Friday, October 9, 2009

Bananas Foster Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting


This is the last of the cupcakes featured in this month's Tattle Taster's cupcake edition and I hope you enjoyed the cupcake recipes shared this week, along with the reviews of fellow What's Cookin, Chicago members!

Bananas Foster is a dessert that's pretty simple to make and often has a great presentation with rum flambe involved. There isn't any flambe show with these cupcakes but similar flavors are there. I didn't include rum extract in the cupcakes, however feel free to add 1 teaspoon of rum extract into the batter. This was another boxed cake mix cupcake that doesn't have to take like it came from a box! The mashed bananas added some great texture and to me, it's similar to a banana muffin with bits of banana swirled into the batter. To top these cuppies off, a caramel cream cheese frosting provided just a subtle hint of caramel!

Tip - if you have bananas that are turning black and overripe, don't pitch them... freeze them instead! I usually have a bag of ripe bananas (peel and all) in my freezer perfect for baking. Whenever a recipe calls for ripe bananas, I just take out what I need, allow it to defrost, peel and add it to the recipe.


Bananas Foster Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

recipe adapted from Hello, Cupcake!


1 box (18.25 oz) banana or caramel cake mix
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
3/4 cup buttermilk (in place of the water called for on the box)
1/3 cup canola oil
4 large eggs (in place of the number called for on the box)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

Follow the box instructions, putting all the ingredients in a large bowl and using the buttermilk in place of the water specified (the box will call for more water than the amount of buttermilk that you are using), using the amount of canola oil that is called for (usually 1/3 cup), and adding the eggs. Beat with an electric mixer (or in your stand mixer if you prefer) until moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to high and beat until think, 2 minutes longer.

Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the baking pans, place on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Frost with caramel cream cheese frosting (recipe follows).

Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
original Joelen recipe

1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2-3 tablespoons homemade or store bought caramel sauce
4-6 cups confectioners or powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons half & half


In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and cream cheese together until fluffy; add the caramel sauce and beat until fully incorporated.

Slowly add confectioners or powdered sugar into the bowl, 1/2 cup at a time and beating after each addition. Continue adding the sugar until you have a thick frosting of your preferred consistency. Stir in the coffee granules until incorporated.

If the frosting becomes too thick, add a tablespoon or more of half & half to thin out.



"The flavor combinations in this one were very complex and delicious! The cake and the frosting were both very complimentary to one another. Neither over-powered the other, but each enhanced all of the flavors. The banana flavor was distinct but not over-whelming. The consistency of both was pleasing, The cake was a little more dense than the others, but the frosting was light which kept it from being overwhelming. This was also a very pretty cupcake. The rich colors were very appealing, and led the way for the flavors that I was about to taste. " - Shawna


"Rated #3 of my family of tasters; you can taste the carmel right away. Frosting is very strong. Muffin is fantastic. Texture was perfect. Not too dry or too moist. " - Cathy


"The cupcake had a nice, strong banana flavor to it. The cake was moist. The frosting was creamy and complimented the banana flavor nicely, but I would have liked the caramel flavor to have been a bit stronger. I had to taste the frosting a couple of times before I actually tasted the caramel." - Kelly


"I didn't really end up with a strong opinion about this cupcake one way or another. I think because it was a delicious cupcake, but it didn't to me really capture what I was expecting - I think because the flavors were a lot more subtle, and I was expecting something with a really strong banana flavor. It seemed to me milder than even a banana bread, which is where I started off in terms of how much banana to expect. I also didn't get a lot of caramel taste from the frosting. Maybe something that was more evocative of a caramel pudding, so that it was a little more saturated, would have made that work a little better. So all in all again, wonderful cupcake but not quite what I expected...more like something I'd consider as a breakfast treat than a dessert." - Brittany


"I didn't expect to like this one since I'm usually not the biggest fan of banana flavored things, however, these wow-ed me! I believe the frosting made these complex and less muffin like and the fruity paired with the richness of caramel really played well together. I liked the texture of this cake as well because it hinted to bananas, as opposed to my feared banana flavoring. However, the cake was airy enough not to be muffin like. The caramel frosting also was just the right amount. It didn't overwhelm the banana flavoring, but truly added to it." - Rachel