Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Banana Cupcakes

I just finished stage managing/assistant directing The Importance of Being Earnest at Perseverance Theatre, a kick ass experience and show.
While in rehearsals, you automatically have a hungry hoard of actors whom will eat anything, as long as it's free, and this cast was no different. Granted, I fed them some weird things (red pepper muffins, bacon scones etc...) but they devoured it all.

In this vein, for Dan's (playing Jack) birthday, I wanted to try something a little different than your typical funfetti (don't get me wrong, I love funfetti) fanfare. I saw this recipe for banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting in an old Bon Appetit and completely wrote it off, but for such an occasion as this, decided that it was perfect.

I couldn't help myself and added shaved chocolate to the cupcakes, but didn't add nuts because I didn't want them to become too heavy/muffin like. They weren't at all, they were very light and I had to stop myself from putting my face in the frosting.
And the do ahead suggestion is bogus, I made the cupcakes 3 days before and stored them outside (still doubles as a fridge in the Alaskan spring) and frosted them the night before the big day.

Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting (Adapted from Bon Appetit)

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 very ripe large bananas, peeled
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (do not use old-fashioned or freshly ground)
  • Chopped lightly salted roasted peanuts (optional)

For cupcakes: 
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 12 standard (1/3-cup) muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Mash bananas with fork in another medium bowl until smooth. Mix sour cream and vanilla into bananas.
Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and egg yolk and beat until well blended. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with banana-sour cream mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating just until blended after each addition. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups (generous 1/4 cup for each).
Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center of each comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to rack and let cool completely.

For frosting: 
Sift powdered sugar into large bowl. Add cream cheese, butter, and peanut butter. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until smooth. Spread frosting over top of cupcakes, dividing equally. Sprinkle lightly with chopped peanuts, if desired. DO AHEAD: 
Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

It's been a pretty melancholy week, so for this baking adventure I was digging some of Andrew Bird's latest, Noble Beast.

It's low key, unassuming, lyrically outstanding and though it stands on it's own, watching this dude play (almost) everything by himself is crazy. Plus he can whistle like a mother. 


  1. Dude, I made peanut butter frosting the other day for some chocolate cupcakes.

    I would like to submit that it is one of the best foods ever invented.

    Reason #32154 why I will soon weigh 800 lbs. (Worth it.)

  2. they were delicious
    i had one; i wanted two
    can i have more, please?

  3. Mags- Agreed. Peanut Butter frosting is now one of my favorite things. I want to make jam cupcakes and make PB & J cupcakes.

  4. Allison- it's a recipe I'm keeping around. I'll call you the next time I turn these puppies out