Banana Caramel Cupcakes

One thing that’s easy to do as a mother is to compare yourself or your children to other mothers and children. It’s especially easy to do when you and your friends are potty training your kids at the same time. Like, I have a friend who is potty training her son who is 6 months younger than Connor and he’s killing it! Hardly any accidents and he’s already pooped in the potty (is it bad etiquette to use the word “poop” in a food blog? Eh. I’m a mom. That doesn’t bother me). Meanwhile, Connor frequently pees on the floor and is adamant about NOT pooping in the potty. 

*Sigh* Potty training will be the death of me.

Want to know how I get through it?

Well, first of all, I remind myself that all kids are different and that he won’t be going off to college (or even kindergarten) still wearing Pull-Ups, and blah blah blah.

Also, I make yummy things. And then I eat them. Have I mentioned I’ve put on at least 3 pounds since starting this blog? (OK, I haven’t actually weighed myself since I started, but my clothes aren’t fitting like I’d like, so I’m guesstimating here.)

Whatever gets you through the day. I’d rather have a cupcake problem than a drinking problem. Drinking problems usually don’t fare well for single moms.

Anyway, I made something yummy. And then I ate some of them. Mostly the frosting.

Banana Caramel Cupcakes
(adapted from Annie’s Eats)
makes 24-ish cupcakes (I got about 3 dozen!)

Cupcake Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)

Frosting Ingredients:
3 large egg whites, room temperature (very important for them to be at room temperature!)
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 sticks butter, cut into 1 tbsp pieces, room temperature
1/2 cup caramel (the original recipe tells you how to make your own. I used pre-made caramel, because I like to cheat), plus more for drizzling

Directions:
To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk together and set aside. With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium low and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the mashed banana until combined. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour and only mixing until incorporated (do not over mix).
Fill each cupcake liner 2/3- 3/4 full and bake about 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (the tops will still look uncooked but if the toothpick comes out clean you’re good). Let cool in the pans for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting: Combine the egg whites and the sugar in a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the mixture is hot and sugar is completely dissolved (if you rub it between your fingers you should not feel any sugar granules). Transfer the mixture to a clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on medium-high speed until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the salt. Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, mixing completely before adding another. Add the caramel and mix until well blended.

Frost the cooled cupcakes with the frosting and drizzle with a little more caramel.

everything’s better when topped with caramel

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