8.12.2010

Banana Cupcakes & Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

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So cupcakes have been all the rage the past couple of years. And to be honest, I love that this classic dessert is getting the much-deserved attention. However, many people in the food world think that this is just a trend, and that cupcakes are so yesterday. Really?!

With cupcakeries popping up all over the nation, it's hard for me to believe that this is just a trend that will soon wear out. Cupcakes have been around for years, and I don't believe that a little spike in popularity will run this idea into the ground. 

The same people that are calling cupcakes a fad, are also saying that macarons will soon be taking over. Now, I have various opinions on this matter. I love macarons...I really do. The chewy cookie filled with wonderful frosting, cream, fruit preserve - you name it - is an absolute delight. And while pastry shops in hip, urban neighborhoods are beginning to see a rise in demand for these little gems, the ordinary home-baker has yet to tackle macarons for everyday enjoyment (you don't see boxed mixes for macarons in the grocery store aisles, now do you?). They seem scary, intimidating and hard to master...so I've heard. I haven't tried for said reasons! But really, can you honestly see macarons replacing cupcakes at little Johnny's 4th birthday party? I guess I just don't understand why people seem to think one has to replace the other. Why can't we have both?


Ok, enough of my rant about how cupcakes will always have a place in society.

I was craving cupcakes last week because...well, just because. I love the combination of banana and cinnamon, so I knew I'd enjoy these. Go ahead and try them out - they're simple, flavorful and quite indulgent! Perfection.

Banana Cupcakes
Source: Cooking Light, September 1999

Ingredients:
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
1/4 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt - I used Greek yogurt

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar and banana; set aside. Beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar, butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 3 minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana mixture to sugar mixture, beating well. 

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix after each addition.

Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups lined with paper liners. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Top with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe below).


Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Ingredients:
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature - I used light
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar and cinnamon, mixing well until it’s all incorporated.  Use immediately or refrigerate.  The frosting will harden in the fridge, so plan on bring it back to room temperature if you must refrigerate it before frosting the cupcakes.

8 comments:

  1. I love love love banana bread, so I'm thinking these can't be half bad. They look fantastic!

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  2. um, woah. these cupcakes look pretty incredible! i'll definitely have to make them!

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  3. I would not have trouble eating cupcakes or macs! But b/c I am so obsessed w/ coconut, macs usually win. ;)

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  4. What a lovely bake! I want a bite too. Hope you're having a nice day.
    Cheers, kristy

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  5. Now this I would make. Yum!

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  6. Mmmm, glad you made them! They are next on my cupcake extravaganza!

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  7. These look so good - I want one now! :)

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