Friday, July 8, 2011

Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Story time:
Once upon a time,  a young girl new to the blogging world had two ripe bananas to use up.  She thought and thought, tossed and turned, and still couldn't come up with a unique way to use them.  First she tried to find healthy recipes, but those wouldn't satisfy her sweet tooth.  She thought of a bundt cake, but then realized her bundt pan was far, far away in the land of Buffalo.  Whatever could she do?
But then, she stumbled upon a magical cookbook.  It was small, but within its pages it held recipes of every flavor and taste she could imagine.  And inside this book, she found a recipe for Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - the answer she had been seeking!
She followed the recipe directions to the letter, scooped the batter into the pan, and slid the pan into the oven.  When the DING of the oven timer came, she took them out...only to discover 12 strangely colored, misshapen little cakes!  She began to despair, but then remembered that they were meant to be quite brown, and their shape would not matter once they were topped with swirls of rich and creamy frosting.  Just a few twirls of her mixer later, the cupcakes were finished.
And my, were they delicious!

Another GEM from Alice's Tea Cup.  I'm convinced the Fox ladies can do no wrong.  Just remember - they're supposed to get darker than most cupcakes.  And honestly, who cares what they look like underneath the frosting?  The flavor combination most definitely makes up for the oddness of their shape, and they actually only get better with time!

Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Source: Alice's Tea Cup by Haley and Lauren Fox
Yield: 12-18 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
2 very ripe bananas
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (I used Tahitian vanilla, but you don't need to be that fancy)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp kosher salt

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (12oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. 
Mash the bananas in a small bowl, then set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, combine the oil and sugar until fully mixed.  Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla; mix until smooth.  Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.  With the mixer running on the lowest speed, add the flour mixture a little at a time, mixing until it's all combined and the batter is smooth.  Fold in the bananas with a rubber spatula.
Fill a nonstick or paper-lined muffin pan half-full of batter and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.  Set aside to cool completely in the pan.
As the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese until fully combined and smooth.  With the mixer set on its lowest speed, slowly add the confectioners' sugar, mixing until it is completely incorporated and the frosting is smooth (and delicious!)
Use an offset spatula or piping bag to frost the cupcakes generously with the cream cheese frosting.

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