Yesterday, the weather was absolutely gorgeous (say hi to 72 and sunny!) so I went to this baseball field that is a few block from our house. Three of my brothers and a friend came down and played baseball with me and it was so much fun! It felt so good to be out in the fresh air. And I wore flip flops! Most people that know me know that I love flip flops! I try to wear flip flops as long as I can - sometimes even March till November! Anyway, I'm pretty pumped for spring & summer, I love the warm weather, the sun, everything! Except, I do kind of miss school during the summer ... I know! I'm weird! But seriously, after you've had barbecues and gone to the beach or went on a nice, long walk (my favorite summery things); it sometimes gets a little boring. Only sometimes! And that's just my opinion, so it doesn't really matter. Haha. And I'm one of those people (wait, are there any other people like this? I was all by my lonesome about the potato thing!) that doesn't really like the weekend. In theory, it sounds nice & relaxing; but in reality, once again, it can be a little boring! Don't get me wrong, I do like summer! And I'm very much looking forward to the warmer weather!
So after I got home from playing baseball, I baked cupcakes. Of the chocolate-banana kind. With some peanut butter frosting! Does it get better than that!? Actually, I doubled the cupcake recipe and frosted half with peanut butter frosting and the other half with chocolate-banana frosting (I'll share the recipe next week). The batter is phenomenal, so chocolatey and addicting! I wasn't sure you'd actually be able to taste the banana, but the banana flavor really shines through. Top it all off with a creamy peanut butter buttercream, and you have an incredibly delicious (and slightly rich) cupcake! Overall, I was very happy with how these turned out - after all, who doesn't love chocolate & banana together? Or chocolate & peanut butter (besides my mom and brother)? Or banana & peanut butter? Those are some of my favorite flavor combinations, so it's really no surprise that I enjoyed these so much! Try them soon!
Chocolate Banana Cupcakes (Source: Tracey's Culinary Adventures)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup ripe banana, mashed (about 1 banana)
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 baking soda
1/2 baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, beat milk, mashed banana, oil, vanilla and sugar until well combined. In a second medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and gently whisk (or fold with a rubber spatula) just until combined.
Distribute the batter evenly among the liners, filling each about 1/2 - 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the muffin pan to a wire rack. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer them to the wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 12 cupcakes.
Peanut Butter Buttercream (Source: Tracey's Culinary Adventures)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (not natural)
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
pinch table salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream
In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat butter and peanut butter at medium-high speed until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar and salt to the bowl and beat at low speed just until the sugar is moistened. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat the mixture until fully combined. Finally, mix in the vanilla and heavy cream and beat to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again then beat on medium speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.
Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and garnish with banana slices.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups (enough to frost 10-12 cupcakes)
Have a fabulous weekend!