Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Favorite Banana Cupcakes with Creamy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

It's funny how excited I get when people give me ingredients to bake with. I would be perfectly happy with a box full of butter for my birthday...seriously. My friend Merry brought some extra over-ripe bananas to work and I knew I wanted to make Banana Cupcakes. These cupcakes had been haunting me since I last made them over a year ago. I remember them being the best Banana Cupcakes I had ever eaten, but I had lost the recipe.... until I was going through my notes on my iPad the other day and found it!
So now I am sharing My Favorite Banana Cupcake Recipe with you! I absolutely love the texture of this cupcake; it's light, not too dense, with the perfect amount of banana flavor. You won't mistake them for dressed up banana muffins at all. I paired these cupcakes with a creamy Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting. I originally wanted to make a Honey Cinnamon Buttercream, but my husband vetoed that idea (hence the sprinkling of cinnamon on top). Really any of your favorite frosting recipes would work well with cupcake. Next time (and there will be many next times) I'm going to try Salted Caramel or Peanut Butter!
Regardless of how you frost it, I hope you'll try this recipe for My Favorite Banana Cupcakes and that it becomes one of your favorites too!
My Favorite Banana Cupcake with Creamy Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting
Makes 24 cupcakes
Recipe adapted from A dash of sass
Cupcake Ingredients:
2 1/4 cup Cake Flour
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
2 sticks unsalted Butter, softened
1 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
2 Large Eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups Mashed Bananas (approx. 3 large over ripe bananas)
1/4 cup Whole Milk + 1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Frosting Ingredients:
2 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened but still slightly cold
2 teaspoons Vanilla Bean Paste
3-4 cups Powdered Sugar (preferably sifted)
pinch of salt
Heavy Whipping Cream

Preheat oven to 350f. Line 2 cupcake or muffin pans with paper liners.

In a medium size bowl, sift together the Cake Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt and Cinnamon. Set aside.

In another medium size bowl, combine the mashed bananas, "soured" milk, vanilla and eggs. Mix until combined.

In the bowl of your electric stand mixer fitter with a paddle attachment (or using an electric hand mixer), cream together the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy (approx. 2 minutes).

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the wet and dry ingredients to the batter alternating between them - add 1/3 of the flour mixture, 1/2 of the banana mixture and repeat, mixing just until combined after each addition.

Using a large cookie scoop, scoop the batter into the prepared pans dividing evenly between each cup.

Bake at 350f 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool in pan for 1 minute, then remove to wire cooling rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting:

In the bowl of your electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter at medium speed until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and a pinch of salt and pulse a few times to coat the powdered sugar you don't create a big sugar dust cloud, then mix on medium speed. With the mixer running, add the vanilla bean paste. Then add the heavy whipping cream a few tablespoons at a time. Beat at medium-medium high speed for about a minute. Check the taste and consistency. Add more powdered sugar and/or heavy whipped cream as needed. I wanted the frosting on this cupcake to be on the creamier side, so I added whipping cream to get my desired consistency.

To be honest, when I make frosting I just eyeball the ingredients and add/adjust as needed...


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