Monday, May 23, 2016

Banana Cupcakes

 Not too long ago, I was asked to bake banana cupcakes for a 60th birthday party. TBH, I didn't have a go-to recipe for banana cupcakes, but I figured, "how hard can they be?" So I did a little googling, and quickly happened upon this recipe from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food. They seemed easy and quick and they looked like everything I wanted in a banana cupcake recipe. (To be clear, these are banana cakes, not banana muffins!). My next decision was which icing to use. Martha used a honey cinnamon recipe, but I figured I'd go with a fabulous chocolate swiss meringue icing instead. A few banana chips and some mini chocolate chips for garnish, and they looked amazing!! Dontcha think??
 They were a HUGE hit at the party, so this is clearly the new go-to recipe for banana cupcakes. Perhaps next time I'll try it with the honey cinnamon icing, but for now, I think I'll stick with chocolate. One thing is for sure. I'll definitely be making them again and again.
You should definitely give them a try!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 ripe bananas)
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Dried banana chips and mini chocolate chips for garnish, (optional)

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, mix together butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not overmix). Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Spread or pipe each cupcake with your favorite chocolate icing. Sprinkle tops with mini chips, then place one banana chip in the center, if desired.

I doubled the entire recipe because I needed to do a tray of 2 dozen. Not all recipes turn out as well when you double them, but this one was perfect!
Instead of doing chocolate icing, you could also use cream cheese icing or even whipped cream on top. Or how about some shredded coconut? Try whichever combination you like!
If you'd prefer to use fresh banana slices instead of dried ones, peel and slice the bananas then top each cupcake just before serving. If you slice the bananas too far in advance, they'll turn brown.
You really don't even need to garnish with the banana slices, but it shows your guest what kind of cupcakes they are! Clever, huh?

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