Bake or Break

Peanut Butter Banana Bars

Peanut Butter Banana Bars are soft, chewy, moist bars packed with big flavor. Love this flavor combination! - Bake or Break

I’ve always been fascinated by the combination of peanut butter and bananas. Honestly, though, I have been a bit skeptical about that pairing. It just seemed like an odd combination.

To decide once and for all if I’m a peanut butter/banana supporter, I made these bars with a big dose of each.

The verdict? I’m in.

Peanut Butter Banana Bars are soft, chewy, moist bars packed with big flavor. Love this flavor combination! - Bake or Break

These aren’t your everyday bars, but in a good way. The peanut butter gets you from the first bite, and then the bananas kick in.

They are amazingly dense and moist. Somehow they manage to be bar, cake, and bread all at the same time. From breakfast to late-night snack, these are certainly an anytime treat.

If you’d like a little crunch, try using crunchy peanut butter or mix in a handful of chopped nuts.

Visit the Recipe Index for more bar recipes!

Peanut Butter Banana Bars

Yield 16 2-inch bars
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes

Peanut Butter Banana Bars are soft, chewy, moist bars packed with big flavor. Love this flavor combination!

Peanut Butter Banana Bars are soft, chewy, moist bars packed with big flavor. Love this flavor combination! - Bake or Break

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix well. Mix in the bananas and peanut butter, mixing just until combined.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until edges are browned and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before cutting into bars.

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    77 Comments on “Peanut Butter Banana Bars”

  1. I’m in too!
    These sound so good!

  2. I’m a peanut butter banana person for sure, so count me in!

  3. I pretty much pin every single one of your posts. And this one is no exception. These bars/bread/cake sound and look absolutely delicious!

  4. I love peanut butter and banana! I was skeptical too at first but now I’m obsessed!

  5. I love pb/banana combos and these bars look fab–I’d totally eat these for breakfast bc..I mean..bananas….right?

  6. One of my favorite combos! Peanut butter and banana quesadilla is my go-to snack or breakfast.

  7. I made peanut butter banana cookies recently and my boyfriend actually said they had TOO much banana…as if that’s a thing! I personally love the combination so I know I’d love these bars!

  8. I love the flavor dimension and moist body that the bananas bring here …YUM!

  9. You can’t go wrong with peanut butter and bananas! My husband’s all-time favorite snack is to mash a banana and add a few tablespoons of peanut butter to it. It looks like baby food, but it’s actually pretty good!

  10. These are just like you described. The only thing I changed was I swapped in 1/3 cup of oil for the butter.

  11. I’ve been searching all over for a recipe like this…cakey, bready, cookyish. Yeah I know, none of those are real words, but this explains this recipe to a “T”!) Thank you for posting this…You’ve made a believer out of my very own darling Dean Martin!

  12. SUPER recipe, Jennifer! I made these yesterday! Since I was using white whole wheat flour, I put in 2 TBSP of plain greek yogurt for added moisture and threw in a about 1/2 c choc chips. Baked for 42 mins and perfect. Kind of cake brownie consistency! I will definitely be making these again.

  13. I made these and they were SUPER dry. The flavor was also not very strong. I looked back to see if I had added incorrect portions, but I think I did everything correctly. I did beat the mixture by hand as I don’t have an electric mixture, but this hasn’t been an issue with other recipes. Any tips? I was bummed because these looked fantastic!

    • Hi, Kristen. First of all, bravo for mixing softened butter by hand. I don’t have success doing that without a mixer. Now, did you change anything about the recipe? If not, how did you measure your flour? If you scoop out of a container, you may have used too much. I recommend weighing or using the fluff/sprinkle/sweep method. If your bananas were on the small side, then that could also be a problem, as they introduce a lot of moisture.

    • I used no-stir natural peanut butter and they came out super dry.  They had good flavor, so I did it again with creamy almond butter and they were sooo moist & yummy! I also left them in the baking dish covered with aluminum over night before slicing. I think that locked in the moisture. 

