Char’s Black Bottom Banana Bars

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Everyone always seems to have a few overripe bananas lounging on the kitchen counter, and this recipe I saw many years ago in the Taste of Home magazine quickly became a family favorite and a delicious way to use up those brown bananas.  Years later my son told me that this cake had high “trade-in” value when he was bartering with his friends to trade lunch snacks.  I still haven’t decided whether to be insulted or proud that he was swapping his home baked goods!  You can leave the cake plain, but I always added a layer of sweet icing to satisfy my children’s sweet tooth.


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa

Buttercream Frosting

You can adjust the icing sugar and/or cream to suit your preference on consistency.  This also makes a delicious icing to top of sugar cookies.  

  • ⅔ cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted, add more depending on personal preference
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons whipping cream, add more or less depending on personal preference. You can also use milk instead.
  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in the bananas. In a separate bowl, with a whisk or using a sifter, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  2. Divide batter in half. Using a sifter to ensure there won’t be any lumps, add cocoa to half; spread chocolate batter into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Spoon remaining batter on top and swirl with a knife.
  3. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until the a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.