I’m well into my 20s and just now learned how to properly peel a banana. How I went all this time not knowing the proper way is beyond me. A few weeks ago, I was working late and decided I needed a snack. I went to the kitchen, grabbed a banana and tried to open it. Not wanting to give, I dug my nails in. I tried snapping off the stem. Still no luck. Then a co-worker of mine walked over, turned the banana over and peeled it with total ease. It totally blew my mind. I thought he was a genius. I mean, it’s sort of a life changing revelation. I’ve been eating bananas since I was a kid, quite often actually, and just now learned this. I feel like this is the type of thing you learn along with tying your shoes, folding clothes, opening a door–it’s like an essential piece of information as a human being. Apparently this is the way gorillas and monkeys peel bananas. I love that I open it the same way they do now. I think it’s pretty cute. I feel like it makes us friends now or something. I feel like if I bumped into them in the jungle and we both picked up a banana, they’d respect me, you know, ’cause I know how to do it the right way. They’d give me that nod of approval they’re always doing.
Anyway, in an attempt to exploit my new banana peeling skills, I decided I was going to make lots of stuff with bananas. I made a few banana milkshakes, and those were cool, but not really anything too exciting. And sure, banana bread is cool too, but I mean, the internet is filled with recipes of banana bread. Then I remembered these awesome little cupcakes I made awhile back for a brunch I went to. They’re disguised as cupcakes but really banana bread, and what makes them even more awesome is that they have icing on them.
And I decided that instead of putting any ol’ icing, I’d put this icing recipe that I found on Tasty Kitchen; it’s appropriately called “That’s the Best Frosting I Ever Had”. This seriously is the best frosting I’ve ever had. I’ll never go back to anything else.
P.S. If you’d like a tutorial on how to open a banana like a money, then click here.
Banana Bread Cupcakes with “That’s the Best Frosting I Ever Had”
Cupcake recipe by Martha Stewart. Icing recipe from Tasty Kitchen
Some people love their banana bread super-duper moist. If that’s the case, I recommend putting 1 3/4 cup of mashed banana. Also, a few tips with the icing: on Tasty Kichen there was much debate about whether or not the butter should be room temperature and I found that it should be a little bit in between. It shouldn’t be super soft, meaning that if you cut the butter with a plastic knife it should give a little but not turn to mush. If it’s too melted then the sugar won’t properly incorporate and you’ll have grainy icing on your hands. Not fun.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 ripe bananas), plus 1 whole banana, for garnish (optional)
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup Milk
5 Tablespoons Flour
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Butter, barely room temperature
1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)
Since the icing has 2 steps, I’d start it first. So in a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If you’re in a hurry, place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.)
Then turn your attention to the cupcakes and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, mix together butter, mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not overmix). Add chopped walnuts and fold in. Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups (I filled them up about 3/4 of the way full) and place in preheated oven. You’re going to want to bake them for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
While the cupcakes are in the oven, go back to the icing and cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla to the cooled milk/flour mixture. Then add the cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.
NOTE: The milk/flour/vanilla mixture MUST be cooled before you add it to the butter and sugar mixture. Also, if you’d like to see the step-by-step post that Ree did about the icing, then click here.
Remove cupcakes from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Spread tops with frosting. Just before serving, peel and slice banana into rounds, and place one on each cupcake.
Hiii! So excited to try this one for New Year’s! Tried baking banana bread before and since I try to make things healthier for my mom, I used veg shortening instead of butter and honey instead of sugar. The bread turned out fine :))
Just wondering what’s the effect though if I substitute the sugar in the frosting with honey. Do you think it’s alright? Many thanks! 🙂
I was looking for a banana frosting that was not overwhelmingly sugar, I will definitely try this one. Is this frosting a good base for various flavors? Would it be good to substitute the banana for other fruit? What about maple or lemon (I’m talking about just the frosting)? Thanks again for the idea.
Awesome icing! Never made the cupcakes, but I’m sure they are just as awesome.
This is the same perfect frosting that my Mom used to make for our birthday cakes every year growing up. We called it “cooked frosting” since you cook the milk & flour, but my stepmom calls it “beat forever frosting”, since it has to be mixed for so long. Absolutely my favorite, though–those ubiquitous buttercreams and royal icings are just TOO sweet! 🙂
I’ve been dying to make these for ages now, but I’m nervous about the frosting. My boyfriend has Celiac disease and can’t have flour, which isn’t usually a problem when it comes to the baking itself. But any idea what I could do about the frosting? Gluten-free flour, or cornstarch, or something else? I’m not sure how those would turn out!
This is a traditional boiled frosting, common to the South. I wouldn’t try to make it with anything else, but rather replace it with another frosting that you like.
Paired these delicious gems with a strawberry cream cheese frosting…to die for!
– I used half wheat flour and half white and in a second batch I added chocolate chips. They were all a hit! Thanks for sharing!
wow, these look so good. i’m going to attempt asap – congrats on the frosting, such a good feeling when you find the best ever recipe for something.
Made these for my son’s 2nd bday this weekend (he’s a big fan of banana) and they were a huge hit. FYI the recipe makes about 15 cupcakes but there was plenty of icing leftover. That icing is soo good – it’s ridiculous. I’m not much of a baker, and these were a real hit.
hey tocaya, i just made this recipe tonight and it was DELISH!
Just FYI they turned out fantastic. Thanks for your advice but I did use the splenda and it tasted just like sugar. The texture was good and everyone loved them.
Do you think this frosting would turn out well with splenda? My Dad is turning 80 and is a diabetic. We do let him have bananas (even though it is not the best choice of fruit for diabetics) and he loves banana bread. I always substitute the sugar in the bread but what about the icing?
Just tried the icing (with a different banana bread recipe – a sour cream banana bread that is close to the above except adding a half cup of sour cream) and it is GO-OO-OOD. I used salted butter and the slighty salty, creamy, sweet spread/icing is soo good. Thanks for a winner! To reply to charlene – you COULD try coconut oil – although you would have to keep it chilled. Personally I think it would be better than the vegan margarine spreads, which are mainly water and soy anyway (at least the ones I have found). Coconut oil would taste good and be creamy, I would think. Maybe you could test a half recipe?
What can be used instead of butter, My daughter cant have lactose. I have used flora oil instead of the butter and she has a lactose free milk in the cupcakes but it doesnt work well with icing ( have tried before, it wasnt good!)
anyone have anyideas what would work as a good replacement?
earth balance is an excellent alternative to butter in cooking – you can buy it in most health food stores. I’ve never tried it in icing though, you’d have to keep it quite cold I’d think, and the texture might be a bit off. But I’ve used it frequently in baking, particularly in cake or quick bread recipes.
I used coconut oil in both the cupcakes and the icing. Works well, just be careful with the icing as it will melt at a lower temperature than icing made with butter. Lactose intolerant kids deserve cupcakes too!
I once pretended to be cookie monster and demolished an Oreo without even tasting it. You’ll do anything just to keep them eating. Nice thread here, too.
Lovely Blog. Thank you.
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