I had a fun time making the banana cupcakes. I actually made them for Danielle's baby shower. They were a huge success! All the ladies at the shower complimented me on them, Danielle liked them (always a plus! because she has a sophisticated palette... ;) ), and my hubby gobbled up most of the extras in one day! I've never had a banana cupcake and the idea peaked my fancy. I have to be honest, I made a few changes to the recipe, but I'm really happy with how the cupcakes turned out.
*I substituted canola oil for the shortening (I never cook with shortening). I did just a tad less than 1/4 cup.
*I used sweetened condensed milk instead of buttermilk.
*And since I used sweetened condensed milk, I did just a touch less sugar than the recipe called for
The cupcakes turned out very sweet and light (not too sweet!). I mixed the canola and butter with a hand mixer to start. It worked perfectly (I was a little nervous at first since I wasn't sure how the oil would do). I baked mine at the 325 degrees but they only took about 15 or 16 minutes. NOT the 20-25! * The recipe makes about 40 cupcakes.
I also decided to make a cream cheese frosting instead of the vanilla pastry cream (I'm not really big on pastry cream and I thought the ladies at the shower would enjoy cream cheese frosting - it seems all women like really cream cheese frosting!).
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 box powdered sugar
*Beat cream cheese, butter, milk, salt, and vanilla until creamy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Frost after cupcakes have completely cooled.
I topped mine with dried banana chips (from Trader Joe's) and think they turned out really cute. I would recommend them over doing the fresh sliced bananas because those would brown quickly and if you dip them in lemon juice then you'll have lemon juice dripping down your cupcake... :(
I would definitely make these again! I loved them. They could almost pass as a muffin if you left off the frosting. They are just a bit lighter and more fluffy than a muffin. They were absolutely fine without frosting but the cream cheese frosting was a nice contrast against the sweetness of cakes.
Hope you enjoy them when you make 'em! And.. I'm curious to know how they turn out with the buttermilk and vanilla pastry cream, from those of you who decide to make them that way...