Thursday, December 4, 2008

Banana Cupcakes

My new office doesn't go through bananas nearly as quickly as we buy them. They get all brown and unappealing looking before they're all eaten, so I decided to take the brownest ones home and make a nice treat for the office. I was going to make a banana bread, but thought cupcakes would be more fun. I googled "banana cake" and the first link that came up was "Best Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Ever." I, of course, had to try something that was claiming to be the best and I love cream cheese frosting, so I was sold. I had to tweak the baking times slightly for cupcakes and any other comments are below in red.

Best Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Ever
from Recipe Zaar

1 1/2 cups bananas, mashed, ripe
2 teaspoon lemon juice
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter softened
2 1/8 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups icing sugar
(I only used 3 cups)

chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan (Place cupcake papers in muffin tin for cupcakes).
2. In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with lemon juice; set aside
3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
4. In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 tsp vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in banana mixture.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan (fill each cupcake 2/3-3/4 full, I find that the 1/8 measuring cup is perfect for this) and bake in a preheated oven for one hour (25 mins for cupcakes) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
6. Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 mins. This will make the cake very moist (I completely omitted this step. I just didn't read far enough ahead in the process and had never done this before. Regardless the cupcakes were incredibly moist.)
7. For the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add icing sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed until frosting is smooth.
8. Spread on cooled cake(s). Sprinkle chopped walnuts over top of the frosting, if desired.

The boy and I had these right out of the oven and they were great. He loved the cake, but isn't a huge fan of cream cheese frosting. I love it and think it perfectly complemented these cakes.

They have been a hit in the office, luckily! I still have some bananas leftover and am looking for ideas for what to do with them. Please post your favorite banana recipe, sweet or savory!

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