Peanut Butter Banana Bars (whole grain, dairy-free)

These peanut butter banana bars are like a cross between a blondie and a cake bar! They’re also made a little healthier and are 100% whole grain and dairy-free.

First of all – these taste WAY better than they look. I sprinkled some chocolate chips on top in an attempt to make them look more appealing but I can’t do anything about the drabness. They just look blah. But once you taste them, you won’t care!

When I try a new recipe, I normally only make a fourth and sometimes a half. This means I’m something of a fractions ninja. But I’m also pretty absent-minded and do stuff like halving one ingredient when I only did a fourth of the rest.

These peanut butter banana bars are like a cross between a blondie and a cake bar! Dairy-free and 100% whole grain.

And for the record – I always test recipes more than once before posting them so you don’t need to worry about mistakes in my recipes!

When I made these peanut butter banana bars the second time, I realized that I had accidentally used twice as much flour as I should have and was really confused because I loved how they came out.

I thought that perhaps it was a fluke or that my mind was playing tricks on me. So I made them again with the same amount of flour and they came out exactly the same. It was a pretty awesome morning.

These peanut butter banana bars are like a cross between a blondie and a cake bar! 100% whole grain and dairy-free.

I adapted these form Dinners, Dishes and Desserts’ banana snickerdoodle bars. I’m sure my version with double the flour (and an extra banana) isn’t as dense and blondie-like as the original but I still couldn’t stop eating them!

Erin’s version uses cinnamon, cinnamon chips and has a yummy sounding topping, which I can’t wait to try, but first I wanted to peanut butter them up.

So I mixed together a bunch of peanut butter with a little honey and coconut oil and poured that over the batter. The banana bar base isn’t all that sweet but when paired with the peanut butter topping, it’s perfect.

I think it also contributes to the somewhat gooey and dense texture of the bars so I really do not recommend making the bars without the peanut butter topping! I’m pretty sure they’d be too dry and not sweet enough.

Want peanut butter + chocolate for breakfast? Try these easy vegan peanut butter banana breakfast cookies from Beaming Baker! They’re also whole grain as well as naturally gluten-free.

Peanut Butter Banana Bars (100% whole grain, dairy-free)

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Rated 5.0 by 5 readers
Peanut Butter Banana Bars (whole grain, dairy-free)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 12-16 bars

Ingredients

    For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup (128 grams) salted natural peanut butter (the kind with just peanuts and salt!)
  • 3 tablespoons (60 grams) honey
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) coconut oil, room temperature1
  • For the bars:

  • 1 cup (125 grams) white whole wheat or whole spelt flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 very ripe bananas (mine were each 182 with the peel and 135 grams without the peel)
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar or brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C). Line an 8"x8" (20cmx20cm) pan with a piece of parchment paper.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together all the topping ingredients until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas very well with the bottom of a drinking glass (or mash however you wish). Add the sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla and stir until well combined. Add the egg and stir just until combined.
  5. Add the dry mix to the wet and stir just until combined.
  6. Pour into the prepared pan. Add the topping – it will cover the entire surface.
  7. Bake for 16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without any batter on it, keeping in mind that the peanut butter layer may still be sticky or gooey.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  9. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Notes

  1. I used refined coconut oil, which doesn't have any coconut taste. If you use unrefined coconut oil, these may have some coconut taste to them.

Adapted from Banana Snickerdoodle Bars on Dinners, Dishes and Dessserts

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

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44 comments on “Peanut Butter Banana Bars (whole grain, dairy-free)” — Add one!

  • Christine
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    March 13, 2017 @ 11:42 am

    Hi Erin ! They are just in the oven and we are waiting for them to be ready. As I am a fearless baker and did not have all the ingredients I used an egg replacer and coconut sugar instead of raw. Let’s see how the bars come out. :) Greetings!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Christine
      March 13, 2017 @ 7:57 pm

      Haha. I love that you’re a fearless baker! Good luck with the subs and I hope you’re enjoying the bars. :) Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
      • Christine replies to Erin
        March 17, 2017 @ 7:55 pm

        Yes! They were delicious. Have a good weekend and thank you for all the great recipes!

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Christine
          March 18, 2017 @ 9:43 pm

          Awesome! Thanks for letting me know and you’re welcome. :) I’m happy you’re enjoying them!