    • I use almond flour and they turn out like ooey gooey butter cake texture.

    • My guess is that you had too much flour. It’s very common, and I used to be guilty of it myself. I recommend either the scoop and sweep method or measuring by weight for more accurate flour measurements. You can read more here: How to Measure Flour

  14. I made these this morning and I have to say, this is probably the best recipe I have ever made. The taste is such a wonderful balance of sweet and salty, and the texture was absolutely perfect. These won’t last more than 5 minutes when I take the rest in to work tomorrow. Thank you for sharing such an awesome recipe!

  15. Just wondering ifyou can swap out or add rice krispies for Extra crunch! looks awesome gonna try tomorrow , Thanks for posting

  16. I dont have oats! What can I use?

    • Hi, Helen. Oats are a big part of these bars, but you could try substituting 1/2 cup flour in addition to the other flour in the ingredients. I’ve not tried that with this recipe, but that’s my best guess for a substitute.

  17. Can I use Quaker Oats cook in 1 minute for this recipe?

  18. I think that a quarter to half cup of coconut would would push this to another level of awesome. got to try it.I WILL post results this weekend.

  19. Has anyone tried freezing these? I have a large amount of bananas that i need to bake with, but do not have any company coming until later in the month and they woukd love this!! Any Ideas if it could be?

  20. I had lots of bananas and didn’t know what to do with the very ripe ones and found this recipe. It is as described….very good….moist…..dense……so in other words, excellent and a keeper. Thanks for sharing.

  21. I had problems with this recipe. Found it to be dry and spongy. I wasn’t sure if what type of peanut butter do you use?

    • Teri, I usually use regular (not natural) peanut butter. These are quite soft and moist, so I’m not sure what might have happened. If you didn’t make any changes to the recipe, then it’s tough to pinpoint what happened. My first troubleshooting suggestion is usually to double check your oven’s temperature accuracy with an oven thermometer.

  22. Not too good…i bake a lot…these were quite dry and heavy… The flavor was good tho. A waste of ingredients.

  23. These are very filling and delicious! Thanks for the recipe!!

  24. Can these be frozen for later?

  25. Was very disappointed. Texture was less like a bar and more cake like and on the dry side given I used one large and one med banana. My oven temp is fine, they baked in 40 minutes. I think there are probably better bar recipes on this web site.

  26. Just made these today and they were wonderful. Loved them!!!!

  27. How many days will the bars last? I’m afraid freezing them will dry them. I made 2 batches as I had 4 over ripe bananas. I’m storing them in a plastic storage container. 

  28. Delish!
    I wanted to make a healthier version so used coconut oil instead of butter . I also added some milk as when I was mixing with my wooden spoon ( don’t have an electric whisk ) it looked ever so dry.
     

  29. I think the reason people are coming up with dry bars is ripeness of the bananas. I always use over-rippened bananas. I also NEVER throw a banana away! You can freeze then obce they turn brown. And they are really sweet and moist when they thaw for breads! I will be doubling this recipe because I dont think an 8 inch pan will be enough! Ty!

  30. These are delightful. I was browsing recipes to use a lot of very ripe bananas and decided to give this one a try — I’m so glad I did. The bars are incredibly moist and full of peanut butter flavor. Mine were not the slightest bit dry. For what it’s worth, I used Skippy Natural peanut butter and very, very ripe bananas. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I will definitely make it again!

  31. Thanks for the recipe, Jennifer! These look so good! I love a good , grab and go protein (bar-ish) snack. We use a brand of soy butter in our house opposed to peanut butter, its about the same consistency as JIFF pb, but I don’t bake with it often- curious how the will turn out? I’m going to put my over ripe bananas to good use and make a batch tonight!

  32. Given some of the comments, I suggest giving mashed banana amount by measure rather than by how many bananas: for example 2 cups over ripe mashed banana. This way there is less guess work if trying to use left over banana’s one might often have on hand. About how many cups are 2 medium bananas?

