I Bake: Banana Caramel Cupcakes

My search for this amazing cupcake begun when we had some unripe bananas that I needed to do something with, but didn’t want to do the usual with them – banana bread.  I mean, banana bread is awesome and all…but does it have frosting? Nope. Enter Banana Caramel Cupakes.

Isn’t she purdy?  The cupcake I came up with is inspired from two recipes I found via Annie EatsBaking Obsession, and my own little creativity.  I actually made all of the components from the Annie Eats recipe (the cake, caramel, and the frosting), but I didn’t like the frosting at all (too thin, just an OK taste).  Since I didn’t care for the frosting, I used a standard buttercream frosting I like, and added some of the caramel I made from the recipe to the frosting. It turned out SO yummy. The cake is actually perfect, the perfect taste of banana but with the cakey-ness of a cupcake. Awesome.

So here you go, my lovely friends.

Banana Caramel Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Annie Eats
Makes approximately 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups sugar
6 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe banana
Dried banana chips

For the caramel:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup packed light brown sugar

For the frosting:
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup of the caramel sauce you make

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt; whisk together and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce the mixer speed to medium low and add in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Mix in 1 the mashed banana until well combined.  With the mixer on low speed alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing only until just incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about ¾ full.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the caramel sauce, combine the butter, heavy cream and brown sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.  Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat to medium and continue to boil until the mixture is thickened, about 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.

To make the frosting, mix together sugar and butter in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.  Add 1/3 cup of your prepared, cooled caramel sauce and continue to mix on medium spend for 1 minute until blended.

To fill the cooled cupcakes with the rest of the prepared caramel, cut out a small, round, fennel-like hole with a sharp paring knife in the top of each cupcake. Put the scraps to the side. Spoon in or pipe in about a teaspoon of caramel into the cupcakes.  Replace the cake scraps you cut out to cover the caramel.

Frost the filled cupcakes with the caramel buttercream frosting, and top with a banana chip.

A caramel filled cupcake, mmmm.

3 responses to “I Bake: Banana Caramel Cupcakes

  1. Wow. Just, wow. I heard you talking about these on Twitter and I knew they had to be good.

    Also? “but does it have frosting?” should be a question we ask ourselves more often.

  2. These look “expletive” amazing!! I really want to start baking, but am a little scared by them not looking as amazingly pretty as I want them to. I have it on my life list of things I want to get good at http://myblogject.wordpress.com/my-30-things-i-want-to-do-before-im-30-list/ – is it best to just go for it and try and finesse the prettiness aspects as I go?!

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