I'm a smidge baffled as to why I've been baking with bananas so often lately. I'm not a big banana fan. While there's always money in the banana stand, there's usually not a banana in my belly (Arrested Development, anyone?) I think after spending so many mornings making banana, butterscotch, and bourbon bread for the shop, I became accepting of bananas, if not, an advocate of baking with bananas. One of my favorite qualities of a banana is the wide-ranging compatibility it has with other flavors; chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla, caramel, etc. The list goes on and on.
Rumor has it that Elvis loved sandwiches filled with peanut butter, banana, and bacon. How could I NOT make that into a cupcake? This is easily one of the best banana cakes I've ever made- the texture is out of this world, soft and tender, and the flavor is boldly banana. The peanut butter frosting is light and sweet, a perfectly whipped and nutty topping to the marshmallow and banana beneath. To finish, candied bacon. Yes. The candied bacon brings flavors of salty bacon and sweet brown sugar to the table as well as crunchiness to the otherwise creamy, dreamy counterparts.
1 stick [113 grams] butter, softened
1 cup [235 grams] granulated sugar
2 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon banana extract
1 cup [270 grams] smashed bananas, roughly 3 whole bananas
3/4 cup [185 grams] sour cream
2 1/4 cup [315 grams] all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dry milk powder, optional
On the sidelines:
Peanut butter frosting, recipe as follows
Candied bacon, recipe as follows
Marshmallow fluff, for stuffing
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with paper cupcake liners. Set aside.
In the first bowl, cream together the butter and sugar for several minutes until light and fluffy.
Add the second bowl, one egg at a time, into the first bowl. Scrape down the sides as needed.
Add the bananas and sour cream from the third bowl to the wet ingredients and continue to mix for another minute or two.
Whisk together the dry ingredients in the fourth bowl and add into the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
Portion the batter into the cupcake tin, filling each cupcake mold about 2/3 of the way full. Bake in the oven until the cupcakes are golden brown and spring back when lightly touched- for me, roughly 30 minutes. Let cool.
To assemble, use the back of a wooden spoon or whisk to make a small hole in the center of each cupcake. Fill each hole with about a teaspoon of marshmallow fluff. I like to scrape the fluff into a plastic piping bag and pipe a small amount into each cupcake. This is way easier than using a spoon. If you haven't any piping bags, a plastic Ziploc baggie works well- just snip off one corner at the bottom of the bag.
Pipe or spoon peanut butter frosting on top and sprinkle with chopped candied bacon.
Peanut Butter Frosting
1/3 stick [83 grams] cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup [117 grams] smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons heavy cream
2 1/2 cup [350 grams] powdered sugar
Good pinch of salt
Cream everything together for several minutes until light and fluffy.
A few slices of bacon
Light brown sugar
Line a baking pan with foil or parchment and place bacon on top. Sprinkle brown sugar on top of the bacon and bake in the oven, around 350 degrees, until crispy and deep brown. Let cool.