Vegan Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Vegan Banana Bars 1

Last week, one of my readers asked me if I had ever made a vegan version of banana bars with cream cheese frosting. I hadn't but they sounded really good to me!  Then later that day, my Mom e-mailed me a recipe for banana bars and said they sounded good and I should make a vegan version.  I took that as I needed to make these bars!  Two people asking about them in one day?  It was meant to be me making them.  They became my Sunday baking project.

Vegan Banana Bars 2

I wanted the bars to be moist and soft like banana bread in bar form.  There were lots of recipes for regular banana bars out there, so I just kind of went off of those and created my own version.  I upped the amount of bananas in the bars from the amount most people used, and I used aquafaba in place of the eggs because I happened to have it on hand.  I decided to keep these nut free and not stir in nuts like most classic banana bars.

Vegan Banana Bars 3

They smelled wonderfully aromatic while baking, like the best banana bread!  I wanted a faux cream cheese frosting to top them off, and I ended up using my usual coconut milk based frosting to keep it simple and easy laced with a little apple cider vinegar and a tad more sea salt to give it that cream cheese flavor.  They were divine. One of my friends that I shared them with called them the best, and I have to agree.  They were everything I could want in a banana bar.  These are not your Grandmother's banana bars after all, they are animal friendly!

Vegan Banana Bars 4

Vegan Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 24 bars

1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup thick coconut milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup gluten free all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas)*

1 cup mashed organic bananas

Cream:

2 cans organic full fat coconut milk, chilled

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tsp cider vinegar

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 cup coconut butter, warmed to liquid

Mix together the oil, sugar, coconut milk, and vanilla in a bowl.  Stir in the flour, soda, sea salt, aquafaba, and bananas and mix until well blended.  Pour into a 13x9 inch pan lined with foil (or oiled well).  Bake at 350F degrees for about 35-40 min until set in the center and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the coconut milk, maple syrup, vinegar, vanilla and sea salt in a food processor and process until smooth.  Then, slowly with the motor running, add the coconut butter through the feed tube (you don't want the mixture to separate and clump up.  But if it does, just continue to blend until smooth (it will be liquid at this point), then place in the freezer and allow to chill until thick) until the mixture is thick (if it is not thick, chill first in the freezer until it is the consistency of frosting).

Spread the frosting over the cooled cake and cut into 24 squares.  Store extra bars in the refrigerator.

*You may also use aquafaba from chickpeas you have cooked yourself, just make sure it is thick, the consistency of egg whites.



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About the Author

I am a vegan girl who loves to make healthier desserts and dishes with lots of veggies. Recipes are meant to be shared, that is why I started blogging!

7 Comments
  1. Katie
    August 26, 2015 at 18:45
    Reply

    Wow these look delicious! Do you think they would work in a 9X9 pan?

    • August 26, 2015 at 23:12
      Reply

      They should but the baking time may be slightly different and they will be thinner.

  2. Fran
    August 26, 2015 at 23:14
    Reply

    Another magnificent triumph Amy. These would be perfect in a lunch box as well as with morning or afternoon tea. You seriously are the queen of vegan treats for a country mile :).

  3. August 27, 2015 at 12:58
    Reply

    I love any banana dessert/snack type thing, and these bars look sooo good. I especially love the "cream cheese" frosting! Thank you for the tip about using aquafaba from chickpeas you cook yourself, I've been wondering about that, as I don't usually buy canned chickpeas!

    • August 29, 2015 at 12:33
      Reply

      Thank you so much :)! I cook my own chickpeas too, so I figured I better tell everyone what the liquid should be like so they have success with the recipe.

  4. Candy
    October 28, 2015 at 21:35
    Reply

    Can I substitute coconut flour for the gluten free all purpose flour? And if so should I substitute the same amount of coconut flour? Thanks

    • October 28, 2015 at 22:49
      Reply

      No, because store bought coconut flour absorbs a lot of moisture in baked goods, I have not had success using it in baked goods just raw recipes and even then I make my own because I do not care for the store bought. The substitutions that would work here are whole wheat pastry flour or gluten free oat flour. You could try another flour for an experiment but I can not guarantee it will come out the same.

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