Monday, September 14, 2009

Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting (Cupcake Hero)

UPDATE: The Cupcake Hero::September roundup is up! Please go check out all the entries and VOTE for your favorite!

Can I let you in on a little secret? Although this blog seems to be raining them lately, I didn’t always love cupcakes. Quite the opposite. This girl who prides herself on being a non-snobby foodie used to thumb her nose at all that cutesy-ness (all the while concealing a soft spot for those fluffy swirls of frosting). Ironically that frosting was also the source of my aversion.

Until I started doing my own baking, the frosting I encountered was mostly greasy and nauseatingly sweet. To me, a cupcake was just a pretty, overpriced face disguising a pile of butter+sugar paste. But inspired by countless blogs over the last few years, I discovered truly scrumptious frostings, including cream cheese whipped cream, ganache, and swiss meringue buttercream. That issue resolved, it was only a matter of time before the adorably portable and portion-controlled (ha!) cupcake won me over...and I began entering cupcake contests (see the natural progression?).

These delicate cakes wouldn't show off their insides willingly.
The struggle was intense, the spoils beyond delicious!

So without further ado, I present to you my second entry to Cupcake Hero::September. These are chocolate-filled banana cupcakes with peanut butter mousse frosting that's just sweet enough. Quite a mouthful! Really they could just be called “scrumptious” or “sexy” and it’d be just as accurate. But if you make these (and I insist that you do!), do yourself a favor and have a glass of milk or coffee close-by. Enjoy!

Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Filling and Peanut Butter Frosting
[Printable Recipe]
Cake adapted from Evil Shenanigans (Love that blog title!)
Frosting from Maple N' Cornbread
Makes 12 cupcakes

1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used 1/3 cup yogurt and 3 tablespoons milk)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Filling (Recipe below)
Peanut Butter Mousse Frosting (Recipe below)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a standard muffin pan with paper liners. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Peel your ripe banana and mash it very well until there are no large chunks remaining. Add the buttermilk to the bananas, mix well, and set aside.

Using an electric or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and then the vanilla, mixing well after each addition. Add half of the flour mixture, the banana mixture, then the rest of the dry ingredients.

Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full (I like to use my large cookie scoop for this). Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 25 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cool, cut a cone in each cupcake and spoon in 2-3 teaspoons of the chocolate filling. Replace the cone and frost as desired (I used an Ateco 808 tip).

Chocolate Filling
1/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Combine the chocolate chips and cream in a medium, microwave-safe bowl. Try to submerge the chocolate as much as possible, but it's okay to have some above the cream. Microwave the mixture on medium for 1 minute. Stir and heat again in 15-second increments, stirring each time, until fully melted. Let this cool and thicken (in the fridge if needed) before using.

Peanut Butter Mousse Frosting
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 to 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Place the butter and peanut butter in a bowl. Whip with electric beaters on low until mixed. Add the remaining ingredients, beating on high speed for 2-3 minutes until light and very fluffy.


  1. Saw your photo in the CH flickr photostream and had to come tell you how delicious they look! Great job and good luck.

  2. Wow--talk about a good-looking banana recipe! These look fantastic, Xaiolu. And your blog is just beautiful! I'm going to be a repeat visitor, I can see that right now. :)


  3. These are so freaking gorgeous! You always seem to make the most impressive cupcakes everrrr!

    And I never liked cupcakes before either, or I'd just scoop off the entire mound of frosting because it was too sugary! Now I know better though!

  4. Such a wonderful flavor combo - and they look adorable!

  5. I am sure I could pop a bunch of those little babies!! They look absolutely delicious!

  6. Wow, I want to eat one of these right now! That mousse frosting looks dreamily soft.

  7. I'm glad you guys like them! All the entries are so darn adorable, I just wanna buy a dozen bananas and go to town!

    Jane - Aw thanks! I'm still a newbie but I think I'm starting to get the hang out this blogging business :)

    Michelle - You are too sweet (pun intended?) and I'm glad other people have the same issue. I seem to encounter more people who love the frosting more than the cake than others like me.

    Deb - Thanks a lot. I looked at your jewelry on Etsy. It's very unique and sweet.

    Dana - Do believe me, it's as soft and creamy as it looks. Please try it!

  8. Your cupcakes are gorgeous! Am thinking of doing a cupcake wedding cake with different flavors for our wedding in December this year!

    One Question: When did you add the chocolate fililng? Did you bake it in with the cupcakes or did you cut out a cone and added it in after?

    Thank you and good luck!
    Vancouver, BC

  9. Thanks so much for pointing that omission out, Trish! I used the cone method and have edited the instructions above to reflect that. By the way, I love the idea of wedding cupcakes. Congratulations and best of luck!

  10. I had been thinking...would banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting make a good combo??? Then I came across your blog/pictures and I thought...Oh, yeah!
    I am also a bigger fan of cakes than frosting (although I am trying to change that with light and fluffy frostings). The banana cupcakes were absolutely delicious - so...much...better...than the box mix (as I am just starting to bake, I am beginning to see/taste the difference between recipes from scratch and box mixes). The peanut butter mousse, however, seemed to have the same consistency as peanut butter alone. I am wondering if it's because I used the paddle from my KA mixer instead of the whisk. I kept thinking the pb mix might be too thick for the whisk. Should I have used my hand mixer instead???
    Otherwise, delish! Thanks so much!


I love hearing from you all! Please leave me a message if you have questions, advice, or just to let me know you stopped by. Your feedback is always very much appreciated. Thanks! <3 Xiaolu