These Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting have minimal added sugar, so they are perfect for a first birthday or a toddler birthday…but totally sweet and delicious enough to be enjoyed by a range of ages!
Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
A few weeks ago we celebrated baby Tula’s first birthday. It’s so hard to believe that her first year went by so quickly, but we were more than happy to celebrate her with a big batch of Banana Cupcakes! Her favorite foods include dairy (cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, and more) and fruit (particularly blueberries and bananas), so I used that as my inspiration for her cupcakes.
Moist Banana Cupcakes
The cupcake recipe is packed with real bananas for flavor and moisture. And while they aren’t quite as fluffy as my Lower Sugar Vanilla Cupcakes), but no one seemed to mind much—especially not the birthday girl.
Easy Banana Cupcakes
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. You can bake these banana cupcakes the day before the party and they’ll stay moist and won’t dry out.
Healthy Banana Cupcakes
While these cupcakes are still a treat, I knew that using a base of mashed bananas would provide natural sweetness and going with a simple cream cheese frosting seemed like a must—it would have pleasant creaminess without needing cups of powdered sugar to pipe perfectly. And I knew she’d love it given her adoration of dairy!
So if you have a little one with a special day coming up and you’re looking for a lower sugar dessert option, these Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are a great option.
See the Notes section under the recipe for allergy-friendly variations.
- 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 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 cups sliced very ripe (with brown spots) banana
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- 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 1/4 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.
Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat together 1 8-ounce package cream cheese (softened at room temperature), 2 tablespoons butter (softened at room temperature), 2-3 tablespoons honey, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with a hand-held mixer. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.
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 1/2 cup milk.
To make these dairy-free: Use melted and slightly cooled coconut oil instead of the butter.
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.