Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Banana Chocolate Cupcakes with Honey Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

In keeping with the previous cupcake, this cupcake is the result of a special request from a coworker.  You may have noticed that I have been much better as of late in keeping with the "boozy" theme of this blog.  Personally, I have rather enjoyed the booze addition to my baked goods.  However, we have a few people at the Firm who, for various reasons, do not drink.  One of these people is Brad.

Brad is a toddler associate...meaning he is in his third year here at the Firm (in a comment to a previous post, I was asked if the designation of "baby lawyer" was something that the partners actually call us around here.  The answer to that is no, it is just my way of describing what I feel I am)!  He is on my team and offices just two doors down from me.  Brad doesn't drink.  He does, however, enjoy baked goods.  On the day of the delightful Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes at work, Brad came into my office to tell me they looked delicious...and then to request that I make a cupcake or two sans the booze so he can also participate in eating them.

Because Brad was the person who requested the non-booze cupcakes (and because I didn't have any non-booze cupcakes on my baking list), I let him decide what flavor of cupcakes he was looking for, and he settled on banana.  After a scavenger hunt through various baking blogs, and multiple emails, he decided on Chocolate Banana Cupcakes from The Cupcake Project. 

He wasn't picky about the frosting, and said he trusted my judgment on that one.  The recipe called for a Macadamia Nut Butter Frosting, which I wasn't really in the mood for.  I decided I would rather honey cinnamon cream cheese frosting...which I found various recipes for all over the Internet, and used the one at the bottom of the page, but cannot for the life of me remember where it came from. 

Anyway, baking this cupcake was...well...interesting.  The week before I baked these cupcakes, I had some bananas in my fruit bowl that were ripe, and friends told me to freeze them to save them for baking.  I've never frozen a banana before and then defrosted them to bake with.  Let me tell was DISGUSTING!  The banana was all limp and floppy and brown...there were juices...definitely not my favorite part of the baking process.  But, it worked.

The batter was also strange for this cupcake.  I made a double batch of the cupcakes, which amounted to 36 cupcakes.  I only have one cupcake pan (I used to have two, but apparently soaking a cupcake pan for two days leads to rust.  Who knew?!), so I had to bake my cupcakes in three different installments.  Scooping out the batter into the pan for the first 12 was no problem.  But, as those 12 cooked, I think the melted chocolate used in the batter started to harden back up, because the batter was definitely more clumpy the second time around.  The third time around it was dang near impossible to work with.  But, it worked and all the cupcakes turned out just fine!

My absolute favorite part of this cupcake was the frosting, and I think a lot of that has to do with the HONEY!  Ian and I recently went to his cousin's wedding.  His aunt and uncle have 6 beehives and recently harvested their honey for the year, and all of the wedding guests got a cute little container of fresh from the hive honey to take home with them! 

Cute, right?  The only downfall to using this fresh from the hive honey?  I used it all in my I definitely need to get more because it was DELICIOUS! 

Overall, I wasn't overly thrilled with these cupcakes.  I thought the chocolate tasted weird, there wasn't enough banana flavor, and the cupcakes were dry.

EVERYONE ELSE seemed to like them.  No one agreed that they were dry, the cupcakes disappeared faster than any other batch (maybe because people finally know where they are coming from and have learned to trust that I'm not going to give them food poisoning?), and overall I had really great reviews.  I did have some agreement that there needed to be more banana, so if you choose to make these, add a banana for more flavor!

Absolute best part of this cupcake, though, was the frosting, hands down! 

Banana Chocolate Cupcakes - (makes 18...if you only make 18, do 1/2 the frosting!)
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cups sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla (vanilla bean paste)
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
8 oz dark chocolate, melted.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake liners.
  2. Cream butter and sugar.
  3. Add eggs, sour cream, flour, and baking soda.
  4. Add vanilla and mashed bananas.
  5. Stir in melted chocolate.
  6. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Honey Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting -
1 cup butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey
4-8 cups powdered sugar
  1. Cream butter until light and fluffy.  Add the cream cheese and beat for another two minutes.
  2. Mix in the honey and cinnamon.
  3. Gradually add in the powdered sugar one cup at a time until you get your desired consistency. 

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