This week’s project: cupcakes and frosting. I just love bananas and had to find a recipe for a banana cupcakes (so I’d have the excuse of practicing frosting). I mean, I could have gone for any type of cupcakes, I could even have picked a box, just to have a canvas to practice frosting, but I decided to make them from scratch. I prefer them that way anyway.
I found a couple tempting recipes: Gina’s and Wilton. I decided to go with the Wilton recipe for a start. And man, what a result! It is simply delish! The cupcake (I have to admit, I am normally not a cupcake person) is light and fluffy with a fantastic banana taste. I had never used sour cream in a baking recipe but it is good!
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- ¾ cup sour cream
- Preheat oven 350°F.
- In large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
- Add eggs, vanilla and banana; mix well.
- Add flour mixture alternately with sour cream; blend thoroughly but do not overmix.
- Pour into prepared pans. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Cool 10 minutes in pan on rack; remove and cool completely before decorating.
Then, on to the frosting! I found several recipes. Ambitious me wanted to use 3 different frostings, you know, to try them all... Very ambitious... I got two thirds done with my ambitious project, using only two frostings.
The first frosting I wanted was a banana frosting. The one I tried is bizarrely named “Lemon Butter Frosting”. There is lemon and butter but the banana is not mentioned in the name. Weird... The result though is so good! I’d give it a 4/5. It has a fantastic banana taste, which is what I was going for, but the amount of sugar makes it a bit too sweet! I’d recommend using only a thin layer of the frosting to avoid a sugar overload. Other than that, this recipe covered 6 cupcakes with a bit left over. I think by making the layer a bit thinner, one could cover 10-12 cupcakes (12 might be stretching it). Note though that I found the frosting too running to be piped onto the cupcakes (which was what I wanted to practice). Now, rereading the recipe, it says to beat the ingredients until light and fluffy. This is what I did but maybe I am mistaken and didn’t beat them long enough. So, what do I take out of this? To be used as icing more than frosting, maybe for a cake, in a thin layer. Yum!
Now, this recipe has the same problem as the banana one, too sweet for my taste. It tasted good but when you frost a cupcake, it’s always such a big thing, the icing/frosting cannot overshadow the cupcake itself. This frosting does. Now, mind you, the kids who tried these cupcakes had no issues with the sweetness, even the adults were ok with it (but eating half of a cupcake at a time), so maybe it’s just me. I know it’s one of the reason I’m not into cupcakes, I don’t like the mountain of frosting on top... Another issue I had with this frosting was that it was too thick to pipe (complete opposite of the other one). I tried, valiantly, but when it takes two hands to try and squeeze the frosting through the tip and the bag bursts at the seams... well, you get the idea... This frosting is enough to cover about 18 cupcakes.
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2-3 tbsp milk 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- about 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted