banana recipes · bars

Monkey Squares with Brown Butter Icing

Monkey Squares… named, I am assuming, for the bananas they are absolutely packed with.

I had five bananas that were right on the edge of use it or lose it, so I turned to my trusty Pinterest board to find a recipe.  I have pinned so many banana bread recipes, but one I have been wanting to try for a while are these monkey bars from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

First, I would like to apologize that I only have a picture of one, solitary square.  My silly husband took them to work before I could photograph them, but he did remember to bring me home one little square so I could take at least a few pictures of it. 

Now, to the bars.  These moist, sweet, delicious bars are the PERFECT way to use up 3-4 overripe bananas.  They are quick, easy, much faster to make than banana bread, and much, much more delicious than a plain old boring loaf of banana bread.

The frosting…

Oh, the frosting.  I had never made a brown butter frostng before, and I don’t know if it was the glass of wine I had before I started making these, or the real thing, but I swear this frosting even TASTED a little bit like bananas.  It was the absolute PERFECT compliment to these bars, and less work than a cream cheese frosting.

Make these for a party or a potluck (or for your husband’s co-workers) and they will be gobbled up before you can say “monkey.”


Banana Bread Bars:
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 ¾ cups (3 or 4) ripe bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Browned Butter Frosting:
½ cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
about 3 tablespoons milk or half and half


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 10×15 jelly roll pan. Beat first four ingredients until creamy. Blend in bananas and vanilla for one minute. Add dry ingredients and blend for one minute. Stir in nuts and spread in pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool slighty until warm but not hot and frost with Browned Butter Frosting (recipe below).

For the Browned Butter Frosting:

Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat past the melting point until it is boiling and a delicate brown. (Careful not to burn this- burnt butter frosting will not taste good.)

 Remove from the heat and immediately add the remaining ingredients. This should be thicker than a glaze and thinner than frosting. Using a spatula smooth over the top of the Monkey Squares immediately. The frosting will be easier to spread once it’s on the warm bread.

Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.


3 thoughts on “Monkey Squares with Brown Butter Icing

  1. The icing was way too sweet. Could probably cut the sugar in half. I used almost double the walnuts, yogurt and nutmeg and cut the sugar in the cake by half. Tasted great.

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