Banana Marshmallow Squares, 1972 – A Vintage Recipe Test

Posted on Mar 29 2017 - 3:18am by RetroRuth

This week Alex wanted to help with our tested recipe and I had a bunch of ripe bananas, so we decided to make a quick little dessert.


These are Banana Marshmallow Squares!

4.0 from 1 reviews
Banana Marshmallow Squares
Serves: 3 dozen bars
  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
  • 3¼ cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 - 4 serving size instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9 pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine first four ingredients until well blended. Press half of dough into pan, reserve the rest for the topping.
  3. In heavy saucepan (or in microwave), melt marshmallows until smooth. Combine dry pudding mix and mashed bananas, add in melted marshmallows. Spread evenly over dough in pan.
  4. Crumble remaining dough over filling. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a light golden brown (mine took 30 minutes). Cool.

Pillsbury Bakeoff Banana Marshmallow Squares001

Pillsbury Bakeoff001

I’m not sure what it is with the Pillsbury Bake-Off books lately, but I’ve really been digging in deep and pulling out some interesting stuff. I was curious to see how the whole dry pudding/banana/marshmallow layer would turn out in these.


Plus they were easy enough for Alex to do the bulk of the work. Which she was very excited about.


Though I think the ton of bananas and marshmallows she consumed while we were making these might have contributed to her excitement and happiness.


Here is the finished filling. It was actually a bit on the liquid side, so I had no idea what was going to go down.


In a side note, the cake mix crust/topping was incredibly sticky.  So we didn’t crumble it on top, but rather ended up flinging globs of batter at the filling. It was fun.


This actually baked up pretty well, only about an extra 5 minutes beyond what the recipe recommended to get them to a light, golden brown.


“What’s that face for?”

“What an interesting texture you’ve discovered.”

“What? Really? What’s wrong?.”

“Nothing. This is the best banana baked good I’ve ever had. Crunchy. Flavorful. Slimy.”


“Oh, so slimy.”

The Verdict: Slimy

From The Tasting Notes –

Aside from the fact that the filling had the texture of something a slug left behind, these were tasty.  They were, of course, intensely sweet. But they had a good banana flavor, kind of like a very buttery banana bread. The cake mix crust had a good, buttery crunch to it and the nuts were a great addition. The filling was so, so slimy. Not gooey, or underbaked, but actual snotty slime. It was kind of jarring when you bit into it. I wonder if a good fix for this would be to mix together the pudding and the bananas, spread that on and then sprinkle the marshmallows on top of that rather than melting and folding them in? Maybe that would help. Maybe fewer marshmallows? Or maybe just leave the marshmallows out all together? Maybe chocolate chips instead? Either way, Alex and Tom both loved the taste of these, but I just couldn’t get onboard with the slime.

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (, No Pattern Required (, and I Ate The 80's (

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14 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. JJ March 29, 2017 at 9:10 am - Reply

    I couldn’t stop cackling out loud at the comment “What an interesting texture you’ve discovered.”

  2. Laura March 29, 2017 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    Oh, too bad! They sounded like they had so much promise…
    Your poor guinea pig husband… his expression and comment was priceless.
    (Rate this recipe? I guess 4 stars… it sounds delicious… and your experience was definitely entertaining… by your decription of the end result tho… it looks more like a one or two star recipe). Keep sharing! 🙂

  3. Lis March 31, 2017 at 1:21 am - Reply

    Was this one of Mrs. Hubbell’s prized recipes? Poor Joe! I suppose that if the bananas you used were super ripe, that could have contributed to the slimy texture. Maybe Mrs. Hubbell used less ripe bananas. I just discovered your blog and I think it’s really fun…right up my ally!

  4. Marty March 31, 2017 at 3:49 am - Reply

    One of the best Tom-faces of all time! Poor guy!

    I wonder what would happen by mixing the whole kit and caboodle together and then baking it instead of trying for layers. Time to go buy some bananas and marshmallows.

    • RetroRuth March 31, 2017 at 10:06 am - Reply

      I thought about that, but then you might lose the buttery, crunchy crust on the top which was the best part. Maybe make the crust/topping, then reserve some for the top and mix the rest of the stuff in and crumble the reserved topping on top? Maybe?

      • Marty April 2, 2017 at 2:56 am - Reply

        Oooh! How about mixing the bananas into the bottom layer then spreading some peanut butter on that and then crumble the rest on top? (Says the person who had a PB2 and banana smoothie after her long run today.) 🙂

  5. Erik Stutzman March 31, 2017 at 11:47 am - Reply

    Do any vintage recipes with bananas turn out well? I recall the ham-wrapped bananas and a tropical salad that would probably be classified as torturing the guests.

  6. Brenda March 31, 2017 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    Maybe it was the brand of marshmallows.

    Maybe if you melted the marshmallows just to the consistency of marshmallow fluff/creme it would work better.

    Or maybe marshmallows have changed since the 70s. This is probably the reason the consistency was off.

  7. Laura (Untwisted Vintage) April 2, 2017 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    I think you should rename them Banana Slug Marshmallow Squares 🙂 Your posts are very entertaining!

  8. Miriam Holder April 3, 2017 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    I burst out laughing when I saw your poor husband’s face! Ewww. Much as I love banana stuff, I think I’ll skip this one.

  9. Mila April 5, 2017 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    Frankly, this combo sounds pretty awful. Just not seeing any way for it to work. Some things are not meant to go together.

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