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  • Writer's pictureSuzanne Sng

Banana cupcake for banana haters

When life gives you rotting bananas, you make banana cupcakes — even if you detest bananas and the way they mush into every crevice of your mouth, thus ensuring the vile taste lingers for hours. This recipe is subtly nana-ish without being overpowering, moist but not dense, and sweet yet not cloying. And do not skip the frosting — one of the easiest and most luxurious I have ever made.

Makes about 36 cupcakes (6cm diameter), 1 loaf (9x13-inch pan) or 2 layer cakes (9-inch round pan)


For the cake

  • 3 large ripe bananas (about 1 and 1/2 cups mashed)

  • 375 grams all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 170 grams unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

  • 200 grams granulated sugar

  • 100 grams packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1 and 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature*

For the frosting

  • 200 grams cream cheese, softened to room temperature

  • 115 grams unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

  • 360 grams icing sugar, plus an extra 1/4 cup if needed

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 175°C and grease pans if using.

Mash the bananas and set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Set aside.

Using a mixer, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.

Add both sugars and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

Add the eggs and the vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until combined, then beat in the mashed bananas.

With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix. The batter will be slightly thick and a few lumps is okay.

Spread batter into the prepared pan or cupcake cases.

For loaf pan, bake for 45 to 50 minutes. For two layers of cake, bake for 25 to 30 minutes. For cupcakes, bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. If you find the top of the cake is browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover it with aluminium foil.

Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cake is baking, make the frosting. Using a mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy.

Add icing sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. If you want the frosting a little thicker, add the extra 1/4 cup of icing sugar.

Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. This helps set the frosting and makes cutting easier. Cupcakes can be served at room temperature.

Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days. Unfrosted cake can be frozen for up to 3 months.

*Make your own buttermilk with milk by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to a measuring cup, then adding milk till it makes up 1 and 1/2 cups. Stir and let it sit for 5 minutes to curdle.

Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

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