Banana, Brown Butter & Walnut Monkey Squares with Frosting

Another “What to do with brown bananas” recipe. The perfect snaking cake with a decadent frosting.

Nutty and flavorful brown butter icing

The batter only takes minutes to whip together. When you have a pile of bananas going bad, here is another way to use them up. This cake is simple, super moist and oh so yummy. Don’t skip the brown butter frosting- it takes the cake.

I have been making these yummy banana and walnut filled squares for years. They are perfect for a picnic, pot luck or just to have as a snack.

I found the recipe on “The Girl Who Ate Everything’s” blog many years ago. I’ve updated just a few items- substituted yogurt for sour cream, nearly doubled the amount of nuts, added nutmeg and reduced the sugar quite a bit.

When the monkeys around your house are begging for a sweet treat- give these squares a try.


Brown Butter & Walnut Monkey Squares- makes 12-14 squares

  • 1 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1 cup greek style yogurt

  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 eggs

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

  • For the brown butter icing
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

  • 2 TBSP whole milk or 1/2 and 1/2

Mix the batter until just blened.
Swirl the butter in the pan until brown bits form on the bottom.

Method- Prep time- 15 minutes. Baking time- 30 minutes

  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
    Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Line with parchment paper.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat sugar and butter together until smooth. Add in the yogurt, vanilla and eggs and beat on low until fully incorporated.
  • In another medium size bowl, mix the flour, nutmeg and baking powder.
    Fold the flour mixture into the sugar and butter mixture with a scraper until just blended. Fold in the mashed bananas and walnuts.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
  • When the cake has only about 15 minutes left to bake, make the brown butter icing.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet until foamy. The butter will begin to bubble and pop. This is normal. On low heat, slowly swirl the butter in the pan until brown bits begin to form on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat if butter is browning too quickly.
    Do not stir with a spoon- just swirl .
  • Off heat, gently spoon the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk into the browned butter and whisk until smooth and glossy.
    If the icing is not pourable, add more milk to loosen it.
    Remove the baked cake from the oven and pour the icing over the cake while still hot.
  • If you wait to ice the cake, the icing will set up and not pour.
    Be certain to ice the cake while hot.
  • Let cake set up for 30 minutes in the pan.
    Remove and slice into squares with a serrated knife. Leftovers may be stored in an airtight container.
I trim off the edges to have perfect squares.
Can you spare a Square?

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