Today is a day for cupcakes. Care to join?
Sprinkly, chocolate chipped, banana-boosted, silky buttercreamed totally-okay-to-eat-if-you’re-a-grown-up cupcakes. Yep, all that. Did I mention sprinkles?
I’m somewhat particular about what can be combined with chocolate. I assume you are the same? Fruit has definite limitations. Cherries? Absolutely. Strawberries? I’ll skip it. My all-time favorite fruit combination with chocolate is of course, orange, especially candied orange zest–there’s just something irresistible about the bitterness of the peel with the bitterness of the cocoa. And bananas? That’s a no-brainer. Could only be better with peanut butter…but I think that about most things.
Be sure to use very ripe bananas for the cake. Less ripe fruit will make a thicker batter, starchier cake with less sweetness. Just be sure to buy your ingredients a couple days in advance if you suspect the supply of bananas at your grocery store to be more spring green than canary yellow.
And about the buttercream–I’ve left the sugar quantity with a wide range because it does vary greatly depending on weight and humidity–I don’t bother weighing the sugar and instead eyeball the consistency. You should be able to do so as well quite easily–it should hold a shape but not be heavy or clumpy.
Additional tools recommended: a piping bag and star tip. If you want to hand frost these guys, go right ahead. Never quite as pretty, in my mind, but do what you can, and have fun! Decorating cupcakes is a blast.
Chocolate Banana Cupcakes
Cupcake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart. Makes a mean cake, that lady.
Dense banana cake topped with fluffy, sweet cocoa buttercream—a classy combination for both kids and adults!
- 7.5 oz (about 1 1/2 c.) AP flour
- 4.5 oz (about 2/3 c.) white sugar
- 1 1/2 t. baking powder
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1 stick (8 T.) butter
- 17 oz. (about 4 medium) ripe bananas
- 2 large eggs
- 2 T. milk
- 1/2 t. vanilla extract
- Miniature chocolate chips for decorating (optional)
- Multi-colored sprinkles (I live for these ones!) for decorating (optional)
- Banana chips for decorating (optional but recommended)
- Have the egg and butter at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Line a cupcake tin with paper liners (recipe will make 10-12 cakes depending on size of tin).
- Beat softened butter until light in a mixer, then add sugar and cream together.
- Meanwhile, mash bananas with a fork, then add to mixer.
- Scrape down the sides several times, as the banana resists mixing with butter.
- Add eggs in one at a time.
- Add milk slowly, then follow with vanilla extract.
- Prepare dry ingredients: mix together flour, baking powder, salt and whisk to combine.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour, gradually.
- When batter is just mixed, spoon into prepared tin. Batter will be thick.
- Bake 25-35 minutes, until a tester comes clean and sides are just beginning to change color.
- 2 sticks (16 T.) softened butter
- 3-4 c. powdered sugar
- 4 T. cocoa powder
- 1/2 t. vanilla extract
- 1-2 T. milk (optional)
- pinch salt
- Paddle butter until light in a mixer.
- Slowly add sifted powdered sugar in 1/4 c. quantities and continue mixing.
- Add cocoa, salt and vanilla and check consistency. Add more sugar if buttercream is too thin. If too thick, beat in milk 1 T. at a time.
- Use immediately, or refrigerate and re-whip at room temperature before frosting.