Tasty Delights: Banana Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Icing

I bought a bunch of bananas from the market last week, but I was unable to finish the bunch before they became over-ripe. I wanted to use them in a banana bread recipe (Danny’s favorite), but I couldn’t find a recipe that I liked. So I made the next best thing: Banana Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Icing.

The recipe I used came from the Martha Stewart website, but I’ve added my own instructions and a few details to the cooking process. I didn’t take pictures while I was baking because I was also making ratatouille and lentil soup at the same time (I’m making a lot of extra meals over the next few days to store in the freezer so that Danny has something to eat while I’m in Ohio.)

Here are the pictures of the finished cupcakes (YUMMM):

Look at those caramel streaks in the icing!! Yummy!!

Here’s what you need:

For the cupcakes:

  • 3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar (I used my homemade brown sugar)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 very ripe large bananas, mashed (about 2 cups), plus sliced bananas for garnish
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

 For the buttercream:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 12 ounces (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Here’s what you do:

For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line the cupcake tins with paper liners.
  2. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl, then set the bowl aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well until each egg has been incorporated.
  5. Next, add the mashed bananas, vanilla and buttermilk. Mix on a medium speed until everything is incorporated.
  6. Slowly add the dry flour mixture to the wet mixture. Mix until just incorporated. Do not overmix!
  7. Divide the batter among the cupcake tins. Make sure your cupcake liners are 2/3 full. 
  8. Bake the cupcakes for about 18-20 minutes. The tester toothpicks (or knife) should come out clean when placed in the center of the cupcakes. You’ll know they’re done when they start filling the kitchen with a beautiful banana and cinnamon scent.
  9. Let the cupcakes cool on a wire rack. They must be completely cool to the touch before you can ice them. 

For the buttercream:

  1. Bring 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar and the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Wash sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. 
  2. Cook, undisturbed, until caramel is dark amber. (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: It is very easy to burn the caramel! The sugar keeps cooking for a few minutes after it has been removed from the heat, so make sure that you keep an eye on the caramel!) Once it starts to turn dark amber, remove it from the stove. 
  3. Remove the caramel from heat, and slowly add cream, stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth. Let cool.
  4. In a large bowl, beat butter with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy.
  5. Place whites and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer (I used my meat thermometer because I don’t have a candy thermometer).
  6. Remove from heat, and attach bowl to a mixer. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add beaten butter, cup at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla.
  7. Switch to paddle attachment. With mixer on low speed, add caramel, and beat until smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. Once the cupcakes are cool, put the buttercream into a piping bag and ice the cupcakes.
  9. Enjoy!


I hope that you enjoy this recipe! These are such good cupcakes!

Thanks for reading my blog!

One thought on “Tasty Delights: Banana Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Icing

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