Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

And Reeses's Cups. 

Cream cheese frosting is the staple frosting for pumpkin cake, carrot cake, spice cake, and red velvet cake.  I really think people like red velvet cake for the cream cheese frosting.  After all, red velvet cake is more of a barely chocolate cake with a bottle of red food coloring.  The original recipe wasn't originally artificially colored.  The color came from a natural reaction between some of the ingredients, but somewhere along the line someone decided to add a bottle of poison (aka Red Dye #40) to make it more red.  Lame.  So you will probably never see a red velvet recipe on this blog, unless it's colored with beets or something.  I'm so sorry, but red velvet is overrated.  But cream cheese frosting is not!  It's wonderful and tangy and creamy and delicious.  And if you add chocolate to it?  Ohhhh. 

Chocolate cream cheese frosting is new to my repertoire.  If it's not a part of yours, then I suggest you make this now and let the soft tang of the cream cheese awaken your taste buds while the smoothness of the chocolate soothes them over.  And it goes really well on these Banana Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes.  Nom nom nom. 

Banana Cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the Banana Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp oil
  • scant 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, peeled and well mashed
  • 6 Reese's Cups, chopped (about 1 cup)

For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 oz semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 -2 Tbsp milk

Directions:

Make the cupcakes

Oven 350 Fahrenheit.  Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer mix together oil and sugar.  Add yogurt and vanilla.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Slowly incorporate dry mixture into the wet mixture until thoroughly combined.  Stir in mashed bananas and Reese's. 

Using a measuring cup or ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until tops or lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Allow cupcakes to cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then remove onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

Make the frosting

While the cupcakes are cooling, beat cream cheese and butter together in the bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add cocoa powder slowly so as not to create a cocoa powder cloud.  Then stir in cooled chocolate and vanilla until combined.  Slowly beat in powdered sugar.  Add in enough milk, 1-2 Tbsp, to make a spreadable or pipe-able frosting. 

Frost cooled cupcakes and top with more chopped Reese's, if desired. 

Jenny's Notes:

Banana cupcakes are very moist by nature, so be sure they get their full baking time.  Normally I would recommend taking cupcakes out of the oven when there are still small crumbs clinging to the toothpick, but not with banana cupcakes.  You want to make sure the toothpick is clean. 

I would recommend chopping the Reese's for the cupcakes small.  Too big and they will sink, too fine and they will get lost in the cupcake. 

You can easily substitute plain yogurt or sour cream for the vanilla yogurt in the cupcake recipe, just add a level 1/2 cup of sugar instead of the scant 1/2 cup.  (Scant in the baking world means "just less than" the designated amount.)