Monday, March 24, 2014

Moist Banana Cupcakes

“What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.”
- Oprah Winfrey

These banana cupcakes are one of the cupcakes I made for an event recently, as I mentioned in my last post. They were so well received that someone who attended that event, had me makes these cupcakes and the raspberry cupcakes for her event a few weeks later. So hey, these are pretty great! (If I do say so myself.)

Here are my mashed bananas, from the freezer is fine, just thaw them first, drain them of liquid and mash. Make sure they are very ripe for the best flavor.
I like using bananas in baked goods because I have a husband who doesn't like to eat a banana when it has even a few black spots.  That means my freezer sees a lot of bananas. No problem. I just thaw them and use them for yummy baked goods like these moist cupcakes.

My batter is ready to go, ready to be scooped into the cupcake tins

These cupcakes are everything you want a banana cupcake to be.

1. Full of banana flavor.

2. A great, moist texture.

Ready for the oven
Yep, these hit all the right notes. 
I frosted them with a mascarpone frosting. I love mascarpone cheese. It's sometimes called Italian cream cheese. It's much better tasting than traditional cream cheese, in my opinion. It's richer with a less tangy flavor.

Right out of the oven

The only ingredients in the mascarpone frosting is the cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. I've made mascarpone frostings before that included cream, and also ones that included butter. This version is my favorite. The flavor of the mascarpone cheese really stands out. The only down side is mascarpone cheese isn't cheap. If you live in the U.S., Trader Joes is the best place to buy it that I know of. The last time I checked, at the Trader Joes closest to me (which is about an hour away, so not super close) I think mascarpone cheese was 2.89 for the 8 oz. container. But at my local supermarket it's close to 5.00. And you need 3 containers. So yeah, not cheap, but very delicious. If you don't want to make this frosting, don't substitute cream cheese, just make another recipe. I'll list a few other frosting recipes below.

Here is some of my mascarpone cheese - 2 of my containers are pictured, but I needed 3 to frost my cupcakes.

Since most people like bananas, I think these are a great choice for a crowd.

Here is my mascarpone frosting - this stuff is to die for, especially if you are a mascarpone lover like me.

I hope these are as successful for your people, as they were for mine!

We have deer that live on our land. They are really active now that it's Spring.

More frosting recipe choices that would be great with these cupcakes:

Traditional Cream Cheese frosting from my Super Moist Red Velvet Cupcakes.

A yummy vanilla Not Too Sweet Frosting from my Best Super Moist White Cupcake Recipe.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream - (also not too sweet, and so yummy,) from My Favorite White Cupcakes

Toasted Marshmallow Frosting from my Sweet Potato Cupcakes.

Salted Caramel Buttercream -or Caramel Buttercream with a little less salt - from my Whoopie Pies.

Chocolate Buttercream from my Best Moist Chocolate Cupcake Recipe.

If you didn't already hear, I've started a second Etsy shop! Coco's Kitchen is where I sell vintage cookbooks and vintage kitchen items. I'm adding new items all the time, and I would love it if you checked it out, and favorited my shop, and even spread the word, if that's your kind of thing. Thank you!

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Vintage Blue Lace Tablecloth, Fenton "Spanish Lace" Milk Glass Cake Stand, Shelley Primrose Chintz Plate Set, Rosina Queens Daintyflower teacup, Antique Nippon Blue Cream and Sugar Set, and Vintage FB Rogers Silver Tray available at my Etsy Shop, House of Lucien.

Moist Banana Cupcakes

makes 24 cupcakes

For the Cupcakes


2 cups (310 g.) flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 sticks (8 oz.)  butter at room temperature

1 1/4 cup (278 g.) white sugar

1/2 cup (118 ml.) sour cream or yogurt, a yogurt with fat in it is best, meaning try not to use a nonfat yogurt

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

4 eggs

5  very ripe bananas mashed, or 2 cups mashed (16 oz.) (473 ml.)

1 cup chopped walnuts - optional - I've made these cupcakes about 4 times now, and I haven't used nuts yet, but I plan to at some point, depending on who I serve them to.

Dried Banana Chips for topping, optional

Mascarpone Frosting

This amount of frosting will frost 24 cupcakes using about the same amount as I have used in the photos.


3 - 8 oz. packages mascarpone cheese

3 cups (315 g.) powdered sugar

3 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 180 degrees Celsius, Gas Mark 4. Line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners, greaseproof are best.

In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the room temperature butter, and sugar and beat until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for a few seconds, just to make sure it's all been mixed in.

In another large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. The flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Add the sour cream and vanilla to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat together until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat together. (I just start the mixer on low, and add an egg, wait a few seconds, add another, etc. until they have all been added.) (Of course I have the eggs cracked into a small bowl first, so as not to risk getting a piece of egg shell into my cupcakes.) Add the mashed bananas and mix again until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again just to be sure it's all been incorporated.

Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Mix just until it's been combined. Be careful not to overmix it, now that you have added the flour, you don't want to overwork it. Just mix it until it's all been incorporated. Scrape down the bowl one more time, and mix it together. Stir in the nuts, (if using) just until they have been mixed in.

