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Banana Walnut Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana Walnut Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

It’s crazy how good chocolate and bananas are together. Of course, everything is good with chocolate!

These little cakes are lightly sweet, full of banana flavor and loaded with the crunch of toasted walnuts. Though they’re quite delicious on their own, add a dollop of luscious chocolate cream cheese frosting and heaven is at hand.

This is a subtle twist on my Grandmother’s banana cake recipe, made rich from butter and eggs with a depth of flavor from pure vanilla. An added touch of cinnamon delivers a delicate note of spice along with a delectable nutty crunch from toasted walnuts.

The frosting is thick and creamy from a blend of butter and cream cheese. Cocoa powder delivers the chocolate tone punched up with more vanilla and another dash of cinnamon. And of course more walnuts!

Spread a spoonful of this deep, velvety frosting over the little cakes…

and you’ve got some sumptuous treats!

Some quick tips. Use really ripe bananas for baking – you know the ones that look like they should be tossed. Underneath that darkening brown skin you’ll find a volume of banana taste! If you’ve got ripe bananas and you’re not baking right away just peel them, drop them into a freezer bag and place in the freezer for later.

Always toast nuts before baking – about 8 to 10 minutes in a 350-degree oven should do it. Toasting brings out their flavor and crunch. It’s an extra step but you won’t be disappointed!

These tiny banana cakes are a delightful surprise tucked into a lunchbox or as an afternoon snack – and they’re perfect for any size kid!

Banana Walnut Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

For the banana walnut cupcakes:

1-1/2 sticks of butter – ¾ cups at room temperature

1-1/2 cups sugar

3 extra-large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup buttermilk

1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas, about 4 bananas

1 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Cream the butter on medium speed of your mixer until it light and creamy, about 1 minute.

Add the sugar and continue beating on medium until it’s blended into the butter and the mixture is fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time blending into the butter and sugar on medium speed. Blend the batter well after adding each egg, about 20 seconds, before adding the next egg.

Pour in the vanilla extract, mixing into the batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt. Reserve about 1 tablespoon to toss with the walnuts.

Using low speed, add about one-third of the remaining flour mixture to the batter alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour.

Beat just until the flour disappears to prevent over beating the cupcake batter.

Toss the walnuts with the remaining flour then blend the bananas and the walnuts into the batter, using low speed, about 20 seconds.

Scoop the batter into muffin tins lined with paper cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 full. A large ice cream scoop works well for this.

Bake the cupcakes in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes or until the cupcakes are a light golden in color and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then remove them from the pan and finish cooling completely on the wire rack before frosting. While the cupcakes cool make the frosting.

For the chocolate cream cheese frosting:

1 package cream cheese, 8-ounces, room temperature

¼ cup butter, room temperature

3-1/2 cups powdered sugar, measured after sifting

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¾ cup toasted chopped walnuts

Place the cream cheese and the butter into a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until blended together and very creamy, about 2 minutes.

Add the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time starting on low speed, then blend into the cream cheese and butter on medium speed.

Pour in the vanilla, scraping down the bowl if needed.

Using low speed, stir in the cocoa powder and the ground cinnamon.

Toss in the toasted pecans and blend into the frosting using medium speed.

Spread a dollop of the cream cheese frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes. Store the cupcakes in a sealed container.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Banana Walnut Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

August 14, 2019
: Makes 24 cupcakes.

These little cakes are lightly sweet, full of banana flavor and loaded with the crunch of toasted walnuts. Though they’re quite delicious on their own, add a dollop of luscious chocolate cream cheese frosting and heaven is at hand.

By:

Ingredients
  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1-1/2 sticks of butter - ¾ cups at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas, about 4 bananas
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • For the chocolate cream cheese frosting:
  • 1 package cream cheese, 8-ounces, room temperature
  • ¼ cup butter, room temperature
  • 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar, measured after sifting
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup toasted chopped walnuts
Directions
  • Step 1 For the banana walnut cupcakes:
  • Step 2 Cream the butter on medium speed of your mixer until it light and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and continue beating on medium until it’s blended into the butter and the mixture is fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  • Step 3 Add the eggs one at a time blending into the butter and sugar on medium speed. Blend the batter well after adding each egg, about 20 seconds, before adding the next egg. Pour in the vanilla extract, mixing into the batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.
  • Step 4 In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt. Reserve about 1 tablespoon to toss with the walnuts.
  • Step 5 Using low speed, add about one-third of the remaining flour mixture to the batter alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Beat just until the flour disappears to prevent overbeating the cupcake batter.
  • Step 6 Toss the walnuts with the remaining flour then blend the bananas and the walnuts into the batter, using low speed, about 20 seconds.
  • Step 7 Scoop the batter into muffin tins lined with paper cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3 full. A large ice cream scoop works well for this.
  • Step 8 Bake the cupcakes in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes or until the cupcakes are a light golden in color and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Step 9 Let the cupcakes cool in the pans on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then remove them from the pan and finish cooling completely on the wire rack before frosting. While the cupcakes cool make the frosting.
  • Step 10 For the chocolate cream cheese frosting:
  • Step 11 Place the cream cheese and the butter into a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until blended together and very creamy, about 2 minutes.
  • Step 12 Add the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time starting on low speed, then blend into the cream cheese and butter on medium speed.
  • Step 13 Pour in the vanilla, scraping down the bowl if needed.
  • Step 14 Using low speed, stir in the cocoa powder and the ground cinnamon.
  • Step 15 Toss in the toasted pecans and blend into the frosting using medium speed.
  • Step 16 Spread a dollop of the cream cheese frosting on top of the cooled cupcakes. Store the cupcakes in a sealed container.


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