I’m not really ready to give up on banana cupcakes yet, much to my mother’s dismay. (She’s dying to use the brown bananas for pudding, but we all know how I feel about that.)
The thing is, I’m not crazy about them. Sure, I’ve made Banana Pudding Cupcakes, Banana Bread Cupcakes, and even Banana Caramel Cupcakes, and I’ve liked them all, but I’ve not looooved them. They’ve all tasted good, but there’s just something about the texture of them that I don’t find as appealing as a “regular” cupcake (the banana pudding cupcakes are not included in this “texture dilemma” so much, because they are flavored with banana pudding, rather than actual bananas). Something about using bananas in the batter makes them kind of gooey…or gluey…or something. I can’t put my finger on the right adjective, but it’s not light and fluffy like I’d like.
But I do love bananas. And banana bread. So I’m not throwing in the towel yet, but I am close. I have a few more recipes in my artillery that I’ll try, but maybe- just maybe- MY perfect banana cupcake doesn’t exist.
That being said, other people have liked the banana cupcakes that I’ve made (I’m a little hard on myself sometimes).
(I realize I’m not doing the best job of persuading you to make these cupcakes that I’m about to show you. Please don’t get me wrong: these cupcakes ARE good. And they have Nutella in them, so, hey! Added bonus. Nothing with Nutella in it is ever bad. True story.)
Banana Cinnamon Cupcakes with Nutella Centers
makes 24-30 cupcakes
(recipe from Your Cup of Cake)
1/4 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
1 box white cake mix
3 medium bananas, mashed well
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
small jar of Nutella (you will have some leftover)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake tins with liners. In a large bowl, combine eggs, oil, buttermilk, and sour cream. Sift in the cake mix and stir until combined.
In a separate bowl, mix the (mashed) bananas with the baking soda, cinnamon, and vanilla. Add the banana mixture to the cake mix mixture and stir. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full and place 3/4 teaspoon of Nutella into the center of each unbaked cupcake. (The Nutella will sink as the cupcakes bake, but feel free to swirl with a toothpick.) Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for a few minutes, then transfer to write racks to cool completely.
To make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well (add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix well between additions). If frosting is too thick, add a little milk. If frosting is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar until the desired consistency is reached. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
Seriously, these cupcakes are good, and would be good for a brunch (I’m just a weird “texture person”). The cinnamon is a great compliment to the banana and the Nutella just works so well with the flavors also. The frosting is cinnamon-y and cream cheesy (yes, that’s a word) and would be good all on its own. Or on other cupcakes. That works, too.