Banana Pudding Cupcakes

Cupcake Hero round-up is posted!  Go to I Heart Cuppycakes to vote!

Talk about procrastination…it’s my forte for sure.  I did it all through HS (even wrote a paper about it), college and still do it.  What’s funny is, I’m a planner/organizer.  But I still want to wait until the last minute to finish something.  I made, photographed and ate these cupcakes awhile ago, but I’m just now getting around to posting them (deadline is tomorrow).  I’m not a very good writer and it’s not my favorite thing (don’t ask me why I have a blog!), so I think I always save this part for last.  😛

cupcake hero

I actually made these for a blog event called Cupcake Hero.  Click here, here and here for more deets. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?  And the prizes are pretty cool too. 

This month’s ingredient is bananas.  I tried to get my creative juices flowing – which, let me tell you, is not an easy thing – and ended up basing my entry one of my favorite banana treats – banana pudding!  Layers of vanilla wafers, bananas, yummy pudding & whipped cream.  I started my cupcakes just like I start my pudding – I put a vanilla wafer in each cupcake liner and topped it with a banana slice.

banana pudding/cream pie cupcakes

I used a cupcake recipe from Cupcake Bakeshop and they turned out great. I cut the recipe in half and changed up the ingredients just a smidge. They were moist and deeee-licious…I know because I ate all the “middles”. Heehee.

banana pudding/cream pie cupcakes

While the cupcakes were cooling I made the instant vanilla pudding & whipped up some cream. Once the cupcakes were cool, I cut out the middles and piped in the vanilla pudding. I topped them with sweetened whipped cream and sprinkled on some vanilla wafer crumbs.

banana pudding/cream pie cupcakes

The verdict? Good, but not great. It was nothing like the banana pudding I make. It has sweetened condensed milk and incorporates the whipped cream into the pudding. Plus, the whipped cream on top of my cupcakes started to melt a little as I was taking pictures. My “studio” is in my sunroom…see where I’m going with this?

Banana Pudding Cupcakes
Yield: 1 dozen
Cupcake adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop
Printable Recipe

Cupcake:
12 vanilla wafers
1 banana – sliced into 12 rounds
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1-2 medium bananas
¼ cup sour cream + splash of milk
1 egg
3 ounces oil
½ teaspoon vanilla

Pudding:
Vanilla flavored instant pudding + milk – make as directed on the box 🙂

Whipped Cream:
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:
Handful of vanilla wafer crumbs

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners. Place a vanilla wafer and slice of banana in each of the paper cups.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

With a blender or food processor, blend banana, sour cream & milk until smooth.

In another bowl, combine the banana mixture, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla.

Fold dry mixture into the wet mixture.

Scoop the batter into cupcake liners.

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Prepare the pudding & whipped cream while waiting for the cupcakes to cool.

Whipped Cream:
Using a stand (with whisk attachment) or hand-held electric mixer, whisk the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until the whipped cream holds stiff peaks.

After the cupcakes have cooled, remove the center of the cupcakes (I used a decorating tip).

Put the prepared pudding in a pastry bag (you can use a tip or you can just cup the end off a disposable pastry bag) and pipe into the center of the cupcake.

Put the whipped cream in a pastry bag fitted with a tip of your choice and pipe onto the cupcakes.

Sprinkle topping onto whipped cream.

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Banana-Coffee Chocolate Chip Muffins

What does everyone do when they have brown bananas on the counter? Make banana bread! Ok, maybe not everyone. I bet those suckers get tossed more times than we know. But what if you aren’t in the mood for banana bread? Or you just don’t have a few minutes to put it together? Do, what I did. Mash ’em up and stick ’em in the freezer.

About a month ago I had some bananas that were riiiiipe. They were so ripe I was afraid they were attracting things my kitchen didn’t need attracting. So I mashed them up, stuck them in a freezer bag, labeled them and froze them. Then, another round came along. This time, I mashed those up, combined them with the thawed ones and made some Banana-Coffee Chocolate Chip Muffins.

I was originally going to make some boring old banana bread, but then I ran across these bad boys as I was looking through my cookbooks again. I’m so glad I made them. They were definitely a nice change from the norm and hubby commented on how they almost tasted like chocolate chip cookies, but in muffin form. That means “mmmm, yummy!” I know this because he ate two of the night I made them, two of them for breakfast the next morning and another two for breakfast again. 😉

banana-coffee choco chip muffins

The original recipe is actually Banana Espresso, but since I don’t keep instant espresso powder on hand – I use instant coffee granules – I wasn’t going to go out and buy them specifically for these muffins. I just subbed in my usual and it worked out great. I also used mini chocolate chips, because I like how they get distributed more throughout the muffin than regular sized chips.

banana-coffee choco chip muffins

If you have some bananas that you’re on the verge of saying goodbye to, don’t. Make these instead! 🙂

Banana-Coffee Chocolate Chip Muffins
Yield: 1 dozen regular size muffins & 6 mini-muffins
Adapted from Baked, New Frontiers in Baking
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups mashed, very ripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
½ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup butter, melted
¼ cup milk
1 egg
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray or line a regular size muffin pan. (Plus 6 cups from mini tin).

In a medium bowl, stir together the bananas, sugars, butter, milk and egg.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, instant coffee granules, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the well and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill each cup about ¾ full. Bake in the center of the oven fro 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on rack for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove the muffins from the pan and let them finish cooling on the cooling rack.

Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

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Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

I told you I saw pancakes in my future.  😉  But I didn’t want just any pancakes.  I had to have blueberry pancakes.  I also decided to try something a little “healthier”.  I know, we all love that word, don’t we?  Healthy.  What’s healthy anyway?  Can’t we just eat everything in moderation and be healthy?  What’s up with eating grains and oats and vegetables?  Ha.  I kid.  We can’t stuff ourselves with sugar, fat and salt all the time.  At least that’s what I’m trying to teach my almost 2 year old (2 next Monday!). 

