After playing a round of “would you rather” with the kids the other day, I discovered I would rather eat a cupcake than eat pretty much anything else. I’m not sure if I love them because they remind me of the goodies that came out of my Easy Bake Oven or because of the perfect frosting to cake ratio. Either way I am hooked. Many believe the cupcake craze is over, we have moved on to cronuts and macarons. Maybe with the demise of Crumbs the hysteria for these sweet treats ended as well. So be it. Trends come and go, but for me a small delicious cake topped with a large dollop of sweet frosting that fits perfectly in my hand, no fork or knife needed, is always in.
Banana Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream Frosting
A moist and sweet banana cupcake topped with rich hazelnut chocolate buttercream frosting. Nutella lovers will go crazy for this cupcake!
Cake Recipe slightly adapted from Martha Stewart
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and browned
4 ripe bananas or 1 1/2 cups, mashed
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
banana slices for garnish, optional
toasted rice cereal, optional
Pre-heat your oven to 350F. Line a standard 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients . Pour the butter, mashed bananas, eggs and vanilla into the well and mix. Begin to stir in the dry ingredients and until just combined. Do not overmix! The batter will be thick.
Evenly, spoon or scoop the batter into the muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Check your cupcakes at 20 minutes. If a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean the cupcakes are ready. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. Cupcakes taste best the day they are made. You can make them the night before, but store in an air-tight container until ready to serve. Enjoy!
Nutella Buttercream Frosting
makes 2 cups of frosting
Recipe adapted from Add a Pinch
2 sticks or 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted (If you love super sweet frosting add closer to 4 cups.)
3 tablespoons Nutella
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whole milk or cream
pinch of kosher salt
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (or an electric hand-held mixer), cream together the butter and 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar. Add 1 tablespoon of Nutella. Add the another 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar followed by a tablespoon of Nutella. Add rest of confectioners’ sugar, followed by last tablespoon of Nutella. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the vanilla beat on high for about 30 seconds.
Next add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches desired consistency. Add a pinch of salt and whip on high-speed for another 30 seconds.
Frost your cupcakes adding as much or as little buttercream as you like. Garnish with sprinkles, toasted rice cereal or fresh banana slices. Banana slices will brown, so add just before serving.
**Buttercream can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. When ready to use bring to room temperature and beat on low-speed until smooth.**
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