Scoop with an ice cream scoop, or spoon with a spoon, the batter into the cupcake liners until they are about 2/3rds full. Bake for about 18-22 minutes until they pass a toothpick test. While cupcakes are baking, make the frosting, (directions below.)

Cool on wire racks for 10-20 minutes. Then remove them from the muffin tins and finish cooling on wire racks until cool.

Frost the cupcakes with the frosting and top with a dried banana chip, if desired.

Directions for Mascarpone Frosting

The mascarpone cheese is soft enough to be used straight from the fridge. It can be used cold, or at cool room temperature. If the cheese is at too warm of room temperature, it can melt like butter.

Beat the mascarpone cheese with the vanilla extract for about a minute. Stop the mixer and add the powdered sugar. Start the mixer on low until the sugar has been mixed with the mascarpone, (to make sure it doesn't fly out of your mixer) continue beating on medium high for another minute or so.

Refrigerate any leftover frosting. If you want to frost cupcakes after it's been refrigerated, you will need to beat it again.


Mindy said...

Yummy - banana and carrot cake is where it's at. I'm anxious to try the mascarpone frosting!

ulabie said...

I made these yesterday. I opted to add the chopped walnuts into the batter and garnished the mascarpone icing with the nuts, also. So delicious! I brought them in for a potluck at work and they got so many compliments.

Unknown said...

Hi! These cupcakes looks great. I am looking for a banana cupcake that is moist, but also light and fluffy. What do you think about substituting cake flour or some cornstarch? Did you use AP Flour for a specific reason? I would really like your feedback. I plan on making these for my son's birthday next week! Thank you!!

The Alchemist said...

Hi Taylor, good question. The only reason I didn't do that is that I wasn't specifically trying to make it light and fluffy, but, now that you mention it, it's a great idea. I think if that's what you are looking for, then you should definitely either sub cake flour, or substitute some corn starch for some of the flour. Next time I make these, I'm actually going to try it myself since it's such a great idea. So thanks for bringing it up!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much! Do you think I can sub the flour and leave the proportions of everything else the same?

The Alchemist said...

Taylor - Yes, I think you can substitute cake flour for the Ap flour and leave everything else the same. Good luck!

Claudine said...

Can I substitute yogurt for sour cream or just not use the sour cream? Thanks for the wonderful recipes that you post.

The Alchemist said...

Claudine - Yes, substitute the sour cream with yogurt.

Unknown said... having a hard time looking for mascarpone cheese here in the Philippines....any other frosting that you can suggest that would taste good with the banana moist cupcake other than the one you posted?thanks

The Alchemist said...

Jan - Yes, please scroll up from the recipe where I've listed other frosting recipes that would go good with these.

Unknown said...

hi. can i substitute the sour cream or yogurt with just plain milk? thanks.

The Alchemist said...

Ma. Cristina Garcia - You can substitute milk if you sour it first, making it closer to sour cream or yogurt. Sour it by adding a few teaspoons of lemon juice or vinegar to the milk and let it sit for 15 minutes. If you substitute plain milk they wont be as moist. The "sour" in yogurt or sour cream works with the flour to make baked goods moist.

Good luck and happy baking!

Alana said...

Hi Melissa, I adore your recipes and bake them very regularly to acclaimed reviews! I have trouble with these banana ones shrinking. They lose height and also pull away from the cupcake cases as they shrink all over. The only adaption I have made to this recipe is substituting dark chocolate chips for the walnuts. Please do you have any suggestions as to what is going wrong? Thanks :)

The Alchemist said...

Alana - I know what you're saying this has happened to me as well. Sometimes I don't mind because I still like the texture. This is happening because there is too much liquid or wet ingredients. So to remedy it only use 1/2 cup sour cream and reduce the bananas slightly and see if you like the results better. I'm going to change the recipe to that amount of sour cream. I hope that helps.
Good luck and happy baking!

Alana Bryett said...

Hi again Meliissa,

Thank you for your fabulous feedback. What I didnt mention in my post is that I live in a very hot humid climate. I had considered that the very wet nature of the batter might be the problem which was significantly hampered by the very humid conditions outside of the oven in the cooling process. With that in mind, I am now cooling the cupcakes in the airconditioning with significantly improved outcomes. The cupcakes look so much better, and the reduction of sour cream has been helpful too.
Thank you again for your wonderful blog & recipes.

Masha said...

I just made these today and they are delicious! Very banana-y and not too sweet.

Jan said...

should the batter look curdle? they taste great but didn't rise as high enough for me. i did use 1/2 cup of sour cream. am going to make it again and use a little less of bananas

Unknown said...

The first time I ever made these cupcakes was a sold out! Everyone loved it! I just substituted 1/4 of the sugar with brown as it added additional flavor to it. I want to thank you for sharing these recipes. I also love your carrot cupcake recipe. Will try the white cupcakes soon but I made the silky vanilla frosting ahead and Im just waiting for it to cool down. I will be using it to frost the banana cupcakes I made for a friend's birthday tomorrow! I love and trust your recipes I have made your blog my go to reference for baking recipes.

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