Banana Pecan Cupcakes with a Caramel Buttercream

21 Jun

I was asked to make these for a baby shower that was thrown for the Father of the child. We didn’t want to make the desserts too frilly, but still wanted to celebrate the fact that he was going to have a baby girl! We decided on Chocolate Whoopie Pies with a Marshmallow Cream center (dyed pink), Raspberry Cheesecake Bites, and these incredible mini cupcakes…

Dangerous.

Banana Pecan Cupcakes (this recipe makes 28 regular cupcakes. I cut it in half and made 48 minis)

Adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 3 c. sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 c.)
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 c. pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.

Whisk together cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla.

With an electric mixer and medium-high speed, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with banana mixture, and beating until just combined after each. Stir in pecans by hand.

Divide batter even among lined cups, about 1/4 c. batter in each cup. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of one cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

An Army of Minis!

Caramel Buttercream

Adapted from Annie’s Eats

For the Caramel:

  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1 c. packed light brown sugar

For the Frosting:

  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 16 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature

To make the caramel sauce, combine the butter, heavy cream, and brown sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat to medium and continue to boil until the mixture is thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

To make the frosting, combine the egg whites and sugar in a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Heat the mixture, whisking very frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved and reaches 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Transfer the mixture to the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture holds stiff peaks. Reduce the speed to medium low, add in the salt and begin adding the butter one piece at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1/2 c. of the cooled caramel sauce until well blended.

Frost cupcakes as desired.

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