Banana Chocolate Chip Bars

With all the banana bread I’ve been making, I’ve had tons of overripe bananas lying around. I wanted to mix things up and make something different, so I ended up settling on these banana chocolate chip bars.

image of chocolate chip banana bars piled together, with a bite taken out of the top bar to show how moist and fudgey it is

I like to think of them as a hybrid between chocolate chip banana bread and blondies. These bars are moist, chewy, and almost fudgy in texture!

They’re absolutely delicious, yet almost healthy thanks to the all the mashed bananas.

Why Do Recipes Always Call For Overripe Bananas?

Most recipes that use bananas insist on using only the ripest bananas, including this one. But why are overripe bananas better to bake with??

image of ripe bananas, ready to be used to make banana bread

There are actually several reasons. The first is that as a banana ripens, more of its starch is converted into sugar. This creates sweeter, more tender baked goods.

Another benefit of baking with super ripe bananas is that they’re super easy to mash up. This ensures your banana chocolate bars have a uniform, even texture without any unexpected chunks of banana.

Overripe bananas are also more aromatic, and give baked goods a more intense banana flavor than yellow bananas.

image of banana bread batter being made with super ripe, brown bananas

The final and best reason (in my opinion) is that it uses up overripe fruit that would otherwise go to waste!

With all that being said, this recipe will still turn out if you use yellow bananas. It just won’t have as intense of a banana flavor!

Baking Hack: How to Quickly Ripen Bananas For Banana Bars

If you only have yellow bananas and want that intense banana flavor, don’t worry!

You can easily turn yellow bananas brown in a matter of minutes. Preheat your oven to 300 degree F, and place your unpeeled bananas on a foil-lined baking sheet.

image of moist classic banana bread, sliced and ready to be eaten

Bake them for about 15 minutes, until the banana skin is uniformly dark in color.

Let them cool on that pan for 10 minutes, then carefully peel and mash them.

Substitutions and Swaps

While I love this recipe for chocolate chip banana bars just the way it is, I know some of you might not have all of these ingredients on hand!

image of chocolate chip banana bar batter in a lined baking pan, ready to be baked in the oven

Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe:

  • Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand you can use it in place of the unsalted butter in this recipe. Just be sure to omit the salt that this recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place. Or if you feel really fancy you can use browned butter!
  • Brown Sugar – This recipe uses brown sugar, which gives it great flavor and helps the bars bake up soft and chewy. You can use light or dark brown sugar (I prefer light in this recipe), or you can use granulated sugar if you don’t have brown sugar.
  • 1 Large Egg – This cookie recipe uses 1 large egg! You can use a flaxseed egg in its place to make eggless or vegan variations of this chocolate chip cookie recipe. If you don’t have any eggs, you also can replace it with 1/4 cup of vegetable or canola oil.
  • Vanilla Extract – If you don’t have any on hand, you can omit this ingredient. It helps enhance the flavors of the bar, but the bars will still bake up great without it.
  • Overripe Bananas – If you don’t have overripe bananas on hand, bake yellow bananas at 350 F for about 15 minutes until the skin of the bananas are black.
  • All Purpose Flour – This recipe turns out best with AP flour, but you can use cake flour or a gluten free flour blend in its place if needed.
  • Chocolate chips – You can use milk, dark or semi-sweet chocolate. Just be sure to either use mini chocolate chips, or give them a rough chop to help them evenly distribute through the bars. You want each bit to have a perfect amount of chocolate! You can also use chopped nuts in place of the chocolate in this recipe.
image of pile of banana chocolate chip bars stacked on a plate

How To Make Healthy Banana Bars

If you want to lighten up these chocolate chip banana bars, below are some easy substitutions you can make to bake healthier banana bars.

  • Unsalted Butter – You can replace half the butter in this recipe with applesauce, and use 1/4 cup apple sauce and 1/4 cup unsalted butter. You can also use coconut oil in place of the butter.
  • Brown Sugar – Use 1/2 cup additional bananas in place of the brown sugar in this recipe, or less refined sugar like coconut or raw cane sugar.
  • 1 Large Egg – You can use a flaxseed egg in its place to make eggless or vegan variations of this chocolate chip cookie recipe, or 1/4 cup of applesauce.
  • Chocolate chips -Use chopped nuts in place of the chocolate in this recipe.
  • Ground flax seeds – Add in a couple Tbsps of ground flax seeds to incorporate more fiber in this recipe. You can’t taste the difference, I promise!
image of banana chocolate bars on parchment paper, cut and ready to be eaten

Making These Chocolate Chip Banana Bars in Advance

These chocolate chip banana bars can be made in advance! They can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.

