Miss A Columnist

Linda Yao is a student at the University of Pennsylvania, in the beautiful city of Philadelphia. Having grown up amidst music and art classes, she has an appreciation for the aesthetic, including the art of food. In pursuit of her passion for food, she loves sampling the best foods her city has to offer and enjoying time in the kitchen, exploring healthy options for desserts and entrees. Her biggest food weakness? Everything sweet, but especially dark chocolate. She hopes to influence those around her by sharing the joys of a healthy lifestyle.

Banana Cream Cupcake Recipe

When I think of summer, I think of beaches, sunshine and bananas! Since as far back as I can remember, there has always been at least one banana sitting in the fruit basket each summer. So as far as seasonal dishes go, I incorporate bananas as much as I can into my summer desserts.

How do you like your summer desserts? Let me guess. Cool, creamy, sweet, but, most importantly, quick and easy to make so that you can go out and enjoy the nice weather. Combine these qualifications with my favorite summer ingredient, and what do we get?

Banana Cream Cupcakes! I found this amazing recipe from Quick and Simple.

This is a great dessert to share at the end of a summer cookout. If you’re really in a hurry, or if you’d like a healthier recipe, the cupcakes taste amazing even without the filling, frosting and garnish, so don’t be afraid to serve them plain!

Some notes: When I made these, I happened to be out of graham crackers (I made one too many pies…), so I crushed some sugar cones and used that for the garnish. I also replaced the butter with applesauce to reduce the fat content, and I replaced the plain yogurt with Greek yogurt to increase the protein content.

Ingredients

(Photo Credit: Linda Yao)

Cupcakes:

  • 2 1/2 cup(s) flour
  • 1 tablespoon(s) baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon(s) cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/2 cup(s) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup(s) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 4  very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup(s) plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup(s) chopped walnuts

Filling:

  • 1 package(s) instant banana pudding
  • 2 cup(s) milk
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract

Frosting:

  • 1 package(s) instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup(s) milk
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1 container(s) (8-ounce ) extra-creamy whipped topping
  • 1/4 cup(s) confectioners’ sugar

Garnish:

  • 2 cup(s) crushed cinnamon graham crackers
  • Banana slices (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl, with electric mixer, cream butter with granulated sugar and brown sugar until light. Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with -bananas and yogurt, mixing on low speed just until moistened. Batter will be lumpy; do not over mix. Gently fold in chopped walnuts.
  2. Fill each muffin cup about three-quarters full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes 5 minutes in pan, then remove cupcakes to wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare filling and frosting. Mix banana pudding with milk according to package directions, adding vanilla. Chill for at least 30 minutes. For frosting, mix vanilla pudding with milk and vanilla; fold in whipped topping and confectioners’ sugar until frosting is creamy. Chill for at least 30 minutes to set.
  4. Once cupcakes are cool, insert a paring knife into top of each cupcake, making a small hole in the center. Spoon filling mixture into a zip-top plastic bag. Snip off a small corner of the bottom. Squeeze about 1 tablespoon filling into the hole in the top of each cupcake. Swirl frosting on top of each cupcake; sprinkle with graham-cracker crumbs. Top each with banana slices as desired. Keep chilled.

 

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