Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Rich, moist and delicious, these Banana Cupcakes with fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting are one of my favourite mini desserts. A sweet symbol of celebration, you don't need a special occasion to make these divine little morsels. An excellent way to use up over ripe bananas — the browner they are, the better — the same recipe can be used to make mini banana breads or even smaller bite-size cocktail muffins.

Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 14 cupcakes

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
5 tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
14 whole or chopped pecans, for garnish

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake wrappers and set aside. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add the bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla, and mix to combine. Stir in the nuts, and pour into the muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are firm to the touch. Let rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool.

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese until smooth; then add the sugar and vanilla, and mix until light and fluffy. Chill the frosting for about 30-60 minutes for a firmer icing. To assemble the cupcakes, spread tops with cream cheese frosting and garnish with a whole or chopped pecans.