Monday, September 27, 2010

Banana Cupcakes: Time to Admit that You’re 30

Another birthday.

Another batch of mini-cupcakes.

This time the honoree is a coworker who is now 30 years old, just like me. His request was banana cupcakes with vanilla frosting. I prodded him about doing half of the cupcakes with vanilla frosting, and another half with chocolate. To give everybody a choice. And to give me an excuse to make, and eat, more dark chocolate buttercream frosting. My coworker concurred, so I went to work on the cupcakes this weekend.

The recipe is available from several internet recipe sites, though none of them credit the original source. If anybody happens to know what the original source is, I’ll be more than happy to credit it.


1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas

2 teaspoons lemon juice

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup softened butter

2 1/8 cups sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons banilla

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

The above ingredient list is for one batch, however, I made two batches of batter for reasons that will be revealed at a future date. Thus, my ingredient snapshots look a little outrageous. But I’m OK with that.

Since this recipe calls for very ripe bananas, I bought them six days before I planned to make the cupcakes, and at T-1 day, they still weren’t turning brown. I resorted to this tactic.

They’re sharing the bag with an apple.

This helps. It really does. It helps because the apple emits ethylene gas, which ripens the bananas faster when in a paper bag with said gas.

Once you make sure that your bananas are ripened, it’s time to get cooking (for real). Preheat your oven to 275° F and line the mini cupcake pan with liners. Now you can pull out your butter, sugar, vanilla, and eggs.

Whip the butter and sugar until fluffy, then add one egg at a time to make the mixture even fluffier, and finally incorporate the vanilla.

While you are doing that, you can mix together your dry ingredients and set them aside.

After the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla are nice and fluffy, pull out the mixed dry ingredients as well as the buttermilk.

Alternate incorporating the dry ingredient mixture and the buttermilk mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.

But wait? Where are the bananas? Shouldn’t they be mixed up with the lemon juice to bring out the banana flavor?

Yes, they should. Mash them up and mix them with the lemon juice. I personally engaged in “gratuitous use of food processor” to accomplish this.

It was worth it. Once they were mashed, I mixed them in with the rest of the batter.

I may or may not have gone over the capacity of the mixing bowl. You decide.

Fill the mini cupcake liners about 2/3 full, and then bake for 18-20 minutes.

While they cool, make up a batch of classic chocolate buttercream frosting, and frost them up.

Banana and chocolate. Brought together by butter and sugar, in the name of turning 30. I like this.


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