Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

baking, cupcakes, frosting

Which came first, the cupcake or the frosting?  For me, a decent swirl of icing on top of a little cake is what makes it extra special.  The cream cheese and cocoa powder makes sure this topping’s not too sweet, and the bananas give the cupcakes an almost caramel like flavour.  If you think that all sounds yum then here’s how to do it….

The cake recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery.  This is what you’ll need for 12 of them:

  • 120g plain flour
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • a pinch of salt
  • 80g butter/stork
  • 120ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 120g peeled banana, mashed (approx 1 large banana)

Pop the oven on to preheat to 170 C, and put cases in your cupcake tray.

In a bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and butter.  Beat this all together til it’s a sandy consistency.  I use a freestanding mixer, but you could use a handheld whisk or strong arms if you have them instead!

Slowly add the milk, beating well to make sure it’s incorporated, and mix in the eggs.  Finally stir in the mashed banana by hand.  It’s quite a runny mixture so I put it in a jug and poured it into my cake cases – they should be about two thirds full.  Now you can stick them in the oven for 18 minutes or so.

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Now it’s time to make the frosting.  I had toyed with the idea of adding melted chocolate but decided to go for cocoa powder instead, maybe I’ll do an experiment with dark chocolate next time instead!

You’ll need:

  • 150g cream cheese
  • 75g soft butter
  • 380 icing sugar
  • 40 cocoa powder

Beat the cream cheese and butter together for a good few minutes until light and fluffy,  Some recipes ask you to add the cream cheese later, once the icing sugar’s added but I find that can make it too easy to overwork, and the frosting can become runny again.

So, once the butter and cream cheese are lovely and light, sift in half the icing sugar.  When it’s mixed, add the rest of the icing sugar and cocoa powder.  Beat it for another few minutes til nice and smooth.

Now it’s time to ice, you could pipe it, or just dollop it on if that’s easier.  I topped mine with yoghurt coated banana chips too.  That’s you finished – you should have 12 light, caramel flavoured cakes, stopped from being too sweet by the chocolate cream cheese frosting.  And you can kid on they’re healthy with the banana in too.

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