Banana Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting And Salted Caramel
I have a bunch of over ripe banana’s that need to be used ASAP, I have made loaf after loaf of banana bread and wanted something a little different so I decided to make cupcakes, banana cake is wonderful and something I haven’t made in a very long time. I saw this recipe for the cupcakes and caramel sauce on Martha Stewarts website and it sounded delicious. The homemade caramel sauce with banana cake and cream cheese icing sounds perfect.
I have to confess, I have never made caramel, real caramel before. For some reason I was intimidated by it, maybe it was the bubbling that occurs when you add the cream, or the fear of failure, who knows but I avoided making it until today. I have to admit this caramel sauce is wonderful, delicious and so easy to make, I didn’t even use my candy thermometer I simply went by the color of the caramel and it turned out perfectly. You can make the caramel sauce the day before the cupcakes so it is cooled sufficiently and thick enough to pipe onto the cupcakes. NOTE: I halved the recipe for caramel sauce.
Makes 10 oz of sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tbs unsalted butter cut into tbs size pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
sea salt (I used Maldon flakes)
In medium size heavy bottom sauce pan add the sugar, turn the heat to medium/high and let the sugar start to melt, when you see that it’s melting start whisking the sugar, it will clump it’s ok keep whisking until it’s completely melted. Let it cook until it turns a deep amber color swirling the pot every now and then. Once it’s a deep amber color add the butter and whisk until sugar is incorporated. Remove from heat and add the heavy cream, whisk until combined and add a pinch or two of the sea salt. Let cool for 20 minutes and then pour into container, it will be thin but it thickens up beautifully.
Makes 24 regular size cupcakes or 12 jumbo
- 3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 4 very ripe large bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place liners in cupcake tins.
Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition.
Reduce speed to low. Mix wet ingredients (bananas, buttermilk and vanilla) in a bowl. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each full.
Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 20 minutes for jumbo cupcakes increase cooking time to 25-30 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese softened
8 oz unsalted butter softened
4-6 cups confectioners sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Cream butter and cream cheese in stand mixer using paddle attachment, add the confectioners sugar a cup at a time beating until smooth and spreadable consistency, add the vanilla and mix until combined. Frost cupcakes immediately.
Pipe icing onto cupcakes and drizzle with caramel sauce. Enjoy!