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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Red, White & Blue Cupcakes For U(SA)

…and for ME!  Happy Almost Birthday to me! Two more days, till I turn double 3.

red, white & blue cupcakes for u(sa)

I told hubby that I was going to make my own birthday (cup)cake this year.  He asked me if I wanted him to make the cake.  I said, uh, no, that’s ok.  🙂  We’ve got a good thing going, let’s not change it…you know, I cook, he does the yard work.  Heehee. 

Anywho, ever since I saw the rainbow cakes making their way around the blogosphere, I wanted to give them a try.  I thought, what better time to try, than for Independence Day, with a red, white & blue theme.  I just needed to find the right cake recipe. 

red, white & blue cupcakes for u(sa)

I’ve read alot of good things about Dorie’s Perfect Party Cake and I have her Baking book, so I took a peek.  She uses lemon as a flavor component; not something I wanted in my birthday (cup)cake.  Don’t get me wrong, I like lemon, but I wanted just a classic white birthday cake flavor.  I decided to go ahead and use her recipe and sub in some vanilla.

red, white & blue cupcakes for u(sa)

I was very pleased with the texture of these cupcakes.  It’s exactly what I think of when I think birthday cake.  The colors turned out pretty good too.  Just beware, you have to use a lot of red just to get this particular shade. What kinda sucked was that my colors didn’t quite turn out the way I’d hoped or expected.  I spooned in the red, the white then the blue batter.  As you can see the blue fell into the midle of the cupcake.  Oh well.  It still tasted good.

red, white & blue cupcakes for u(sa)

This frosting is one of my favs…and I don’t usually like frosting (I’m a whipped cream frosting kind of girl).  One thing to keep in mind; about halfway through the red & blue started fading so I had to re-stripe the bag.  It probably would have been wiser of me to use a new bag, but I’m lazy and stingy frugal.  😉  The colors started blending together a bit after the second striping, so I’d definitely recommend starting fresh with a new bag. 

Red, White & Blue Cupcakes with Red, White Chocolate & Blue Cream Cheese Frosting
Yield: 18 cupcakes
Cake adapted from Baking From My Home To Yours (Perfect Party Cake)
Frosting from
The Essential Baker
Printable Recipe

Cupcake Ingredients:
2 ¼ cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups milk
4 large egg whites
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ pound butter
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Red & blue icing colors

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners; set aside.

Sift (or whisk) together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk the milk and egg whites.

In the mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light in color; about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Add ½ of the milk/egg mixture and beat until incorporated. Add ½ of the remaining flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk/egg mixture and beat until homogeneous (as Dorie puts it). Then add the rest of the flour mixture and beat the batter until it’s mixed thoroughly.

Separate the batter into 3 small bowls. Set aside one of the bowls of batter (white). In another one, mix in some red icing color until you get the color you want. In the last bowl, mix in some blue icing color until you get the color you want. (Use the “mixing color in icing” technique.)

Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners in whatever order you choose. I put red on the bottom, white in the middle, then blue on top (my blue fell into the middle of the cupcake anyway). You could even swirl them for a tie-dye effect.

Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before decorating.

Frosting Ingredients:
8 ounces white chocolate
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

Red & blue icing colors

Directions:
Melt white chocolate in the microwave. Heat the chocolate in 30 second intervals and stir in-between each round.

Beat the cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy; about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add the sugar in 3 stages. Stop occasionally and scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat together until thoroughly blended. Add the melted white chocolate and blend together completely.

To get the red, white & blue colors use the “brush striping” technique.

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Aren’t you glad to see a post about something other than cookies??? Five of the last 10 posts were cookie related! Step away from the cookies, Susan! 🙂

Hope everyone has a fun, but safe 4th of July!

Ice Cream? Cupcake? Both!

ice cream cone cupakes

Ok, technically not both, but it’s a cupcake inside an ice cream cone. 🙂 I’m taking these fun treats to MC’s school for his birthday tomorrow.  His birthday’s Monday, but my family will still be here, so he won’t be going to school.  

If I and MC’s school were able to store them all, I would have put the ice cream on top of the cupcake and then frosted it. But, that wasn’t possible, so I just frosted them instead.  

I thought this was a pretty cute idea, not something you’d normally see.  But, apparently it’s pretty common.  Check out what I found on my box of ice cream cones:

ice cream cone cupakes

I was going for a “funfetti” type cake, but I didn’t want to use a cake mix. I looked around online and found a white cake recipe I could play with. I knew my frosting was going to be sweet, so I cut the amount of sugar in the cake recipe. I also had to use some margarine since I ran out of butter. The only issue I ran into was when I mixed in the sprinkles.  My batter had a blue tinge, but it still had the “confetti” look, whew.

ice cream cone cupakes
I actually cut the tops of the first batch, because I’d overfilled them – see the blueish hue?

