Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes

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

Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes

For the filling:

BANANA PUDDING

1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 eggs
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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Whisk in the eggs and add the sugar and salt.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

BANANA CARAMEL

2 average to large bananas, very ripe
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water

  1. In a blender or food processor, puree the bananas fully.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

  1. Line two muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Store at room temperature or else icing will set. Can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.

4 Responses to Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes

  1. Jojo Barboza says:

    Your photos are getting pretty artsy…and wonderful…

  2. CAPow! says:

    I really wish I had been around for THESE….(I love bananas! …sorry if that makes you throw up in your mouth a little bit…)

  3. silver price says:

    I make this for Thanksgiving every year, and it is always a great hit. I like to layer the mixture with the cookies, bananas, and another container of cool whip in a trifle bowl – makes for a beautiful presentation. I also use banana cream instant pudding instead of vanilla so it’s super banana-y! I don’t see anything wrong with the amount of milk as long as it has time to set in the refrigerator before serving.

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