Brown Butter Banana Bars with Caramel Icing

Brown Butter Banana Bars with Caramel Icing

Brown Butter Banana Bars with Caramel Icing

 

 

 

 

My husband loves bananas. Like, really loves them. We buy them every time we go to the store, but life happens, and they never all get eaten before they get overripe. (Full disclosure: I can’t eat a banana by itself. The texture, the mushiness, it’s just…ick.)

So, I’ve learned to get creative with the leftover, overripe bananas. I’ve done banana bread, banana nut oatmeal, banana cake (no added sugar!), banana ice cream, banana bread baked oatmeal – and these banana bars. In our house, we’ve always made banana bars with a recipe that we’ve had for years from my mom’s friend.  But those were the days before the glory of brown butter was fully realized, and I knew I could amp up this recipe with that delicious nutty brown butter.

 

 

 

 

These Brown Butter Banana Bars -guys, they are perfection. They’re moist, fluffy, soft, thick, and nutty little bites of perfection.

Or big bites.

I don’t judge.

My mom’s coworker used to make a simpler version of these and bring them to work. Then mom would bring home the leftovers. Finally, mom got the recipe so she could make them at home. And now I’ve taken them up a notch with the addition of brown butter and a sweet caramel icing! 

These bars never last long when I take them somewhere! 

 

 

 

Making the Brown Butter for the Banana Bars

Heat a stick of butter over medium heat in a skillet. 

Let the butter melt, swirling the pan every so often. You’ll see the color go from bright yellow to gold to golden-brown. As soon as it’s golden brown and you smell the nuttiness, it’s done (5 minutes or so). Remove it from the heat immediately; it’ll go from perfectly browned to burnt fast. 

Pour the butter into a heatproof bowl to cool. As you pour, try to keep any black bits from getting into the bowl. A few are fine; you just don’t want lots. Let the butter cool for about 5 minutes. 

Making the Brown Butter Banana Bars

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use a fork to mash the bananas. 

While the butter is browning, mix your flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the cooled brown butter and sugar until combined. Mix in the eggs one at a time, making sure each one is fully mixed in. 

Mix in the mashed banana and vanilla. 

Add flour mixture in 3 parts, keeping mixer running on low to combine each part completely before adding the next.

Pour Brown Butter Banana Bread batter into a sprayed 13×9 pan. Bake 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let cool completely before icing. 

 

Making the Caramel Icing

Warm your dulce de leche until it is warm enough to pour. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together 1 stick of softened butter and 1 (8 oz) block of cream cheese until smooth. Briefly stir in the vanilla. Mix in your powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. 

Pour in warmed dulce de leche and mix until combined.

Spread icing over cooled Brown Butter Banana Bars. Cut into squares to serve. 

 

What else do you make with your leftover/overripe bananas? I’m always looking for ideas!

 




Brown Butter Banana Bars with Caramel Icing
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Banana bars made with nutty brown butter and sweet caramel icing. The best way to use up overripe bananas!
Servings: 18 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 stick butter, unsalted
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 4 bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
Caramel Icing:
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/3 c. dulce de leche, warmed until stirrable
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Let the butter melt, swirling the pan every so often. You'll see the color go from bright yellow to gold to golden-brown. As soon as it's golden brown and you smell the nuttiness, it's done. This only takes about 5 minutes or so.
  3. Pour the butter in a heat-proof bowl to cool. As you pour, try to keep the dark brown burnt bits in the pan to discard. A few in the bowl are okay, though. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. While butter is browning, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix cooled brown butter and sugar until combined. Mix in the eggs one at a time, making sure each one is fully mixed in.
  6. Add mashed banana and vanilla.
  7. Add flour mixture in 3 parts, keeping mixer running on low to combine each part completely before adding the next.
  8. Pour batter into a greased 13X9 pan (or two 8x8 pans for slightly shorter bars). Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Let cool completely before icing.
Caramel Icing
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream 1 stick of butter and 8 oz. cream cheese together. Add 1 tsp. vanilla.
  2. Add powdered sugar 1/4 c. at a time, mixing in between.
  3. Pour in warmed dulce de leche and stir until combined.
  4. Spread over cooled banana bars.
Recipe Notes
  • Keep leftover bars refrigerated, as the icing contains cream cheese.
  • For clean cutting, refrigerate before serving as well.
  • Dulce de leche can be omitted from the icing if you do not like caramel. The bars are just as great with a plain cream cheese icing!
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I’m Lisa – a married mama of one ninja-monkey toddler living in the cornfields of the Midwest. I’m so happy you’re sharing our journey with us! Here you’ll find family friendly recipes, kids/toddler related posts, and anything this mama is loving. I hope you also find a place of kindness and acceptance here. It takes a village, mamas!

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