Saturday, August 02, 2008

Let those bananas go extra dark for these Banana Cupcakes with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting...

Last weekend while we were at the market, I made sure to pick up a few extra bananas. I didn't need them until today, but I wanted to give them plenty of time for their their sunny yellow jackets to turn quite dark, letting me know that the sweet banana meat inside was aching to be used.

I used those extra-ripe bananas to make a batch of these Banana Cupcakes with Honey-Cinnamon Frosting. These cupcakes contain the spirit of banana bread, but are not quite as dense as you would find a typical loaf. They are also a bit more special as their crowns are covered in a luscious spiced up buttercream.

Depending on the size and ripeness of your bananas, I suggest picking up four whole ones to get the amount of mashed banana required. If you end up with a bit left over, don't let it go to waste - wrap it well and stick it in the freezer. Bananas will freeze quite well for recipes - you can either leave their jackets on or take them off, if desired. If you do leave them on, when you go to use them, let them thaw in the refrigerator and then snip off the bottom or top - then you can just squish out the juicy meat inside and you have instant mashed banana! As they thaw, they will release quite a lot of juice - however, do not throw this out! Mix that sweet liquid back in with the banana.

The frosting for these moist cupcakes is a simple mixture of powdery confectioners' sugar, softened butter, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of cinnamon. When it is first combined, the smooth frosting will have a darker tinge to it, but as it goes round and round in the the mixer, it will begin to lighten up as it looks in our picture. The small amount of honey brought a fantastic depth and I'm sure this will sound odd, but it seemed to help cut that extra sweetness of an easy buttercream like this. That whisper of cinnamon made the transition of frosting to the very banana-flavored cupcake feel seamless as it tied the two together and yes, we did use our favorite Vietnamese cinnamon as that is the only one I keep stocked in the pantry. We both commented that the cupcakes were almost on the verge of being a muffin because of the more open texture on the inside, but I do think these are still worthy of the cupcake title with that spiced buttercream on top!


  1. MMmmmm those look good! I'm notorious for "unintentionally" letting bananas go for too I have another option besides banana bread to think of. Thanks for sharing!

  2. That frosting - I think I would eat it on it's own! Vietnamese cinnamon? I would love to tour your pantry, it sounds even more incredible than Nigella's....

  3. Helios - See, Jeff is the opposite and will never let a banana go unless I hide them. He says they are too icky to use for anything!

    Quinn - We did a pantry post while ago and I have been meaning to do an update with our spice/herb arrangement!

  4. Joe, I just made the banana cupcakes. They are FANTASTIC! Thanks so much for the recipe.

  5. I love combos like this one. You can't go wrong with any bananas dessert.

  6. Vanessa - Fantastic! Thanks for the feedback.

    Helene - Love bananas!