Monday, August 31, 2009

Banana cupcakes


I baked two dozen of these delicious cupcakes yesterday morning, and there are only three left. We ate a dozen of them at the pool yesterday picnicking with friends, and the rest today. This recipe is so perfect -- it's really a dump-stir-and-bake recipe, and only has a few ingredients. The cupcakes are so dense and sticky, and have just the right balance of sweetness and banana flavor, and the cream cheese frosting is as tangy and irresistible as cream cheese frosting can get. They're also great with peanut butter for breakfast.

Banana Cupcakes
from the Moosewood Restaurant: Simple Suppers

Yield ~20 cupcakes

Wet ingredients
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 or 4 bananas)*
1/2 c olive oil
1 1/3 c packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/4 c plain yogurt

Dry ingredients
1 1/2 c unbleached white flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt

Coffee or chocolate cream cheese frosting (I just make vanilla)
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temp
3 T butter, at room temp
1 c sifted confectioners' sugar
2 T brewed coffee or 1 T cocoa powder (or 1 t vanilla)

Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare two standard cupcake pans with liners, cooking spray or butter.

With an electric mixer on medium speed, mix the wet ingredients until smooth and creamy, a minute or two. In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix at low speed until smooth. Spoon the batter into the cupcake pans, filling each cup about three-quarters full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix all the frosting ingredients with an electric mixer on low speed until creamy and smooth. Cool the cupcakes for at least 15 minutes and then frost.

*I'm picky about bananas, and only eat them if they're smooth and yellow, with a pale green stem and no brown spots. When they start to turn (most people say ripen), I put them in the freezer. They're great for baking with, because you just have to thaw them, then cut off the end and squeeze the liquified banana out. No mashing! I have a freezer full of these guys, so I'm always looking for good banana recipes.

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