Thursday, March 13, 2014

Banana Cake Cupcakes

Yummy note: My friend Mandi made this banana cake for her daughter's birthday last fall and I had one bite and instantly was like I need your recipe! Lucky me, it was a family recipe of hers, that she was willing to share- how fun is that? I love when recipes get handed down generations in a family and then shared with friends. This recipe comes from Mandi's great grandmother. I never met her, but I'm sure she was an amazing baker with the way this cake has turned out. I've made this recipe numerous times now, and we've modified it just slightly by only adding chocolate chips the one time, and other times we've made it into cupcakes instead of a cake. In this recipe, she used a technique here that I've never done before, which was cooking the mashed bananas in a sauce pan for a little bit before adding them to the batter. I thought it was a nice tip, as the bananas didn't have a weird texture or seem lumpy when it was baked.  They were incorporated so nicely into the cake, that the texture truly seemed more like a cake, rather than a banana bread. Each time that I've made it, it has been spot on, and what I love most, is how long these cupcakes stay so moist and soft even days after baking them. 

Mandi's Great Grandma's Banana Cake Cupcakes 

3 overripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I have used Crisco and an organic non-hydrogenated brand and both worked well.)
1 egg
3 tbsp milk (Any type is fine - I've used soy and coconut.)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional) or 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash bananas and place in a small sauce pan with the baking soda. Cook over medium heat until the banana mixture is foamy. Set aside to cool while you prepare the next part. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and spices together. In a larger bowl, beat together both sugars and shortening until well combined. Pour in the slightly cooled banana mixture, egg, milk, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until combined. Add in the small bowl of flour mixture and mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chips or nuts, if desired. Pour batter into a lightly greased/prepared 9 x 13 pan and bake for 22-30 minutes, or until done. Or pour into cupcake liners and bake until done, which was about 20 minutes. Depending on the size of the cupcakes, I usually start to peek in on them at around 15 minutes and adjust the time accordingly. Let cool completely before frosting. For the frosting, I used my traditional buttercream frosting. I can easily adapt this to be a dairy-free frosting as well, if needed. This chocolate frosting is also a nice compliment to the banana cupcakes as well.

Delicious banana cake cupcakes with white fluffy frosting. 

Mixing in some chocolate chips, to make banana chocolate chip cupcakes! 

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