In a way, mini cupcakes have a higher standard than regular cupcakes. Those two bites have to have the perfect texture and flavor so that you aren't left with a feeling of disappointment. It's like what I learned in statistics class: the smaller the data sample, the more representative everything has to be or you'll get the wrong impression.
These cupcakes are fluffy ans moist, with a strong banana flavor because of the mashed bananas. They are fluffier than banana muffins, and they are truly banana flavored. There isn't any cinnamon or nutmeg to distract. I made dulce de leche Swiss meringue buttercream with some left over dulce de leche I had from these cookies. The caramel flavor added more intensity to the cupcake, I think. I topped them off with candied walnuts, which added crunch and tied all the flavors together. The walnuts are coated in caramelized sugar and so they add more of that caramel flavor.
They were some fine specimens of cupcake.
|First, cream together the butter and sugar.|
|Beat in eggs and stir in 2 ripe mashed bananas (I pureed the bananas in a blender). Stir in baking soda that has been dissolved in hot milk.|
|Fold in the sifted dry ingredients.|
|Portion out the batter, filling the liners 3/4 of the way.|
|Bake and they will get puffy. Then let cool.|
|Make a Swiss meringue buttercream, following the normal procedure: heat egg whites and sugar over simmering water, beat until firm, cream in butter, and mix in flavorings (dulce de leche).|
Then just frost the cupcakes, top with candied walnuts, and enjoy! The cupcakes will keep at room temperature for a few days.
Banana Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Buttercream
makes 3 dozen mini cupcakes, or 18 standard cupcakes
for the cupcake:
125g (4oz + 1 tbsp) unsalted butter
175g (6oz) sugar
2 large mashed ripe bananas
1 tsp Baking soda
2 Tbsp boiling milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
225g (8oz) flour
for the buttercream:
2-1/2 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4-1/2 cup of dulce de leche, room temperature
candied walnuts, follow directions here
- Preheat oven to 325*F. Line cupcake pan with paper liners.
- Cream butter & sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in mashed bananas.
- Dissolve the baking soda in the hot milk and stir into the banana mixture.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and fold into the wet ingredients until incorporated.
- Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter. Bake in over for 10-12 minutes if you're making mini cupcakes, or 18-25 minutes if you're making standard cupcakes. They should be light golden brown and a toothpick should come out clean. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack.
- To make the buttercream, combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring the mixture to 150 degrees F while whisking constantly.
- Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume and forms firm peaks when the whisk is pulled up out of the meringue.
- Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine. Add dulce de leche and mix to combine.
- Frost the cupcakes and top with candied walnuts. Keep at room temperature.