Banana Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Anytime we have ripe bananas around I like to throw them into smoothies or make banana bread. But this time around I decided to use my spotted bananas for something a little sweeter. Since I had a bowl of leftover cream cheese frosting sitting in our fridge that I wanted to use, I thought these cupcakes would be perfect!
I have to admit, I had never made banana cupcakes before this. I was nervous about how they’d turn out. I definitely didn’t want frosted banana bread muffins (although now that I think of it, those sound really good too). I took extra care to make sure I didn’t overmix the batter and that the bananas didn’t weigh these cupcakes down. They turned out incredibly light and tender, just the way I wanted!
For the base or batter, I adapted a recipe from one of my favorite sites, Sally’s Baking Addiction. I knew I could trust Sally to come up with a recipe that wouldn’t disappoint! I was right! I started off by creaming some butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until it was light and fluffy. I love that these have brown sugar in them to help add extra flavor and keep them moist. I did scale back on it a bit, but there’s definitely enough to make these sweet! Next, I added my eggs and egg white (the egg white for extra volume and lightness). Once those were incorporated I added the vanilla extract and mashed banana. Make sure you use really ripe bananas (I’m talking lots of dark spots all over them) for these cupcakes as they add to the overall sweetness of the cupcakes. Then in a separate mixing bowl I whisked together my dry ingredients which included a generous amount of cinnamon and slowly added it along with the buttermilk to the wet ingredients in my stand mixer. After mixing it for a minute or so a nice batter came together. If you have small lumps in your batter don’t fret, it’s perfectly ok! Overmixing causes tough cake and we definitely want to avoid that!
I scooped the batter into my prepared pans (using a #2o scoop which is approximately 3.5 tbsp.) and then placed them into the oven to bake. Mine were done around the 18 minute mark, but they might take up to 20 minutes to fully bake. Since I already had the frosting made, I removed it from the refrigerator as soon as the cupcakes came out so that it could thaw a little (it had been in for about 24 hours so it was pretty solid). If you’re making the frosting the same day, you just need to chill it for 15-20 minutes before using it.
Since these cupcakes were just for us, I got pretty lazy with the frosting. I used my offset spatula to cover the tops of the cupcakes and made sure to pile it extra high in the centers. If you’re making these for a special occasion you can dust a little cinnamon over them and place a slice or two of banana on top, that way people know that they’re banana cupcakes ;) I hope you’ll love these as much as we did! Enjoy & happy baking!
- ½ c. unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- ¼ c. brown sugar
- 2 eggs + 1 egg white, room temperature
- 1½ c. very ripe banana, mashed (about 3 large bananas)
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ c. buttermilk
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp. salt
- Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 3 c. powdered sugar
- ½ c. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 8 oz. (1 block) original cream cheese, room temperature for 30 minutes
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two standard size muffin pans with 18 liners, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugars together, beat on high until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs (and white) one at a time, mixing after each addition, then add the vanilla and mashed bananas, beating just until combined.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. With the mixing speed on low, gradually alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk. Mix until no large flour pockets remain, but taking care not to overmix the batter. It's ok if the batter is slightly lumpy.
- Using a spoon or a large scoop (I like my #20 scoop), divide the batter between the lined wells. Place in the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes or until the tops spring back. Remove and allow to cool while preparing the frosting.
- To prepare the cream cheese frosting, using the paddle attachment cream the butter, vanilla extract, and salt for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. With mixing speed on low gradually add the powdered sugar, beat until it forms a fondant-looking ball. Add the cream cheese and mix on the lowest speed possible for 1½ minutes, then STOP! Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 20 minutes or until cupcakes have completely cooled.
- To assemble the cupcakes, spread a generous layer of frosting over top the cooled cupcakes. You can also pipe the frosting on top too. Garnish with a dusting of cinnamon or a slice of banana (both of which are completely optional).