Friday, April 12, 2013

Funky Monkey Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting

First, a note about the title of this post: I've decided to call these "Funky Monkey" cupcakes because saying "chocolate chip banana bread cupcakes with cinnamon buttercream frosting" is a mouthful.  And right now, my mouth is too busy eating cupcakes.  Or maybe they're really muffins.  Either way, they're delicious.

Now that I'm finally feeling better (note: whatever this stomach bug thing is that's going around is AWFUL), I've been a beast in the kitchen.  This past week, I made three things.  Well, *I* actually made two things, and Joe helped (!) with the other.  Posts on those will be coming shortly, I promise!

For Passover a few weeks ago, I bought a bunch of fruits and vegetables.  I went to the farm stand and got a great deal on bananas - 59 cents a pound!  Unfortunately, the smallest bunch they had was 3 pounds, so I ended up getting a lot of bananas.  Which also means that a lot of bananas went bad.  I couldn't make banana bread just yet, so I peeled them and stuck them in the freezer to use later.  This ended up being a great idea, since being sick prevented me from using them when I wanted.

The bananas take a little while to defrost, but the wait is totally worth it.  They were a little mushier than normal, non-frozen overripe bananas, but for this recipe, it really didn't make a difference.  When you thaw them out, they're going to end up sitting in some liquid.  I tasted it and it tasted like banana water, so I decided to leave it in and not drain it off.  Ultimately, the choice is yours.

My recipe calls for 3 bananas and I had 5, so I did the recipe that follows x 1.5.  I ended up getting 24 perfectly shaped cupcakes.  I've never made cupcakes or muffins with the original recipe, but I would imagine that you'll get at least 12-18 cupcakes without adding to the recipe.

The cinnamon frosting was pretty much a shot in the dark, as while I was waiting for the bananas to defrost I decided that it sounded like a delicious combination.  Turns out - I was right!  The honey adds a really nice, complimentary balance to the cinnamon, so the frosting is just the right amount of sweet and spice.

The recipe itself is from an old family friend who was always doing wonderful things in the kitchen, both when her kids had friends over and just because - these kids always had the best snacks at recess! The instructions for mixing the ingredients are a little strange, but don't let it prevent you from trying this recipe.  The results are totally worth it: whether you make these into cupcakes (or muffins) like I did, a cake or a loaf of bread, you will end up with a fluffy and moist banana bread that tastes incredible.

Joe is not the biggest fan of banana bread, but he really liked the cupcakes AND the frosting! I sent him to work with a few (naked and frosted) and everyone has been gushing about them.  Also, while I was trying to take pictures of these for you, Slayer decided she needed to get in on the action and see what all the fuss is about.  I don't even know how I was able to actually capture this picture, but it's definitely one of my favorites!

Slayer approves!
What's the best picture you've ever taken?

Funky Monkey Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting
To print this recipe, click here

3-4 ripe bananas
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. oil
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 c. chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mash bananas and mix with sugar
Add baking soda and salt, mix well
Stir in 1 cup flour and mix until combined
Add eggs and oil
And 1/2 cup flour, stir
Fold in chocolate chips

For bread: bake at 325°F for approximately 1 hour, until top is slightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean
For cupcakes: bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, until tops spring back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
2 sticks butter, room temperature
3 cups confectioner's sugar
3 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp milk
1 heaping tsp. cinnamon

Cream butter until smooth and fluffy.  Add honey and 1 cup of sugar, beating until combined.
Mix in remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time.  If frosting is too thick, add milk and mix thoroughly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add cinnamon and beat until combined.
Frosts approx. 36 cupcakes

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