I flipped through my Joy of Cooking to see if I could come up with something.  I have some buckwheat pancake mix in my pantry, but that was just a little too “healthy”.  I could have mixed that with a plain pancake batter, but it’s not what I was going for.  As I was flipping through the pancake section, I saw it.  Oatmeal Pancakes.  Of course.  Who doesn’t love a nice warm bowl of oatmeal now and then?  I know I do…however, not at this very-104 degrees-second.  But, put that in the form of a pancake and the whole family’s gobbling them up. 

You can see in the photos the pancakes come out fairly thin.  If you want a thicker pancake my suggestion is to use less liquid when making the oatmeal.  Also, I’d cook these at a lower temperature than a normal pancake and for just a tad longer and flip them over when you see the bubbles and the edges drying, like you normally would. 

Oh, another note.  There is no sugar in this recipe.  So if you just need the sugar, you can either put it in the oatmeal, or do what I did.  Just dust the tops with some confectioners’ sugar.  🙂  In my opinion the batter doesn’t need sugar.  The blueberries were so plump and sweet and with the confectioners sugar on top, it was just perfect.

Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Pancakes
ahhh, covered in a light dusting of powdered sugar

Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Pancakes
Yield: 9 to 10 pancakes using a 1/3 cup measuring cup
Inspired by Joy of Cooking
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cup cooked oatmeal (I used 1-minute oats)
¼ cup mashed banana
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons oil (I used canola)
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup blueberries
1 tablespoon oil or butter for griddle
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions:
Heat griddle to medium heat.

In a mixing bowl whisk the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl combine the eggs, oatmeal, banana, milk, oil & lemon zest.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and combine. Do not overmix.

Fold the blueberries into the batter. My batter was fairly thin. If you want a thicker consistency you’ll want either more oatmeal or use less liquid when cooking your oatmeal.

Grease the griddle with a little oil or butter (no more than a tablespoon).

Ladle pancake batter onto griddle.

When bubbles start to show up and the edges of the pancake start to dry, flip the pancakes – approximately 3 to 5 minutes.

When the second side is brown, remove the pancakes from the griddle.

Dust the top of the pancakes with confectioner’s sugar. Enjoy!

Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 2

banana cupcake

While I was trying to figure out what cupcake to test out next, I started thinking about fruit. Did I want to try strawberry? They’re in season. What other fruit cupcakes are there? What fruit do children eat early on and like? Bananas, duh!

I’ve already posted a banana muffin recipe here, but I knew I wanted a different consistency for the cupcake. I found a recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours, a cookbook I’ve heard a lot of good things about, so I thought it’d be perfect. It’s pretty darn close!

The cupcake was really good.  I made some modifications with the fat and dairy (for what I had on hand and for a lower fat cupcake) and left out the chocolate chunks. 

The frosting I went with was way too sweet.  I liked the consistency though, because I was able to dip the cooled cupcakes into the chocolate instead of actually frosting the tops…call me lazy.  😉  Maybe I’ll try it out with bittersweet chocolate, as it was intended. 

banana cupcake

Classic Banana Cake
Yield: 12
Adapted from a recipe by Ellen Einstein in Baking From My Home to Yours, found here
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons margarine, room temperature and 1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, room temperature
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup buttermilk

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a regular-size muffin tin with paper liners.

Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the margarine until creamy. Add the applesauce and sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then the egg, beating for about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas. Finally, mix in half the dry ingredients (don’t be disturbed if the batter curdles), all the sour cream/buttermilk mixture and then the rest of the flour mixture. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, about 2/3 full.

Bake the cupcakes for about 28 to 32 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. (The cakes will rise above the muffin cups, dome and then spread out and flatten beyond the cups—that’s fine.) Transfer the muffin tin to a rack, cool for 3 minutes, then gently turn the cupcakes out of the tin.  Frost when cooled.

Chocolate Frosting
Yield: Enough to frost 12 cupcakes
Adapted from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I only had semi-sweet)
4 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Take bowl off the heat once melted and sift confectioners’ sugar into bowl.  Stir until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.

Dip tops of cupcake into chocolate and twist for a swirled top.

banana cupcake w/chocolate frosting

Previous Posts:
Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 1

Mini Saga Continued

banana muffins

So, my mission this week was to make mini-muffins. And, I’d like to say that my mission has been accomplished. However, there was a slight mishap with the muffins. Now, if you were to look at the picture you’d think, “What? A mishap? What does she mean?” Well…you don’t see a picture of the muffins out of the paper cup now do you? Haha. I had to go all low fat and use applesauce (instead of butter or oil). Why? I don’t freakin know. Cuz, I had some applesauce and not sour cream and I wanted some really moist muffins? Regardless, the muffins (that I could pry out of the wrapper) were fantabulous. Ok, it’s not quite as bad as I make it seem, but there was some serious stickage to the paper-age. I’ve listed the recipe as I made them, but would probably recommend adding a little fat. 🙂

lemon poppyseed muffins

Banana Muffins
Adapted from Joy of Cooking
Yield: approximately 24 mini
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup applesauce
1 small ripe banana, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners.  Set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl mix the egg, milk, light brown sugar, applesauce, banana and vanilla.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
Fill muffin cups just shy of the top.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Let the muffins cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins
Adapted from Joy of Cooking
Yield: approximately 16 mini
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup applesauce
1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds.
In a separate bowl mix the egg, milk, sugar, applesauce, lemon zest and vanilla.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Do not over mix.
Fill muffin cups just shy of the top.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Let the muffins cool for about 5 minutes before serving.