“For I have known them all already, known them all:-
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?”
The other day I posted a poll asking everyone to vote for what cupcake they thought I should make for the Taste of Lake Murray competition, and peanut butter and banana was the winner. Not going to lie…this was probably the one cupcake I was least confident about. Do you make a peanut butter or banana cake, or both? What kind of frosting are we working with? Bananas tend to give everything a brownish hue that I find quite unappealing, or you use an extract that taste nothing like a real banana. In my humble opinion, everything made with banana flavoring taste like banana runts.
After brainstorming the various banana and peanut butter combinations I ultimately decided to go with a banana cupcake and peanut butter frosting. Unfortunately, I did not have overly ripe bananas, so instead, before I made dinner I mushed up two bananas in a bowl and let them sit on the counter for several hours. I am not really sure of the science behind my endevour, but it seemed to me that this allowed the banana to develop more flavor as it sat. I thought about taking a picture to demonstrate this technique, but literally nothing in the world looks less appetizing than smushed up bananas browning in a bowl, I thought I would spare you!
Throughout the cupcake making process I repeatedly fiddled with the basic rule of baking by improvizing an adding liquid here and dry ingredients there. Luckily the end result was a delightfully light and moist cupcake rich in flavor, but in no way could you consider it a traditional cupcake, instead, I like to call it a banana bread cupcake. This recipe is on the sweeter/lighter end on the banana bread spectrum, but one would be hard pressed to find what distinguishes it from banana bread.
Even the frosting was not straight forward. Once I settled on a banana cupcake with a peanut butter frosting I instantly knew I wanted a deep, pungent and unadulterated peanut butter flavor. I set out to make a peanut butter fluff frosting, and expected that those might be the only two ingredients I would need.
Wrong! While my peanut butter fluff icing was totally passable, I needed a gallon of milk to wash it down and it totally buried the far more delicate banana flavor of the cake. The frosting was thinned with buttermilk, reconstituted with powdered sugar a few times over. I even, in the search for more depth of flavor, got a little excited with the cinnamon and dumped several heavy handfuls into the mixer. Ultimately, and I am not really quite sure how, I achieved a pretty awesome light but full of flavor peanut butter icing.
These cupcakes will never, ever win a desert competition, but they just might win something in the breakfast category. This is a great twist on traditional banana bread and quite a crowd pleaser. I can imagine these making quite the splash at an early morning tailgate, and knowing Clemson I will have quite a few of those on the docket this year! I hope you enjoy and can brighten someone’s boring breakfast by introducing them to the patent pending “Breakfast Cupcake”, haha just kidding, but no really, these are GOOD!
Banana Bread Cupcakes
1/2 cup of butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 smashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup butter milk
1/4 cup dark rum
2 1/4 cup pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
Banana Fluff Frosting
17 oz creamy peanut butter
7 oz marshmallow creme
1/4 cup buttermilk (as needed)
1/4 cup powdered sugar (as needed)
2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and well grease mini cupcake pan.
Mash ripe bananas in a bowl with potato masher or fork. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar in mixer. Add egg, vanilla, buttermilk, rum and banana.
Combine dry ingredients; flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in separate bowl.
Slowly add in flower mixture until fully incorporated.
Fill tin 3/4 of the way full and place in oven.
Cook for 12 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Let cupcakes sit for 5 minutes, remove from pan and let cool.
While cupcakes are cooling combine peanut butter and fluff in mixer. Beat until well incorporated.
Slowly alternate adding in buttermilk and sugar. Continue until the frosting reaches your desired consistancy.
Either pipe or spread frosting onto cupcakes and enjoy!