These Banana Cupcakes boast seriously sweet banana flavor and a deliciously creamy frosting. And they are so easy to bake up (even a day ahead!). They’re perfect for a first birthday—or any special occasion.

healthy-banana-cupcakes-on-cake-stand

Banana Cupcakes

When we celebrated my middle kiddo’s first birthday, I wanted to make her cupcakes that included some of her favorite foods. She loved banana and she loved dairy, so Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting it was!

I also wanted to make them with less sugar than a standard cupcake, so I worked on this recipe for the occasion—and still make them many years later.

The cupcake recipe is packed with real bananas for flavor and moisture. The bananas also provide the majority of the sweetness. You can use either honey or maple syrup for the rest of the sweetness in this banana cupcakes recipe.

You also have the choice of using all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour.

Easy Banana Cupcakes Recipe

I’m pretty committed to the idea of simple when it comes to entertaining so I did my best to make her first birthday party special—but also easy. I was extra emotional about the milestone so the last thing I wanted was to be stressed out about the food at her party, particularly the cake.

TIP: You can bake these banana cupcakes the day before the party and they’ll stay moist and won’t dry out.

ingredients in banana cupcakes

Ingredients You Need

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

  • all-purpose flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • unsalted butter
  • maple syrup OR honey
  • very ripe bananas
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • cream cheese

TIP: These will taste best if the bananas are super ripe with brown spots.

how to make banana cupcakes step by step

How to Make Banana Cupcakes from Scratch

Here’s a look at how to bake up a batch of these banana cupcakes at home. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the full recipe.

  1. Stir together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. (photo 1)
  2. Measure out your banana slices. (photo 2)
  3. Add the wet ingredients to a blender. Blend smooth. (photo 3)
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir together gently. (photo 4)
  5. Evenly divide the batter among the prepared cupcake liners. (photo 5)
  6. Bake! (photo 6)

TIP: Once the cupcakes are totally cooled, you can pipe or spread on Cream Cheese Frosting and finish with a blueberry, if desired.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make these without gluten, diary, and eggs?

Here’s the full scoop on adjusting this recipe for food allergies. Make these adjustments and otherwise follow the recipe as written.
To make these gluten-free: Use cup for cup gluten free flour blend in place of the wheat flour.

To make these egg-free: Omit the egg and add ½ cup milk. (Please note that the egg-free version of this is still delicious, but they are denser than when you use eggs.)

To make these dairy-free: Use melted and slightly cooled coconut oil instead of the butter.

Can I make these without a blender?

Yes, though you’ll want to mash the bananas very, very well with a fork so they are totally smooth and not at all lumpy.

Adding them to a blender with the eggs ensures that they are blended super smooth, it adds air to the batter (which helps them to be light and fluffy), and it avoids any lumps of banana in the final cupcakes—which, in my opinion, makes them taste more like a real cupcake!

cream cheese frosting ingredients on orange plate

Easy Cream Cheese Frosting

To make the cream cheese frosting, you just need a few ingredients. I love the combination of cream cheese and banana cupcakes, and also that the frosting isn’t loaded with powdered sugar.

TIP: If you have a dairy-intolerance, you can substitute plain Greek nondairy yogurt for the cream cheese in the frosting. Simply let it sit in a mesh colander lined with cheesecloth for about an hour in the fridge to drain off any excess liquid.

frosted-banana-cupcakes-on-cake-stand

Tips for Making the Best Banana Cupcakes

  • Use very ripe bananas with brown spots for the best flavor.
  • Use a blender to combine the wet ingredients to ensure that there are no banana lumps in the batter. Or, mash the banana totally smooth with a fork.
  • Stir the batter together gently until just combined to avoid overworking it.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the pan as soon as you take them out of the oven. Let cool fully on a wire rack before adding icing.
  • You can make these up to a day ahead. Let cool fully, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours.
  • You can freeze unfrosted cupcakes in a zip top freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.
  • If you have a dairy-intolerance, you can substitute plain Greek nondairy yogurt for the cream cheese in the frosting. Simply let it sit in a mesh colander lined with cheesecloth for about an hour in the fridge to drain off any excess liquid.

I’d love to hear your feedback if you make this recipe so please comment below to share!

banana cupcakes on cake stand with first birthday hats

Best Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

This naturally sweet cupcake is perfect for a first birthday—or any birthday there after. See the Notes section under the recipe for allergy-friendly variations.
4.8 from 10 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 274kcal
Servings 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

Banana Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or whole-wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (1 stick)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 2 cups sliced very ripe bananas (they should have brown spots for the best flavor)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened at room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • blueberries for decorating, optional

Instructions

To make the cake:

  •  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners.
  • Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Add the butter, maple syrup (or honey) banana, eggs, and vanilla to a blender. Blend on high for about 30 seconds or until completely smooth.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir together gently with a spatula until just combined.
  • Evenly divide the batter among the prepared cupcake liners with batter. Each will take about ¼ cup of the batter. The cupcake liner will be just over half full. 
  • Bake 20-22 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack and cool fully.
  • Pipe or spread on Cream Cheese Frosting and finish with a blueberry, if desired.

