June 5, 2013

Banana Cupcakes with Maple Vanilla Buttercream

Truth be told, this is essentially a recipe for banana bread with frosting but in cupcake form.  

As I started writing this, I thought, "Do I call these mini frosted banana breads?  Or, would mini banana cakes be better?  Banana bread cupcakes?"

Then, I had more questions for myself. What is the difference between banana bread and banana cake?   
Do "sweet breads" really count as breads?  How do cupcakes and muffins differ?  

Clearly, I was doing the analytical attorney thing here.

My quick and dirty semi-"black law" answer:  Bread is made in a loaf pan, and cake is made in a cake pan.  Cupcakes have frosting, and muffins lack frosting.

Moving on.  ;)

This banana treat is inspired by Flour Bakery in Boston.  I first read about this bakery in Runners' World.  The owner of the bakery is a runner and said that she ran 15 marathons by "strict training and banana bread."  Hey, you go girl!

This is a great recipe because it is the perfect amount of sweetness and moistness.  For a healthy twist, you could substitute apple sauce for half of the butter.  Maple buttercream sounded like a perfect pairing to the banana.  (After all, maple syrup goes well with banana pancakes, right?)

My thoughtful godmother sent me these darling cupcake liners that look like flowers.  Aren't they cute? I added just a dollop of frosting because I wanted to show off the cute cupcake liners.

Enjoy this frosted whimsey banana bread in cupcake form.

Banana Cupcakes with Maple Vanilla Buttercream
Yields 16 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 bananas, very ripped, mashed
2 tbsp. sour cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 

For the buttercream:
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Line cupcake pans with liners.

Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a separate bowl, and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the sugar and butter, until lightly and fluffy, about 5-8 minutes.  Next, add the eggs and mix until combined.  Add the mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla.  Fold in the dry ingredients.  

Divide the batter evenly amount lined cups, filling each about three-quarters full.  Bake, and rotate cupcake pans halfway through, for about 45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted to the centers comes out clean.  Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

For the buttercream:
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a mixing bowl), add the butter and confectioners' sugar, and beat until fluffy. Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract, milk, and salt.  Continue to beat until smooth and creamy.  

Use immediately, or store covered for up to two days.

Source: Cupcakes adapted from Flour Bakery in Boston, frosting a Simply Sweet Justice Original


  1. Claire, this sounds like a good topic for argument in a student 'moot court'- i.e. the difference between a muffin vs a cupcake, etc. The way you did the icing looks very interesting. It looks like you squeezed the icing through a pastry nozzle and it has the appearance of lovely chrystals sprouting forth! Thanks for sharing!

    1. That would be my kind of moot court! ;) I had a funky pastry tip that I used - it's so fun to experiment. :)

  2. Wow Claire, these little cakes are beautiful! Almost chrysanthemum like but better because I can eat them.

  3. These cupcakes are brilliant, I want to devour them :D

    Choc Chip Uru


Free Blog Template by June Lily