Of all the comfort foods in all the lands, you'll find banana pudding near the top of my favorites list. Even though it's not always the most delicious thing in the world and it's a nightmare to photograph, there's something special about it that triggers a neuron or twenty in my brain and leads me to say, "Aaaaaah."
I know we don't really need an improved comfort food delivery system, but thinking about that is what sparked the idea for these cupcakes. Why not try to transform my beloved banana pudding into an eat-on-the-go cupcake? Let's face it--we don't just need comfort foods when we're sitting at home with all the time in the world. Sometimes the comfort needs to come with us!
I used my tried-and-true banana cupcakes, which you've seen many times before, but I baked them atop a 'Nilla wafer. The filling is a rich, creamy vanilla pudding and the frosting is vanilla buttercream. The finishing touch is a sprinkle of 'Nilla wafer crumbs (because let's face it--there is no substitution).
These were good, but they need tweaking. There's not enough banana flavor, so I'm considering adding small dices of banana to the pudding inside. Any suggestions?
Banana Pudding Cupcakes
One batch of banana cupcakes
Vanilla pudding filling:
- 2-2/3 cups milk, divided
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
One batch of vanilla buttercream frosting
28 'Nilla wafers, plus crumbs for garnish
Make the pudding first. Bring 2 cups of the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. While it is heating, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in the bottom of a medium, heatproof bowl. Gradually whisk in the remaining 2/3 cup whole milk, a little at a time so lumps do not form, then whisk in the egg. Once milk is boiling, very gradually add it to the cornstarch mixture in the bowl, whisking the whole time. Return the mixture back to the saucepan, stirring constantly with a silicon spatula or wooden spoon. Once it comes to a simmer, cook it for one minute longer (which will cook the cornstarch and egg fully). Stir in vanilla extract, cover, and chill in refrigerator until fully set, at least 2 hours.
While the pudding is setting up, make the cupcakes as directed but put one 'Nilla wafer in the bottom of each cupcake liner. Let them cool completely after baking. Also make the frosting and have it ready to go.
To fill the cupcakes, carve out a fairly large cone-shaped hole and carefully spoon the vanilla pudding inside. Apply frosting generously to cupcakes, sprinkle the tops with the 'Nilla wafer crumbs, and devour.