I've never been a huge fan of cupcakes since most of the ones I've had have been both bland and dry. And when it comes to some of the ones that my toddler has been served at birthday parties—don't get me started on the insane amount of neon frosting!—they are simply just too sweet. Now, before you think that I'm going to be the treats police, hear me out: I love desserts and treats of all kinds, but I just think that there are better options than what is often served up to our kids.
Take these banana cupcakes. Technically, this recipe started out as a muffin and they are perfectly great muffins should you be in the market for one. But when paired with lightly sweetened maple syrup, these little bites are totally dessert worthy. (Had I known this recipe back when my girl was turning one, it's a pretty safe bet that they would have been on offer at her party.) They mix up in one bowl, the frosting is crazy easy to make, and they are wholesome enough for dessert or even a special breakfast—for you or your little one.
Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 20 mini cupcakes
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 t vanilla
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 T melted butter, slightly cooled
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
8 oz cream cheese, slightly softened
1-2 T maple syrup
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a mini muffin tin. Gently stir together all ingredients except the cream cheese and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Spoon into muffin tin, filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the edges are starting to brown. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
2. Stir the cream cheese and maple syrup together until smooth. Spread or pipe (I use a zip top plastic bag as an impromptu piping bag) onto cupcakes. Serve immediately, or keep the frosting and the cupcakes separate and refrigerated until ready to serve.
Add 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips to the batter.
Top with sunbutter, almond, or peanut butter.
Warm slightly and serve as morning muffins.