Saturday, September 21, 2013

Gluten-free Banana Bars with Salted Caramel Frosting

Last week, it was my close friend's wedding reception. When she asked me to make her wedding cake, I could have not been happier. The only catch was that the cake couldn't contain gluten or chocolate (she is allergic to both).

But I was up for the challenge. Due to my intolerance to wheat and dairy, I have had plenty of experience baking all sorts of gluten-free/dairy-free sweet treats in the kitchen. (Not a lot of gluten-free wedding cakes, though.)

I ended up making a vanilla gluten-free wedding cake with a peanut butter filling and a salted caramel frosting. It turned out to be quite beautiful. Definitely one of my favorites: click here for more of my wedding cakes.

Long story short, I had plenty of leftover salted caramel frosting. And what do you do when you are overrun with overripe bananas? Banana bars of course. The combination sounded perfect!

Gluten-free Banana Bars

1 cup white sugar
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 2 large)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (or coconut oil)
2 eggs
1 cup gluten-free flour mix (I prefer 1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill GF all purpose and 1/2 cup white rice flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder (GF certified)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
a pinch of xanthan gum

  1. Heat your oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of 9x13-inch glass baking dish, with shortening (or coconut oil). In large bowl (or your stand mixer), mix together sugar, bananas, oil and eggs. 
  2. Stir in the gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the xanthan gum. Spread in pan.
  3. Bake the bars for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely and then top with salted caramel frosting.

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

1 cup butter (I used dairy-free margarine), softened
1/4 + teaspoon salt (add more to your liking)
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon milk (if needed)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon rum extract
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  1. In a bowl whip butter for 10 seconds. Beat in powdered sugar, until blended. Add the extracts (and milk) and beat until smooth and creamy.
  2. Spread onto banana bars.


  1. Your cakes are always gorgeous, Sarah, and that one is no exception! It looks amazing! You are definitely making mine whenever it is that I get married :) Question: If I don't care if it's gluten-free, can I just use regular flour in the recipe instead? Just want to make sure it wouldn't ruin it or anything! :)

    1. Thanks, Kailee! You are so sweet. I would love to make your future wedding cake, and don't worry I won't make it gluten-free. :)


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