Monday, May 9, 2011

Banana-Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Article first published as Banana Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting on Blogcritics.

Banana Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

We should own stock in Dole around my house!  We buy 2 bunches of bananas every single week.  They are the hands-down favorite of my younger daughter and a frequent mid-morning snack or commuting breakfast for me.  I also love to use them in desserts because their unique texture and inherent sweetness often allows for lighter recipes.  Here is a banana cupcake recipe that I use regularly – I have some in the oven right now as a Mother’s Day treat. 

For the cupcakes:

2 large or 3 small very ripe bananas
½ cup sugar
6 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup flour
½ tsp baking soda
 ¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1 (6 oz.) container light vanilla yogurt

For the Frosting:

2 Tbsp butter, softened
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a muffin tin with paper liners – this recipe will make 12 cupcakes. First, mash the bananas well and mix in ¼ cup sugar. Set aside.  In medium bowl, mix all dry ingredients together.  Set aside.  In large mixer, mix softened butter, remaining ¼ cup sugar, and vanilla.  Beat well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Now, add about 1/3 of the dry ingredients, followed by 1/3 of the yogurt.  Repeat until both are gone.  Bake for 25 minutes and cool completely on wire rack.

To make the frosting, mix the softened cream cheese and butter together with the powdered sugar, and add in the vanilla.  Beat until smooth and creamy.  Frost the cupcakes and then garnish with chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, mini chocolate chips, or toasted coconut as desired.  

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