Chunky Monkey Almond Banana Bars

Chunky Monkey Almond Banana Bars | Bakewell Junction

Chunky Monkey Almond Banana Bars | Bakewell Junction

Don’t you hate when your bananas get too ripe to eat?  So what can you do?  Find an easy recipe to use them up.  I found this recipe online and tweaked it to use nuts that my hubby would eat.

This is the first time I’ve used browned butter and it does give the icing a different flavor.  There’s quite a bit of sugar in the icing, so it’s sweet.  Depending on the ratio of icing to cake recipe you like, you can choose the larger pan for a thinner bar or the smaller pan for a more cake-like result.  The pan I used was a non-stick jelly roll pan and I didn’t compensate for that so the resulting bars were darker and a little more cooked than I normally like but tasty none-the-less.  These bars are great for snacks and any dessert.


Chunky Monkey Almond Banana Bars

Yield:  35 bars          Cook Time:  30 minutes


  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened (I microwaved it for 15 seconds on full power)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ripe bananas (about 2 cups), peeled
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped, blanched almonds (the original recipe used pecans)
  • Additional whole or sliced almonds for decoration (optional)

Browned Butter Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 tablespoons water


Step 1:  For the batter:  Mix together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.  In a mixing bowl, mix together sugar, sour cream, cream cheese and eggs.  Once the mixture is smooth, mix in the bananas and vanilla.  Add flour mixture and manually mix until completely incorporated.

Step 2:  Using a parchment lined (or greased) jelly roll pan (15 by 10 inches) or 13 by 9 pan, transfer batter to the pan and spread evenly.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in a preheated 375 degree oven.  It’s done when a toothpick that’s inserted in the center, comes out clean.  If using a coated or non-stick pan reduce the oven temperature and begin checking the cake at the earliest time.

Step 3:  For the frosting:  As the bars bake, melt butter in a large sauce pan on medium heat.  Stir constantly until the butter begins to have light brown specks at the bottom.  For detailed how to instructions, see Elise’s How to Brown Butter on Simply Recipes.

Step 4:  Remove the pan with the butter to a cool surface.  Stir in the vanilla, powdered sugar and the least amount of milk until completely combined.  Stir in additional milk in small increments until desired consistency is achieved.  Spread frosting on the bars with an offset spatula while still warm for easier spreading.  Note that the glaze will thicken quickly as it cools.  The frosting is sweet, so use less if using the 13 by 9 pan.

Storing:  Store in a sealed plastic container for a few days.


The recipe is slightly adapted from Noreen McCormick Danek on Just a Pinch.

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Banana Bread

Banana Bread | Bakewell Junction

Banana Bread | Bakewell Junction

I have a delicious Banana Bread recipe to share today.  I was looking for a good recipe and a co-worker advised that his wife’s recipe was delicious.  The first time I made this bread I wasn’t happy with it but that was my fault because I mashed the bananas too much making them too watery and they fell to the bottom during baking.  This time it tasted just fabulous.  Do you have a favorite banana bread recipe?  If not (or even if you do), try this easy and tasty recipe.


Banana Bread

Yield:  1 large loaf                Cook Time:  60 minutes


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 5 very ripe medium-sized bananas or 3 large bananas


Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Generously butter a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.  Alternatively you can use cooking spray or parchment paper.

Step 2.  Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl and set aside.  Cream together butter, sugar and eggs.

Step 3:  Mash bananas with a fork.  Add mashed bananas to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until combined.  Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture.  Mix by hand until well blended.  Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.

Step 4:  Bake for to 60 minutes in the preheated 350 degree oven or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 30 minutes.  Remove the bread from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Tips:  Only mash the bananas once along the length of the banana.  If you mash the bananas too much, they will become watery and will sink to the bottom of the bread.

Recipe adapted from Bill’s wife’s recipe.

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