Banana Pudding Cupcakes

Truth be told, I prefer my pudding in cupcake form. (Does that surprise you?)

I’m a texture gal, and pudding isn’t always my dessert of choice. Especially banana pudding. I know, I’m probably going to have my Texan card revoked, since banana pudding is a staple of Southern cuisine (up there with sweet tea and bar-b-que), but I just can’t really get past the mushy bananas and the soggy Nilla Wafers. (PS- I just broke the news to my mom the other night. “Oh, hey, by the way…” She took the news like a champ.)

I like the flavor. I want to like the dish as a whole; I think that’s why I fought it for so long. Bananas? Love. Nilla Wafers? LOVE. Just something about putting it all together that doesn’t work for me. But when I saw that someone had combined all the flavors together for me in a nice, personal-sized cake, I was in.

This recipe cheats a bit, in that the base is a box cake mix (no one needs to know, I always say. Shh…), but I like that sometimes. I mean, tonight I wasn’t in the kitchen the whole night. I was in and out and watching The Office before I knew it. Love that. Speaking of The Office, does anyone else think it’s kind of lame now that Steve Carell is gone? We all saw it coming, didn’t we? I just keep watching now out of faithfulness, but it’s only a matter of time before it goes the way of Grey’s Anatomy, for me (which I blacklisted after the musical episode. What was that?!) But I digress…

I made a few changes to the original recipe, which you can find here, and which I will note below. They really turned out great. They kind of smell like a banana Laffy Taffy, but luckily don’t taste like it, as banana is my least favorite of all Laffy Taffys. (Taffies? What’s grammatically correct there?) The cake is light and airy and fluffy and it’s like eating a banana cloud. In a good way.

Banana Pudding Cupcakes
makes 18-20 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 box yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 small box banana pudding mix (I used instant banana creme)

Banana Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 box banana pudding mix
2 teaspoons banana flavoring (I didn’t have any and didn’t want to go to the store, so I used water instead)
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup water

To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside. Place all cupcake ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into liners and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for a minute in the pan, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
To make the frosting: Mix shortening, banana pudding mix, vanilla, and banana flavoring (or water) with an electric mixer on low speed. Alternate adding the powdered sugar and the water a little at a time until desired consistency is reached. If too thick, add a little more water. If too runny, add a little more sugar (mine was really thick, and didn’t have to add more of anything).
When cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe on the frosting. Garnish with Nilla Wafers, if desired.

Enjoy, y’all! (Had to end on a “Southern” note. Can a get my Texan card back?)

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