  • Mersadez says
    January 25, 2016 @ 8:03 am

    awesome super easy just made yum but I put crumbled white chocolate chips on top thank you my boyfriend is lactose so this is perfect

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Mersadez
      January 26, 2016 @ 10:44 pm

      I bet these would be great with white chocolate chips on top! Thanks for the tip and for your feedback. :)

      Reply
      • Jill replies to Erin
        August 23, 2016 @ 1:54 pm

        I need to make these gluten free. Do you think using almond flour would work? What about using maple syrup instead of the white sugar? Thanks!

        Reply
        • Erin replies to Jill
          August 23, 2016 @ 2:03 pm

          Unfortunately, nuts flours aren’t interchangeable with non-nut flours. You could try a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour sub like this but I haven’t tried it here so I’m not positive it’d work. Sorry about that! And adding 1/2 cup of liquid sweetener in place of a granulated one would require reworking the recipe a bit. You could try coconut sugar instead of white sugar (though I think the flavor would compete a bit with the banana taste).

  • Selena @ The Nutritious Kitchen says
    January 22, 2016 @ 5:21 am

    I am in love with how simple this recipe! They looks so yummy yet so healthy too. Pinning for my next late night baking sesh :)

    Reply
  • Aimee
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    November 13, 2015 @ 5:18 am

    Holy cats! I just got this to cool off enough to have one… I don’t want to share! This is straight up amazing. Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Aimee
      November 13, 2015 @ 6:34 pm

      Haha. I’m so happy you liked it! I don’t like to share this one, either. ;) Thanks for your feedback!

      Reply
  • zahra
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    July 13, 2015 @ 5:51 pm

    great recipe.I think it looks really good and tastes even better.I made it two days ago and today my brother asked if I can make it again!
    I didn’t have natural peanut butter(and was lazy to make it myself) so the topping was not easily pourable.next time I’ll use natural.
    thanks for awsome recipes

    Reply
    • Erin replies to zahra
      July 13, 2015 @ 10:03 pm

      That’s awesome that you and your brother enjoyed them so much! And good to know that regular peanut butter works here, too (though I bet you’ll like your next version better with the natural stuff! ;)) Thanks a ton for your feedback!

      Reply
  • Mimi
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    May 8, 2015 @ 8:10 am

    BEST banana cake ever, the texture is divine!! Spongy/sticky/cakey all in one. Total winner. I’ll be making a chocolate/cinnamon version today. Thanks for a killer recipe, used spelt and will try with Enkorn next .

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Mimi
      May 9, 2015 @ 6:14 pm

      Oooh! A chocolate cinnamon version sounds great. Did you add cocoa powder or chocolate chips? Good luck with einkorn! I’ve had a terrible time subbing that for whole wheat and spelt so I hope it works out better for you. :) Thanks for your feedback!

      Reply
  • Julie says
    May 3, 2015 @ 9:30 pm

    Just made these and can’t wait to dig in! One note on recipe – combining the wet and dry ingredients isn’t mentioned (unless I looked over it a bunch of times – ha). It’s a little thing but might trip up a novice baker. :-)

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Julie
      May 4, 2015 @ 8:24 am

      Yikes! Thanks so much for letting me know. I’ve fixed it! I hope you enjoyed the bars. :)

      Reply
  • Sarah Walker Caron (Sarah's Cucina Bella) says
    April 8, 2015 @ 1:01 pm

    Those look delicious! I love when happy accidents improve recipes.

    Reply
  • Rose | The Clean Dish says
    March 31, 2015 @ 4:03 pm

    These bars look amazing, Erin!! See – I never mess with recipes because of what you have described. I’m glad it worked out for you, though – how lucky! I’d like me some of that peanut butter – banana action ;)

    Reply
  • Rainier Sielaff says
    March 31, 2015 @ 12:56 pm

    OMG – these peanut-buttery-chocolatey-banana-gooey-squares of wonderfulness were just devoured by my whole family. I love your recipes in general, and this one is truly incredible! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Rainier Sielaff replies to Rainier Sielaff
      March 31, 2015 @ 12:57 pm

      (BTW, we didn’t wait til they were cooled ;-) )

      Reply
      • Erin replies to Rainier Sielaff
        March 31, 2015 @ 9:14 pm

        Haha. I’ll tell you a secret – I never do that, either. I just write it because you’re “supposed to.” :D

        Reply
    • Erin replies to Rainier Sielaff
      March 31, 2015 @ 9:14 pm

      What a nice comment! Thanks, Rainier. :) I’m so happy that you all enjoyed these bars! Thanks a ton for your feedback. :)

      Reply
  • Angie | Big Bear's Wife says
    March 30, 2015 @ 9:53 pm

    The peanut butter topping over these banana bars just sounds freaking awesome. Oh and those chocolate chips are perfect on top! I love peanut butter, banana and chocolate together!

