Baking banana cupcakes is my way of using the ripe bananas that have been sitting in our fruit bowl. Our family eats a lot of bananas but I think this week we went a little over-board, so we had some leftover that were turning black. I mashed the bananas with a little lemon juice and used it as a flavoring for cupcakes. I added crème fraîche (you could use sour cream) so the cake batter was very moist.
I frosted the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and decorated them with sprinkles I recently bought at Target. Easter is coming soon, so why not prepare some cute sweet treats!
Servings: 24 mini cupcakes
1 egg, at room temperature
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
½ teaspoon allspice
5 bananas, peeled and diced
juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons olive oil (or any other vegetable oil)
6 tablespoons brown sugar
8 tablespoons crème fraîche (or sour cream)
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 tablespoon liquid honey (or any syrup)
4 tablespoons Easter sprinkle toppings (optional)
Mash the bananas with the back of a fork. Drizzle with lemon juice. You could also place the bananas in a food processor and blend until coarsely puréed. Gather about 1-½ cups.
Making olive oil cake batter:
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the granulated sugar using an electric mixer. You'll get a pale yellow foam and the texture of the egg will be thicker. Add the almond extract.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, allspice, baking soda and baking powder. Sift all the dry ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture. Mix well. Add the brown sugar, crème fraîche, olive oil and banana purée.
Making cream cheese frosting: Beat the powdered sugar and cream cheese and 3 tablespoons of the syrup in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed. Beat in enough of the remaining syrup to make a smooth, soft frosting.
Place cupcake liners into the cavities of a mini oval cupcake pan. Place about 2-3 tablespoons of the banana cake batter into each cup.
Bake the cupcakes for 5 minutes at 375°F, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Allow to cool completely.
Frost each miniature sweet with the cream cheese frosting then top with the colored sprinkles.
You can bake the mini cupcakes in a bigger cake pan but I find them more appealing as bite-size treats. You can find cute mini cupcake liners at Daiso, the Japanese version of a 99-cent store. They cost $1.50. If you live in the Bay Area, you should check out this store; they have a lot of interesting items made in Japan and Korea.
If you're planning a vegan version, you could omit the egg and increase the banana purée by ½ cup, replace the crème fraîche with soy yogurt and no frosting. The result is equally delicious.