Ok, I guess I do bake with it quite a bit. However, I haven’t baked with bananas recently. If I haven’t baked with it in the past 4 weeks, it practically never happened. Get my drift?
It’s such a shame that I don’t used bananas all the time since I love them. But you already knew that. I’m sure that I have mentioned it already but I love love love bananas. Add some peanut butter and I’m in heaven. (Yes, I realize I have the tastebuds of a 6 year old.)
This was one of the first recipes I tried out from Karen Demasco’s The Craft of Baking and it was pretty reliable. It yielded only 12 cupcakes, which I realized didn’t make enough for my office and family. Baking with that small of batter makes me nervous because I envision dry, hard cakes due to the lack of sugar and moisture. These were rather moist, thanks to the bananas but I think next time I would double the recipe and see if that changed the results.
Let’s talk about the highlight of this recipe: the peanut butter frosting. I loathed it. Not because it wasn’t good. On the contrary, it was light, sweet, and salty. However, I went through three batches. I simply couldn’t get the texture of the frosting right. When it is too creamy, it tastes like pure butter, which makes me gag. So I kept trying it with different butter stick. I don’t know what was going on; I wasn’t beating the frosting too long. At the very end, I almost gave up and served the cupcakes naked, but I pressed on. Thank goodness because this frosting compliments the banana cupcake, bringing out the sweetness and playing off the cupcakes texture.
Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
Adapted from: “Craft of Baking” by Karen Demasco
Prep Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 18 to 20 minutes
Yield: 12 cupcakes
For The Cupcakes:
¾ cup Sugar
⅓ cup plus 2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
¾ cup Mashed Bananas, About 1 ½ Medium
1 large Egg
1 large Egg Yolk
⅓ cup plus 2 Tbsp Buttermilk
¾ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
¾ tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Salt
For The Frosting:
2 large Egg Whites
¼ cup Sugar
8 Tbsp (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, cut in to small pieces, at room temperature
¼ cup Creamy Peanut Butter
¼ tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
¼ tsp Salt
To make the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and oil. Whisk in the banana, egg, egg yolk, buttermilk, and vanilla.
In another bowl, sift together the four, baking soda, and salt. Using a whisk, mix the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling them three quarters full. Bake, rotating the tin halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes. Invert the cupcakes onto a wire rack, turn them top side up and let them cool completely.
To make the buttercream:
Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring it to a simmer. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl on top of the saucepan, and whisking constantly, heat the egg mixture until it is warm to the touch, about three minutes.
Transfer the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and whisk on medium speed until the whites become translucent and shiny and form a soft peak, about 5 minutes.
With the machine running, add in the butter, a cube at a time, and mix until combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and and add the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, beat until the buttercream becomes shiny and creamy, about 10 minutes. Spread the buttercream over the tops of the cupcakes.
The cupcakes will last for up to three days if kept in an airtight container.