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banana cupcakes on cake stand with first birthday hats
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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.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Calories 274kcal

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 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.

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 1/2 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