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Black-Bottom Banana Bars

These bars stay very moist, and their rich banana and chocolate flavor is even better the second day. My mother-in-law gave me this recipe, and it's a big favorite with both my husband and two sons.—Rene Wright, Ferryville, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. Bake: 25 min.
  • Makes
    3 dozen


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large 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


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in the bananas. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  • Divide batter in half. Add cocoa to half; spread into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Spoon remaining batter on top and, if desired, swirl with a knife to marble batter.
  • Bake at 350° until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Nutrition Facts
1 bar: 76 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 12mg cholesterol, 104mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 1g fiber), 1g protein.
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Average Rating:
  • gunslinger
    Oct 28, 2020

    Yummy and an easy inexpensive way to use my over ripe bananas!

  • kathrynsummers
    Mar 26, 2020

    This has been a family favorite for years. I have never added the cocoa because it was an extra step that didn't appeal to me. I love to make two of these, and then layer them with cream cheese frosting between and on top for a yummy banana cake. Yes, very moist for sure!

  • Rachel
    Dec 14, 2018

    My favorite use of overripe bananas. Always a hit, the only change I make is to double the ingredients for a 9x13 and reduce the sugar a bit.

  • JMartinelli13
    Apr 7, 2018

    I made no changes at all to the recipe. I was distracted while dividing the batter, so my layers came out a little closer to even. Doesn't matter. They're delicious. They're not super sweet, and they've got fruit, so they're great for breakfast as well as dessert! I made a single pan, but the next time I make them, I will double it, because they went fast.

  • Donna
    Jan 13, 2018

    So glad I tried these despite the most recent review that was posted. Because of that review I did add to the recipe. Decreased flour to 1cup added 1/2cup quick oats. After dividing batter added 1/2tsp allspice and 1 cup choc chips to the banana batter before layering with cocoa batter. Its a keeper!

  • extremebaker
    Jul 3, 2016

    I was looking for a new way to use "old bananas" and this is NOT it. These are boring and non-exceptional to say the least. They DO stay moist, I will give them that, but I would guess that a variety of additions as suggested by other readers are a definite need.

  • Mwernick
    Jun 8, 2016

    I too have been making these bars for years. A great recipe to use up bananas. I did change the recipe a little. I eliminated the cocoa and added a half cup of mini semi chocolate chips. To divide the batter was time consuming for me.

  • ewhite234
    May 26, 2016

    Delicious. Light and fluffy. Made exactly as stated. Yummy!

  • Pinky77
    Apr 28, 2016

    This is an awesome cake, been baking it for over 15 years and it's a family favorite. I brought it in to work today and everyone is going crazy over it, lol. It's a winner even after all these years!

  • Toffeehe
    Apr 3, 2016

    It's didn't seem enough batter for a 13x9 pan so I used a 9x9 pan. I added 1/2 c chocolate chips to the top and 3 minutes more to the baking time. Delicious! Yes, more cake texture than brownie.