Love banana bread? You won’t want to miss this family favorite recipe for moist Chocolate Chip Banana Bars that bake in half the time of a traditional loaf!
I have dreamt up thousands of recipes over the course of my career as a chef and recipe developer. Every once in a while, I create a recipe that I know with 100% certainty I will still be making in 10, 20, 30 and so on years. This is one of those recipes.
I made this recipe three times in 10 days because the bars were gobbled up so quickly in our house by all of my boys, my husband, and even my brother, who lives around the corner and often swings by for snacks when he knows I’m in recipe development mode. He texted me not once, but twice, the following: “But seriously, can we talk about these banana bars. They are so good!”
Why These are The Best Banana Bars with Chocolate Chips
I could go on and on about their banana bread flavor and texture, but in sliceable bar form. Or the fact that they bake in half the time of a classic loaf of banana bread. Or maybe the best part of all, there’s zero risk of the frequent trouble spot with banana bread, when the top is burned but the center isn’t fully baked. We’ve all been there, right?!
Erase all those fears and grab your trusty 13×9-inch cake pan for a seriously fool-proof recipe that yields moist banana bars studded with plenty of mini chocolate chips.
What to Make with Overripe Bananas
Banana bread may be everyone’s first thought when it comes to making use of those past-their-prime bananas, but one taste of these Chocolate Chip Banana Bars and I guarantee you will be converted from a loaf pan to a 13×9 pan (or a slice to a bar!) instantly.
The batter is almost identical to my go-to recipe for moist banana bread, but I’ve adjusted it ever so slightly to make it slightly more pourable and spreadable into a 13×9-inch pan.
What Can You Mix In to Banana Bread or Banana Bars?
Chocolate chips and chopped nuts are two of the classics, but feel free to get creative when it comes to mix-ins. Check out my list of banana bread recipes below for inspiration, all of which also work when mixed into banana bars:
- Raspberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread
- Apple Cinnamon Banana Bread
- Zucchini Banana Bread
- Cream Cheese Banana Bread
- Cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe, darkly-speckled bananas (See Kelly's Note)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper then grease it with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, eggs, milk, olive oil and vanilla extract.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
- Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir just until combined, then stir in ¾ cup chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the greased baking pan, spreading it into an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips on top.
- Bake the bars until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the bars from the oven and let them cool completely in the pan before slicing and serving.
- You'll need between 3 and 4 bananas to equal 1 ½ cups of mashed bananas.