I thought more of you would be excited by my rainbow cupcakes, but apparently the majority of folks aren't as distracted by pretty colors as I.
Perhaps you'll be more enamored of these, or perhaps you're so sick of my cupcakes that nothing I do will float your boat. Regardless, this is my next best shot: Banana split cupcakes.
The base is a banana cupcake which I've done several times before and never disappoints. The filling is a rich and luscious chocolate mousse and the frosting is a buttercream flavored with strawberry jam. The finishing touch, of course, is a sparkling cherry on top.
If you enjoy the flavors involved in that calorie bomb known as the banana split, you'll love these cupcakes. They're much easier on the waistline (assuming you eat them in moderation...) and super fun, to boot!
Banana Split Cupcakes
(makes 28 cupcakes)
3 cups cake flour, sifted
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 cups brown sugar, tightly packed
3 large eggs
4 very ripe large bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate mousse filling:
6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup strawberry jam
28 cherries, to garnish
To make the cupcakes, first preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla.
Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the banana mixture and ending with dry, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 3/4 full. Bake until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.
To prepare the mousse, carefully melt the chocolate and set it aside. Place the heavy cream and sugar in the well-chilled bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the chilled whisk attachment. Whisk on high-speed until stiff peaks form. Remove the bowl from the mixer. By hand, whisk to combine 1/4 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate until smooth and completely incorporated. Add the combined whipped cream and chocolate to the remaining whipped cream and use a rubber spatula to fold together.
To make the frosting, with an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy. Add vanilla and jam, and beat until frosting is smooth.
To fill the cupcakes, carve out a cone-shaped hole (and immediately eat the cone)(after adding frosting to it, of course) and carefully squirt the mousse inside. Apply frosting generously to cupcakes, top each with a cherry, and devour.