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Brown Butter Banana Bars topped with vanilla bean frosting are similar in texture to a brownie but have the great flavor of a moist banana bread.

This recipe makes one large sheet pan of banana bars, so it’s a great dessert for a potluck or party because it makes so many. The butter, sour cream, and mashed ripe banana all give these dessert bars a flavorful moist texture and the walnuts add a great crunch.

three homemade frosted banana bars

What do they taste like?

This is one of those recipes where you take your first bite and pause. You pause because you cannot believe how wonderfully incredible the morsel melting on your tongue tastes.

I dare those few crazy people who don’t like bananas to try these banana bars and tell me they’re not some of the most delicious treats they’ve ever enjoyed. I dare them.

These have that classic banana bread flavor that we all love, but the texture is more dense and it definitely feels more like a dessert than a breakfast treat. Especially with that frosting!

This is one of those recipes that is passed down from one generation to the next simply because it is a classic comfort food dessert.

Spreading vanilla bean frosting on top of a homemade banana bar

The frosting is equally delicious.

These bars are definitely mouthwatering on their own, but when topped with brown butter vanilla bean frosting… heaven.

I know the cost of vanilla beans has skyrocketed in recent years, but I guarantee it is worth it in this frosting recipe. Go ahead. Splurge.

I decided to use brown butter in both the banana bars as well as the frosting because it adds a subtle nutty flavor. This goes perfectly with banana-walnut-anything.

Guess what… they freeze well too.

Worried about having too many frosted banana bars? Don’t be.

Just bake the banana bars, allow them to fully cool, smother them in frosting, and slice into individual bars.

To freeze, I prefer to set them in the freezer uncovered for about 30 minutes to allow them to get really cold and hard. That way, when you wrap them, the frosting won’t stick. My preferred method is to first wrap them in freezer paper and then place them in a plastic freezer bag with all of the air squeezed out.

That way I can grab a single banana bar whenever I want one and then just return the rest to the freezer when done.

side view of a banana bar with vanilla bean frosting

Brown Butter Banana Bars

Prep20 minutes
Cook25 minutes
Total45 minutes
Servings 48 bars
Brown Butter Banana Bars topped with a heavenly brown butter vanilla bean frosting make the perfect portable dessert to share with friends and family.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups bananas mashed , about 3 large or 4 small
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • brown butter vanilla bean frosting see recipe in notes


  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk frequently, scraping the bottom. As the butter foams, continue whisking and scraping to release any brown bits that may stick to the bottom. Once the butter has sufficiently browned (not burned) and smells heavenly, remove from heat.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper or grease with butter.
  • Add browned butter, sugar, sour cream, and eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed for about a minute. Scrape sides, add bananas and vanilla, and continue to mix on low for another 30 seconds.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Add dry ingredients to the wet. Start mixing on low speed just to combine and then flash on high speed for about 10 seconds to fully mix. Scrape sides, add nuts, and mix to combine.
  • Spread batter in pan and bake in preheated oven until light brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Allow bars to fully cool before you frost with brown butter vanilla bean frosting and cut into individual servings.
  • These store really well in an airtight container in the freezer.


  • recipe adapted from Gold Medal Recipe Book
  • Nutritional info did not include frosting
  • Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Frosting:


Calories: 85kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 78mg, Potassium: 37mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 102IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 9mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

This post was originally published in January 2016 and has recently been updated for your reading pleasure.

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you’re in the right place! Stick around… I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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  1. 5 stars
    Super good. Made with 3/4 cup heavy cream rather than sour cream (I was out). Baked in 13×9 inch metal pan at 350 for about 28-30 mins til the middle set and then a few minutes after that. THE BATTER IS SO GOOD.

  2. 5 stars
    This was the best dessert I have ever made! Started it just to use up some browning bananas and by the time I tasted the frosting, I was in love!

  3. 5 stars
    This is one of our favorite desserts. Every time I’ve made these banana bars, my family goes bananas (pun intended ;-).
    The banana bars are great even without the frosting. But adding the brown butter frosting takes them to the next level.

  4. 5 stars
    All the flavors meld together so brilliantly into this dessert. The brown butter frosting just makes it even better!