    Reply
  • Cookin Canuck says
    March 30, 2015 @ 5:36 pm

    I don’t think these look “blah” at all! In fact, I started to mentally scour my pantry for the ingredients (I think I have them all!) because I know my family would love these bars.

    Reply
  • Angie says
    March 30, 2015 @ 5:09 pm

    These banana bars look so good! Love that they are whole grain!

    Reply
  • Nutmeg Nanny says
    March 30, 2015 @ 4:49 am

    These bars are not drab! They look totally knock off your socks delicious! No that I’m one to every turn down an extra sprinkling of chocolate chips ;)

    Reply
  • Lana | Never Enough Thyme says
    March 30, 2015 @ 3:39 am

    Oh, these sound just delicious! I always enjoy a combination of peanut butter and banana.

    Reply
  • Medeja says
    March 29, 2015 @ 11:58 am

    Yummy! I would love such snack!

    Reply
  • Kristen Hess (The Artful Gourmet) says
    March 29, 2015 @ 9:47 am

    These sound delicious!

    Reply
  • Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet says
    March 29, 2015 @ 4:49 am

    I can’t even tell you how much I like these bars! The flavors go so well together I know they would be addicting to eat!

    Reply
  • Samantha says
    March 28, 2015 @ 8:44 pm

    I think you did a great job at making these look more appealing with those chocolate chips! I want to dig right in. I love everything peanut butter! I just can’t get enough…

    Reply
  • Jessica says
    March 28, 2015 @ 12:03 pm

    Has anyone tried these using all purpose gluten free or oat flour?? Or even almond flour?

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Jessica
      March 28, 2015 @ 8:43 pm

      I haven’t tried it but I’m guessing an all-purpose GF flour would work. I think they’d fall apart if you used oat flour and I don’t think any kind of nut flour works well as a sub for whole wheat. Sorry about that! I hope you’ll enjoy them if you try AP GF flour. :)

      Reply
  • Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen says
    March 27, 2015 @ 11:09 pm

    Oh, girl! These bars look everything but blah! Perhaps you have been just looking at the batter too many recipe tests in a row? It happens and I can totally identify with all the recipe testing. Although, I do think they look swell with the mini chocolate chips on top! To me, they look irresistible! xo

    Reply
  • The Food Hunter says
    March 27, 2015 @ 9:51 pm

    you don’t see many recipes featuring natural peanut butter…that is all I use so I love this.

    Reply
  • Heather / girlichef says
    March 27, 2015 @ 7:34 pm

    Peanut butter and bananas are such a comforting combination for me. I grew up eating pb and banana sandwiches, but I’m thinking a dessert bar would be miles better!

    Reply
  • Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes says
    March 27, 2015 @ 5:23 pm

    I love peanut butter and banana together! Always have! And these couldn’t possible taste better than they look because they look simply irresistible.

    Reply
  • Julie @ Peanut Butter and Julie says
    March 27, 2015 @ 4:16 pm

    I can’t believe this! I have a post coming out over the weekend that is almost the same exact concept……save for the fact that mine are neither whole grain nor dairy-free……so I guess you win. I’m going to call this a “great minds think alike” situation, and I am honored to be on the same wavelength as you. And yes, I agree: these taste way better than they look, although I think yours look great.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Julie @ Peanut Butter and Julie
      March 27, 2015 @ 4:27 pm

      Thanks! And don’t you just hate that?! Peanut butter banana bars aren’t super unique or anything but I’m always bummed when someone posts something really similar right before I post it. I’m happy you told me so that I can go check out yours on the weekend! :)

      Reply
  • Charlotte Moore
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    March 27, 2015 @ 3:54 pm

    I think these look great.I am not big on peanut butter but they sure look good. So you used 2 cups of flour?? If you grind your own and didn’t weigh it I bet that is why they were still good and moist. Freshly ground just weighs so much less.

    Reply
    • Erin replies to Charlotte Moore
      March 27, 2015 @ 3:58 pm

      Thanks, Charlotte! And nope – I only used one cup of flour. What’s in the recipe box at the bottom of the post is how I made them. :) The original recipe used 1 cup of flour for a 9×13 pan but since I only made an 8×8, I should have used 1/2 cup of flour but I messed that up and used 1 cup. I don’t have a mill but sure wish I did! I used store-bought flour and went by weight so I’m guessing it was the extra banana that made it possible for my extra flour version to work. :)

      Reply

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