These little banana babies are the winner of my Show Me the Food contest where you sweet readers sent me your favorite recipes to see which I thought was the yummiest! A loyal TWN fan from the get-go named Deb Reno, sent me her friend Tami’s Vanilla Iced Banana Bar recipe and we kinda went nuts about them over here. Beautiful in their simplicity, this is soft and perfect banana cake, but rather than the typical cream cheese frosting (which I’ve been over for quite some time now), they are frosted with a simple yet decadent vanilla frosting. I ramped that up a tiny bit with the addition of a touch of banana extract as well as subbing in some pure maple syrup for half of the sugar in the cake itself. And now you have the softest, sweetest banana cake in frosted bars that you never you even knew you needed this much.
To make them, begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a jelly roll pan (10″x15″ with sides) OR add a piece of parchment paper and lightly spray it with coconut oil spray or butter. It’s also good to remove 1/2 c. plus 6 T. butter from the fridge ahead to soften to room temperature.
Cream together the following ingredients:
Add in 2 eggs, 3/4 c. plain, unsweetened yogurt (or sour cream if that’s what you have), and 1 tsp. vanilla. Mix all ingredients well.
Add in 2 very ripe, mashed bananas (I let my mixer mash them right into the batter). *
In a separate bowl, combine the following ingredients:
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until thoroughly combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or so until golden all over the top and a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Remove the pan to a cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting. If you used parchment paper, after it’s cooled a bit, you can easily lift the paper and cake in one fell swoop to the cooling rack to cool more quickly.
To make the vanilla/banana frosting, mix 6 T. room temperature butter with 4 c. powdered sugar, a pinch of salt, and if desired, 1/2 tsp. banana extract. This is the extract I have and LOVE and also use when I want to turn my Homemade Vanilla Pudding into a Banana Pudding to layer with bananas and vanilla wafers! You can also add a bit of vanilla extract if that suits your taste. Add in 3-4 tsp. milk and continue beating to get to your desired frosting consistency. Frost the bars with an offset spatula when completely cooled.
*You can use frozen mashed bananas brought to room temperature! Whenever I have bananas that have gotten ripe and don’t have time to bake with them, I put them into a freezer bag and smush them all up and pop them into the freezer. Make sure you mark the bag so you know later what that brown stuff in the bag is. Remove and let thaw at room temperature and use them in a banana cake/bread recipe!
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