I’m not really sure where the idea for Banana Cream Pie cupcakes came from, since I don’t even like bananas. I hate the banana-flavored Runts, avoid banana nut bread like the Black Death, and let’s not even talk about regular old bananas. Tastes like old socks to me. But hey, I understand that people enjoy bananas. And the homemade banana pudding I made for these cupcakes was actually pretty amazing (yes, I tasted it, and it’s AWESOME). And that’s saying something.
For the cupcakes, I just used a standard vanilla cupcake recipe (courtesy of Magnolia Bakery, of course). I used a standard vanilla buttercream for the frosting, but I bet adding in some cinnamon would be great.
When I was looking up banana cream pie recipes to adapt into cupcakes, I was shocked at how many called for regular vanilla pudding over banana slices….really? No banana-flavored pudding? Sigh. I figured I had to do it the old-fashioned way: making banana pudding from scratch.
As for the filling, I will warn you: it’s a lot of work. I got the recipe from Salon, of all places, and it called for a banana caramel with a traditional pudding base. You could just buy a box of Jell-o vanilla pudding and add in a couple of pureed bananas. but honestly, the homemade banana pudding is worth it.
To fill the cupcakes, I used the cone method, just like I did for the apple pie cupcakes. I topped these off with a crushed vanilla wafer garnish.
I recommend making the pudding first, and have it cool while you’re baking the cupcakes.
Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes
For the filling:
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons cornstarch
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in pieces
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup banana caramel (see recipe below)
- Reserve a couple tablespoons of milk. Combine the rest with the cream in a pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, making sure that the milk does not boil over.
- While the dairy is heating, mix the reserved cold milk with the cornstarch in a heavy saucepan off heat. Make sure the starch dissolves completely.
- Whisk in the eggs and add the sugar and salt.
- In a slow, thin stream, pour the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking (this is called tempering). Once you’ve tempered in about half the milk, pour and whisk in the rest.
- Set the pan over medium heat, and stir constantly and briskly, adding the butter piece by piece. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens to a pudding consistency.
- Empty the pudding into a bowl. If you want to make sure it’s smooth, pour it in a fine-mesh strainer, and use your spatula to push it through.
- Gently stir in the banana caramel and vanilla. Do not overstir as mixture will break down and become runny. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the pudding surface to prevent a skin from forming, and let it cool completely before putting it in the fridge.
2 average to large bananas, very ripe
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
- In a blender or food processor, puree the bananas fully.
- Combine sugar and water in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over high flame, and turn it down to a vigorous simmer. Try to avoid big bubbles splashing up too much onto the sides of the pot; those splashes can dry out, leaving the sugar to crystallize up there, and may cause your caramel to crystallize.
- When you start seeing some color develop at the bottom, gently swirl the pan to distribute it; this helps the sugar caramelize evenly. Cook and swirl until the sugar is amber-colored and remove it from the heat, still swirling gently.
- Pour in pureed bananas and stir vigorously with a spoon or heat-proof spatula, making sure to dig in the corners of the pan. Allow to cool fully before using in pudding recipe.
For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Baking Temperature: 350 degrees
Baking Time: 20-25 minutes
- Line two muffin tins with cupcake papers.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
- Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
- Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
For the frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.
- Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes after each), until the icing is thick enough to be of good consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar.
- Store at room temperature or else icing will set. Can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.