Friday, February 21, 2014

Banana Cupcakes - First Batch (Try the second!)

When you work every Saturday, it's nice to have all of Friday off! So today was great. I got to make two recipes. I wanted to compare two different banana cupcake recipes and they both came out delicious. This is the first batch I made but I think the second recipe was slightly better, which I will post right after this one.  

These had a slightly more noticeable banana flavor, since there isn't any cinnamon in it. But I like just that little hint of cinnamon, which is in the second recipe I baked. You don't really taste the spice, it just adds alittle depth of flavor.

There's always a chance that cupcakes baked with fruit can turn out very muffin-like, but I'm pleased that both recipes came out with a great cake crumb. However, the second recipe wins the contest overall because it was slightly more moist. I topped both recipes with the same amazing buttercream, which was everyone's favorite part.

Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Caramel Buttercream
Recipe adapted from: Baking with Basil
Yield: 24 cupcakes

Banana Cupcakes
½ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon banana extract
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 large bananas)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place sour cream in a bowl and add baking soda; set aside.

Mix butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs in one at time and beat until combined. Add vanilla and beat until combined.

Mix flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Mix bananas and sour cream mixture. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with banana mixture. Mix after each addition until just combined.

Fill paper baking cups half full and bake for about 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in cupcake tin. Remove cupcakes and continue to cool completely on a wire rack.

Peanut Butter Caramel Buttercream
16 tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural)
3 cups powdered sugar
pinch of table salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp caramel sauce

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and peanut butter at medium-high speed until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and salt to the bowl and beat at low speed just until the combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat the mixture on med-high until fully combined. Mix in vanilla and caramel sauce and beat until combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl again then beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

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