra insurance for a soft, springy, bouncy, fluffy loaf. Using sour cream, Greek yogurt, or buttermilk in quick bread and muffin recipes ensures more tender results.
The glaze makes the banana bread 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.
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 banana bread 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.
What’s in Banana Bread Bars?
To make these banana bars with sour cream, you’ll need:
- Light brown sugar
- Coconut oil
- Sour cream
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Unsalted butter
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Vanilla bean paste
- Cream or milk
How to Make Banana Bread Bars
First, you’ll need to make the banana bread bars themselves. Whisk together the egg, brown sugar, coconut oil, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Then, stir in the mashed bananas followed by the dry ingredients.
Pour the batter into a 9×9-inch baking dish and bake 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.
Then, it’s just a matter of whisking together the browned butter glaze and pouring it over the banana bread bars (it’s okay if they’re not cool yet). Allow the banana bars to cool in the pan, uncovered, for at least 2 to 3 hours before slicing and serving so the glaze can set up.
Can I Double This Recipe?
Of course! You’ll need to bake the banana bread bars in a 9×13-inch pan when doubling the ingredients.
Tips for Making Banana Bread Bars
Coconut oil adds a nearly imperceptible undertone that’s sweeter and more fragrant than canola or vegetable oil, but substitute if you prefer.
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 in the glaze but scraping the seeds of a vanilla bean works too. Vanilla extract is okay, but won’t be as flavorfully intense as paste or seeds.
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Banana Bread Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup liquid-state coconut oil, canola or vegetable may be substituted
- ¼ 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
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- pinch salt, optional and to taste
- 6 tablespoons 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
Make the bars:
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- To a large bowl, add the egg, brown sugar, coconut oil, sour cream, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
- Add the bananas and stir to incorporate.
- 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.
- 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.
Make the Glaze:
- Brown the butter. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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More Banana Bread Recipes:
Upside-Down Banana Bread Cake — Don’t settle for making another loaf of plain banana bread when you can have caramelized banana slices on top of soft banana cake!! A decadent spin on banana bread! The BEST use for your ripe bananas!!
Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Bread — Banana bread that’s like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!
Six-Banana Banana Bread – Six bananas in one loaf of bread means an extremely soft, moist, and richly flavored bread
Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter – The browned butter and buttermilk add richness, softness, and moisture, and the strawberry butter makes it that much better