Just be sure to separate them a bit and place parchment between each layer of bars! This will help prevent them from sticking to each other if they’re stacked.

Tips for Making The Best Chocolate Chip Banana Bars

  • Be sure to properly measure your flour (spoon into the cup measure and then level) or use a kitchen scale to measure your dry ingredients
  • DO NOT OVERMIX YOUR BATTER! It will make your chocolate chip banana bars dense and chewy. Once you start to mix in the flour, be sure to mix the batter JUST until it’s combined. It’s ok if you can still see a little bit of flour, it will get mixed in after you add the bananas.
  • To make gluten free chocolate chip banana bars, swap in your favorite GF flour blend for the AP flour in this recipe. Be sure to overmix your batter and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before baking for best results.
  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better! Set your cold ingredients ahead of time.
  • Bang your pan on the counter before putting it in the oven. This brings any air bubbles that are trapped in the batter to the surface
  • Top your bars with a few additional bits of chocolate once the batter is in the pan to make it even more irresitable.
  • Let your bars cool fully before cutting them to clean cut squares.
  • This recipe can also be doubled and made in a half-sized sheet pan (13″x 18″).
image of a healthy chocolate chip banana bar that's been bitten into

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this recipe for chocolate chip banana bars, I’d love to hear what think of it! Please leave a rating, and let me know your thoughts by sharing a comment 🙂

Also please tag me @chelsweets, and use the #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations on social media!

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 16 bars

Chocolate Chip Banana Bars

image of pile of banana chocolate chip bars stacked on a plate

These chocolate chip banana bars taste just like chocolate chip banana bread! They're the perfect way to use up ripe bananas, and are healthy and delicious!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate Chip Banana Bars

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (113 grams)
  • 1 cup light or dark brown sugar (200 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (6 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature (56 grams)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (130 grams)
  • 1 cup mashed overripe banana - about 2 medium banana (230 grams)
  • 3/4 cup chopped up chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips (160 grams)

Instructions

Chocolate Chip Banana Bars (modified from Gimme Delicious)

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper or foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside
  2. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together 1/2 cup unsalted butter and 1 cup brown sugar. Mix on a medium high speed for about 2 minutes, until the mixture becomes lighter in color.
  3. Add in 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 large egg. Mix on a medium-low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula.
  4. Mix in 1 cup all-purpose flour and mix on low until just combined and streaks of flour aren't visible anymore.
  5. Add 1 cup mashed banana and mix on a low speed until you can't see any big chunks of bananas.
  6. Fold in 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips or chopped chocolate chips, saving a few to sprinkle on top of batter before they're baked.
  7. Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle with a few additional bits of chocolate.
  8. Bake for 32-36 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the center is baked through. Rotate the pan halfway through to help the bars bake evenly.
  9. Cool fully before cutting to get clean sliced squares. Cut into 16 small squares.
  10. Leftovers can be covered with plastic wrap or stores in an airtight container in fridge for up to a week.

Notes

Making These Chocolate Chip Banana Bars in Advance

These chocolate chip banana bars can be made in advance! They can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.

Just be sure to separate them a bit and place parchment between each layer of bars! This will help prevent them from sticking to each other if they're stacked.

Doubling This Recipe

This recipe can also be doubled and made in a halfsized sheet pan (13"x 18").

Baking These Bars in a Different Type of Pan:

If you plan to bake these bars in a glass baking pan, reduce the baking temperature by 25 degrees (to 325 F) and bake them for about 5 minutes less. Glass doesn't heat up as quickly as metal but becomes very hot once heated up.

Nutrition Information

Yield

16

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 243Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 27mgSodium 84mgCarbohydrates 35gFiber 2gSugar 25gProtein 2g

7 thoughts on “Banana Chocolate Chip Bars

  1. Hi! this is my first time trying one of your recipes. These are super easy, I used a wooden spoon because my hand mixer stopped working last week? its definitely different than banana bread, great recipe for when you are tired of making bread with the overbripe bananas. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

Let me know what you think!