  33. Good but a bit crumbly. I added some greek yogurt for extra moistness and about two tablespoons each of flax seed and sesame seeds for extra nutrition and a handful of chocolate chips because my husband is obsessed with chocolate. Made for a healthy but tasty breakfast bar.

  34. I added dark chocolate chips, used natural crunch peanut butter and substituted coconut oil for the butter, and they were fantastic!

  35. Miam. Really good !
    My 2 ooooover-ripe bandanas were quite small, so after 35 min. it was already a bit overbaked, but still very good ! I too added chocolate chunks and used coconut oil instead of butter (which I was short of)
    Reminded me of à recipe my mom makes with… hazelnuts (weirdly enough)

    Anyway thanks for that recipe. I’ll sure keep it for anytime I have “old” bananas.

    Nou, from France

  36. These are yummy!  I made them into cookies and lessened the sugar.  They came out great.  Baked them for about 10 minutes.

  37. nice and somewhat healthy recipe. Slightly dry though.  If I ended up doing these again I will definitely double peanut butter 🙂

  38. Do you think these would work well if i replace the butter with coconut oil? I loved making these but have recently realized that i had to give up dairy 🙁

    • Hi, Jessica. I’m sorry you’ve had to give up dairy! I’ve not baked enough with coconut oil to give you a definitive answer, so I would recommend using the manufacturer’s guidelines for substitution. Good luck!

  39. I made these bars today. I found them a little dry.  They need chocolate chip or frosting. The flavor is good

  40. I was amused to see such severely opposing comments here. And I also had organic bananas that needed to be used up, pronto. So I made the bars. The “bars” turned out VERY light and had a pronounced crumb. Not dense at all. The batter was very creamy.

    I have to conclude this recipe is misnamed–it made CAKE, not bars! And that’s not a bad thing at all!, it just incorrectly sets expectations. No way on earth I’d call these bars.

    3 organic bananas mashed into exactly 1 cup, and I used it all. I do agree that you need superripe bananas; plus I think organic bananas have much better taste than regular. My cake had a nice banana flavor.
    The peanut butter flavor was less pronounced, but still pleasant. PB hounds might be disappointed at the subtlety. Remember if you opt to add more PB, you’ll have to add more sugar.
    I also added 6 oz chocolate chips because PB + Banana + Choc is a sacred baking trifecta. That was a good call.
    I think this cake is one of those that tastes best after 24 hours. I intend to find out, with the help of a can of milk chocolate frosting. ;^)

    P.S. If this cake needs to be gluten free, know that GF flour works great! Just make sure your oats are certifed GF as well.

  41. Fantastic flavor! I made a batch last night and they’re already gone. Just put the 2nd batch in the oven!

  42. I’ve tried a lot of recipes and this seem really easy to make and it has two of my favourite ingredient peanut butter and bananas. Unfortunately this recipe didn’t do it for me, the bar was absolutely tasteless and dry. Not sure if it was a cake or bread. 

  43. These are awesome! Here’s what I happened to do, and they are absolutely delicious with a great texture, not dry like some are experiencing.

    – Measure the flour using the fluff/scoop/level method (would be helpful if there were grams listed)
    – Used processed (not natural) peanut butter
    – Baked for 35min at 350

    Fun additions:
    – Decreased the granulated sugar to 1/4c and added chocolate chips, perfect sweetness
    – Lined the pan with butter and demerara sugar for a nice outer texture

  44. I added a cup of chocolate chips and a little extra peanut butter and they turned out amazing!  Thanks for the recipe.

  45. This looks delicious, thank you for sharing!

  46. HI Jennifer…have you tried these with quick oats? If so same measure-  1 cup ?

  47. This is the PERFECT alternative to banana bread for using up those ripe bananas!! I can’t stop picking little pieces off and eating them! 
    BTW, I accidentally grabbed almond extract instead of vanilla, and the almond added another little bit of depth to the flavor. Yay for happy accidents!!

  48. My son has a peanut allergy so i decided to sub in almond butter and of course had to throw in some choc chips! How can adding chocolate not make it better?! They are currently baking away…cantwait to see how they come out!

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