Zucchini Bars with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting are the absolute BEST zucchini bars and are one of my favorite solutions to a boat load of zucchini from the garden! These zucchini bars are super moist and tender and the brown butter cream cheese frosting is irresistible.
While I've had a garden for the past few years, this is the first year that I've tried growing zucchini. I guess I was always just a little jealous of people who always had their hands full of zucchini come August and I wanted in on the fun! I also wanted in on the challenge to put zucchini in ALL THE THINGS.
Now that I have a bunch of zucchini, the question is - what do I do with it?! I loved using it in savory dishes like Summer Squash Migas and Grilled Zucchini Tacos, I also love using zucchini in sweet dishes like Zucchini Chocolate Cake and these Zucchini Bars.
Zucchini - I use shredded zucchini in this recipe, which I do using my food processor which has a shredder attachment. You could also use a vegetable grater. This recipe does not require you to squeeze out any liquid from the zucchini
Bananas - bananas add texture and sweetness to these bars. There is a slight banana flavor but not too much!
Butter - butter is the fat that makes these bars so delicious and also a star ingredient in the frosting. Be sure the butter is at room temperature when you start making the bars and refer to this post for how to make brown butter.
Granulated sugar - to add sweetness to these bars.
Cream Cheese - cream cheese is used in the frosting, along with powdered sugar.
Refer to the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients with exact amounts.
Step 1. Cream the butter and sugar for 1 minute with an electric mixer until creamy.
Step 2. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat to combine.
Step 3. Beat until creamy.
Step 4. Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Beat to combine.
Step 5. Add the flour and mix until just combined.
Step 6. Add in the shredded zucchini.
Step 7. Mix until just combined.
Step 8. Spread into a greased 9x13" baking dish.
Step 9. Add the butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Step 10. Cook until the butter browns. It will melt, then foam, and then the foam will subside and little brown specks will form on the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan immediately once you see the brown specks form. Cool for 30 minutes. (p.s. this Brown Butter Sea Salt Brownie recipe is also to die for!)
Step 11. Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Step 12. Add the browned butter and beat until combined, about 1-2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat another minute.
Step 13. Spread the frosting onto the cooled bars.
Step 14. Cut into pieces and enjoy!
If you have the vegetable grater attachment for your food processor, that makes shredded the zucchini much faster. Of course, you can use a traditional vegetable grater, or an attachment for a stand mixer as well.
Use very ripe bananas. They will add sweetness, be easier to mash, and make the bars extra tender and moist.
Cool the butter for at least 20 minutes before mixing it with the cream cheese. If it's too warm, it will not mix very well with the cream cheese.
These keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5-6 days.
Zucchini has very little flavor so it is easy to mix into baked goods. It is also high in water content so it adds moisture to muffins, bars, and bread.
Peeling zucchini prior to grating it for these bars is not necessary. The skin actually is a big source of its nutrition, so you benefit from leaving the skin on.
No, that step is not necessary in this recipe.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #greensnchocolate.