To make the frosting:

  • Beat together the cream cheese, butter, honey, and vanilla with a hand-held electric mixer.

To frost the cupcakes:

  • Pipe or spread the frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Add a blueberry on top of each if desired.

Notes

  • Gluten-free: Use cup for cup gluten free flour blend in place of the wheat flour.
  • Egg-free: Omit the egg and add ½ cup milk.
  • Dairy-free: Use melted and slightly cooled coconut oil instead of the butter. Substitute plain Greek nondairy yogurt for the cream cheese in the frosting. Simply let it sit in a mesh colander lined with cheesecloth for about an hour in the fridge to drain off any excess liquid.
  • Use very ripe bananas with brown spots for the best flavor.
  • Use a blender to combine the wet ingredients to ensure that there are no banana lumps in the batter. Or, mash the banana totally smooth with a fork.
  • Stir the batter together gently until just combined to avoid overworking it.
  • Remove the cupcakes from the pan as soon as you take them out of the oven. Let cool fully on a wire rack before adding icing.
  • You can make these up to a day ahead. Let cool fully, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours.
  • You can freeze unfrosted cupcakes in a zip top freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake, Calories: 274kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 73mg, Sodium: 270mg, Potassium: 174mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 604IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 63mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made these cupcakes as mini bundt cakes for my sons first birthday and he devoured it. I topped the frosting with cinnamon apples. Thank you!

  2. It’s not recommended to feed children under 2 years old honey, as it may make these children sick from spores possibly in the honey. Would you have another sweetener recommendation for the icing?

    1. Actually it’s not recommended to feed kids under 1 honey, but after that it should be fine. You can use maple syrup if you prefer.

  3. Hey! I planned on making these today (Monday) for my nephews birthday (Wednesday) and I was wondering if that would be okay, would they stay fresh and good for a whole day and a half basically ? I will wait to do the icing until Wednesday I figured but I was hoping the cupcakes I could make today

    1. They may be just a smidge less moist but they should be okay if you store them in an airtight container at room temperature, once cooled!

  4. 5 stars
    Made these last night for my sons 1st birthday and made them Gluten Free. He devoured it for breakfast this morning. They taste SO good – just like regular banana muffins. Now I just have to make it for his smash cake and we’ll be all set.

    Thank you!!!!

    1. I haven’t done it but it should work just fine! Divide the batter between two 8 inch round pans and bake at the same temp for 24-28 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out cleanly. Try not to over bake. You’ll want to let the cakes cool in the pans for at least 15-20 minutes before you turn them out onto a wire rack. You may also want to line the inside bottom of the pans with parchment (and also grease them) to ensure that they don’t stick. Please report back if you try it!

  5. I’m planning to bring these to my sons school for his birthday. Should I frost them the night before and refrigerate them? Or should I make the frosting in the morning and frost them then? Thanks!

    1. Fun! I would probably frost them in the morning. You could mix up the frosting the night before and then store it in an airtight container overnight to cut down on the work. (Or if you have a covered cupcake container with a relatively tight seal, you could do the whole thing ahead, frosting and all. I’m honestly not sure there would be that much of a difference either way—you just don’t want them uncovered since the frosting could get a little hard/dried out around the edges.)

      1. Hi! So if preparing these the night before fully, would I store in an airtight container and then put them in the refrigerator or leave them out? Thanks so much!

      2. If they are frosted, I would store in the fridge in a container. Before serving, let sit at room temp for a bit so they soften up.

      3. Once you’ve completed the full recipe and put in an airtight container do you put it in the refrigerator or leave out?

      4. If they are frosted, I would store in the fridge in a container overnight. Before serving, let sit at room temp for a bit so they soften up.

  6. When you say 1 stick butter in the cupcake recipe, how many grams/ounces is this? I’m in Australia and 1 block seems like a lot (250g)

  7. YAY! My 10 yo daughter and I made these for my son’s birthday party tomorrow! Of course we had to taste test , have not iced them yet but they are delicious!! Baked nicely! I used the gluten free flour and used real maple syrup! Thank you so much for this awesome recipe! I will let you know how they turn out when iced!

  8. 5 stars
    These look just as delicious as the vanilla cupcakes. Can you make these mini cupcakes? How long should I bake them?

      1. Slice the bananas to measure them. Then they get added to the blender.

    1. I haven’t tried either of those but I would think they’d work okay. The maple syrup option may need another minute or two to bake.