Banana Bars with Brown Sugar Frosting

This morning, I found two overripe bananas in my kitchen. Most people would just throw them out, which can definitely become annoying when it’s a regular occurrence. But for bakers, this can actually be a nice little surprise! Even though I usually use overripe bananas to bake banana bread, I decided to switch things up today and make these super moist banana bars and topped them with some brown sugar frosting.
I was totally expecting the brown sugar frosting to be too sweet. I mean the majority of it is sugar, right? But I was pleasantly surprised! The brown sugar gave it some nice depth and I was really tempted to add some bourbon to give it a little zing. In the end, I decided to stick to the original recipe.
If I could give you one tip, it would be to stick it in the freezer for 10 minutes after you’ve let it cool at room temperature for 5 minutes or so. I’ve found that this helps keep the bars super moist.
This is a slightly modified recipe from Cookies & Cups and ingredients were purchased from Stater Bros & Grower’s Direct.

Ingredients & Costs:


  • ½ cup butter = $1.13
  • 1 cup light brown sugar = $0.11
  • 1 egg = $0.31
  • 1½ tsp vanilla = $0.15
  • ¼ tsp salt = $0.01
  • 1 1/2 cups flour = $0.45
  • 1 cup mashed banana (2 medium bananas) = $0.69

Brown Sugar Frosting

  • ¼ cup butter, cubed = $0.56
  • ½ cup light brown sugar = $0.06
  • 2 Tbsp milk = $0.04
  • 1 cup powdered sugar = $0.40

Grand Total = $3.91


Original recipes makes 16 bars


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8×8 baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Beat together butter and sugar.  Add in egg and vanilla and continue mixing until incorporated.
  3. Whisk together salt & flour. Add salt, flour and banana until batter is smooth and even. Spread in prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes until center is set. Frost once they are mostly cooled.
Brown Sugar Frosting:
  1. In a medium saucepan melt butter. Add brown sugar and milk and stir until sugar has completely melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat, allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Whisk in powdered sugar and add more milk if necessary.
  3. Spread frosting on top of bars and allow it to set completely before cutting into squares.

Store bars in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or at room temperature in an airtight container for 5 days.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free leave them in a comment below.  And as always, I’d love to hear how your bars turn out! 🙂

Happy Baking,



Pumpkin Banana-Oat Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cookies n’ Cream Frosting


Are you sick of pumpkin yet? I sure hope not! This week I’ll be showing you guys how I made these delicious Pumpkin Banana-Oat Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cookies n’ Cream Frosting.

As you might have already guessed, I’m a huge pumpkin-spice fan, so when I heard that OREO was releasing pumpkin-spice cookies, I obviously had to grab a pack when I went grocery shopping. After having a few, I realized that it probably wouldn’t be the best idea to finish the whole pack by myself…so I decided to incorporate them into my baking this week.



I had my friends and family try a few cupcakes and we all agreed that the frosting was the best part — just the right amount of sweetness & the pumpkin-spice icing from the Oreo cookies already had a lot of great flavor. The only downside is that the cookie gets a bit soggy after being in the frosting for a few hours.

*Piping tip: Make sure that you use a wider frosting tip or crush the cookies very finely. Otherwise, the cookie crumbs in the frosting will not be able to escape the tip easily, and that will make it a lot harder for you to frost your cupcakes.



As an amateur baker, this was also a fairly exciting week for me. I finally purchased my very own handheld mixer, which made whipping up the frosting significantly easier. No more sore arms for me!

I also bought some Wilton frosting tips, a re-usable decorating bag and a great cookie/cupcake carrier. All items were purchased through Amazon.



To create these cupcakes and frosting, I modified two recipes I found on Allrecipes (Banana Pumpkin Bread & Quick and Almost-Professional Buttercream Icing).

Ingredients & Costs


  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed = $1.04

  • 2 eggs = $0.62

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil = $0.17

  • 3/4 cups canned pumpkin puree = $2.24

  • 1/2 cup honey = $1.16

  • 1/2 cup white sugar = $0.08

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour = $0.45

  • 1 cup rolled oats = $0.26
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder = $0.02

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda = $0.01

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt = $0.01

  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice = $1.04

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon = $0.35


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened = $1.13

  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted = $0.99

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract = $0.15

  • 2 tablespoons milk = $0.04

  • 16 pumpkin-spice Oreos = $1.99

Grand Total = $11.75


Original recipes makes 18 – 22 cupcakes


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a 12-cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, eggs, oil, pumpkin, honey and sugar. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon, stir into the banana mixture until just combined.
  3. Scoop the batter evenly into cupcake liners. Each liner should be between 1/2 – 3/4 of the way full.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 – 24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool.


  1. Cut Oreos in half and separate into two groups. With one group, separate the pumpkin-spice frosting from the cookie and place into a large bowl. Crush the cookies until until very fine and set aside.
  2. Cream room temperature butter with pumpkin-spice frosting with a hand mixer, the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, or a wooden spoon until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract and incorporate crushed cookies.
  3. Pour in milk if necessary and beat for an additional 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, frost cupcakes with pumpkin cookies n’ cream frosting and top with half of an OREO.

Store cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or at room temperature in an airtight container for 5 days.

Feel free to try out this recipe and please leave a comment with any questions or suggestions you may have.  As always, I’d love to hear how your cupcakes turned out! 🙂

Happy Baking,