I thought I’d try something different with the frosting, because um, remember I ran out of butter, and I didn’t want to go to the store. I used butter flavor shortening. I also thought maybe it’d stand up a little better and keep it’s shape until snack time tomorrow afternoon. 😛 I put sprinkles in the frosting, as well as on top. I think it turned out pretty good…kinda proud of myself.

ice cream cone cupakes

Confetti Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine as found here
Yield: 24 ice cream cone cupcakes
Printable Recipe 

Ingredients:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter + 4 tablespoons margarine , softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
6 large egg whites
¾ cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup sprinkles

Preheat to 350F. Stand ice cream cones up in muffin tins.
In a mixing bowl sift flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a measuring cup combine egg whites, milk and vanilla extract; set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat butter, margarine and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture then add half the milk mixture. Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and beater often. Gently fold in sprinkles.

Fill the cones ½ to 2/3 full of batter. Bake for 25-30, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool before frosting.

Confetti Frosting

Ingredients:
2/3 cup butter flavor shortening
2 to 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream (or milk)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 cup sprinkles

In a stand mixer beat the shortening until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and heavy cream; beat until smooth. Mix in vanilla until combined. For a stiffer frosting add more confectioners’ sugar. For a thinner frosting add more heavy cream (or milk). Gently fold in the sprinkles and pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 3

Devil’s Food Cupcakes w/White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
devil's food cupcake w/white chocolate cream cheese frosting

I’ve been on the hunt lately, can you tell? 😉

I’ve never been much of a frosting girl, it just seemed too sweet, too much, too…something. But, I always loved the cake. But then, I met the cream cheese frosting and the whipped cream frosting. I haven’t tried the whipped cream frosting yet. Not sure how to go about it, so I’m doing some research. If anyone has any tips or a good recipe, please let me know!

As for the cream cheese frosting, it’s a no brainer.  I’ve always been a fan of cream cheese – on my bagel, in cheesecake. One thing I’ve noticed about using cream cheese is that the full fat version is easier to handle than the low fat version. What I mean is, It just stiffens (haha) up better. Not that you want the frosting hard (geez), just firm enough to decorate with or so it doesn’t drip.  I found that refrigerating this particular frosting for about 15-20 minutes helped.

devil's food cupcake w/white chocolate cream cheese frosting
You’re thinking to yourself, where did she get those mad decorating skills? Ahahahaha!

In making a cream cheese frosting I’ve always used the butter, cream cheese, vanilla & confectioners’s sugar blend. But, as I was trying to come up with something that incorporated white chocolate, I came across this recipe from Culinate (out of Carole Bloom’s The Essential Baker). 

Being a novice baker I thought to myself, where’s the butter?  Then, I melted the white chocolate.  Ah ha!  I know that the properties of white chocolate are much different than actual chocolate (white chocolate is just sugar, milk and cocoa butter – contains no cocoa solids), but did not actually KNOW the difference until I saw it.  When the white chocolate melted (I ended up using Ghirardelli White Chocolate Chips – it’s what I had on hand), it was more of a solid melt than a liquid melt.  I wish I’d taken a picture to portray what I’m not explaining very well.

Exactly what am I trying to say?  MAKE THIS FROSTING!  If you like white chocolate and you like cream cheese, you will LOVE this frosting.  I LOVE this frosting.  It’s yumalicious! Seriously!  Hubby said it’s the best and his fav so far.  Yeah!

I think I may try this frosting with the banana cupcakes.  I think that may be a winning combo.  But don’t worry…I’m still searching for “the ultimate”.  🙂

 devils food cupcake devils food cupcake

Devil’s Food Cupcakes
Adapted from Cupcake Bake Shop
Yield: 12 cupcakes
Printable Recipe

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup milk 
1/4 cup margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a regular muffin/cupcake tin with paper liners; set aside.

Measure out everything but the egg directly into your mixer’s bowl.
Mix on low speed just until incorporated. 
Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.
Add egg; beat on high speed again for 2 minutes.

Measure out batter into cupcake tins (I filled them just over 1/2 full). A 2″ ice cream scoop works great for this (I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup). Bake for about 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool slightly in the pan then transfer to a rack to cool completely before frosting.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Click here for the recipe – I didn’t modify anything

Previous Posts
Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 1
Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 2

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

Search For The Ultimate Birthday Cupcake, Part 1

Vanilla Cupcakes w/Peanut Butter Frosting
vanilla cupcake w peanut butter frosting (250)

MC’s 2nd birthday is coming up next month and I decided that I’d make cupcakes for the party.  Much easier for little toddler fingers. 😉 That means I have 30+ days to test out new cupcake and frosting recipes.

The first test was Billy’s Vanilla Vanilla Cupcake with Kathleen’s Peanut Butter Icing.  The cupcake had a very nice buttery flavor, but when it cooled, the tops hardened.  Maybe I left them in the oven too long.

The icing/frosting (is there a difference?) was awesome, but you have to love peanut butter.  I think I’ll keep it in the back of my mind, but won’t be using it for MC’s birthday party…too many issues with allergies.
vanilla cupcake 2
 
Billy’s Vanilla Vanilla Cupcake
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Yield: Approximately 30 (I ended up with 22 – filled the cups too high) 
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.

In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes (mine ended up staying in the oven about 25 minutes with all 22 cupcakes in the oven – may shave off a few minutes next time).

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

vanilla cupcake

Kathleen’s Peanut Butter Icing
From Barefoot Contessa at Home

Ingredients:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

vanilla cupcake w peanut butter frosting