Sunday, January 6, 2013

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting

Philadelphia has a few of the ever so trendy cupcake trucks patrolling the streets, and the best known of the bunch (Buttercream Cupcakes aka the Cupcake Lady) had taken up temporary residence for a while down the block from my office. I was sort of skeptical about how good cupcakes could be, but one bite into a banana cupcake with nutella buttercream frosting and I was hooked. I think the cupcake lady opened up a legit store, so she doesn’t come around much anymore, but these were definitely inspired by her recipe. Just with more chocolate. Recipes for the cupcakes and frosting from and respectively.

For the Cupcakes (yields 12):
200 grams (1 cup) granulated white sugar
130 grams (1 cup) all purpose flour
35 grams (1/3 cup) cocoa powder
¾ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 large egg
½ cup mashed ripe bananas (~1 medium sized banana)
½ cup (120 ml) warm water
¼ cup (60 ml) milk
¼ cup (60 ml) canola/vegetabale oil
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract.

Whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. My cocoa powder was clumpy, so I ended up sifting all the dry ingredients into another bowl. In a different bowl, whisk the egg, bananas, water, milk, oil, and extract together. Pour the wet batter onto the dry ingredients, and whisk to combine (don’t over mix, you want everything to just combine).

Move your oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners, and scoop the batter into each muffin cup, about ¾ full (I used a scant ¼ cup of batter for each). Bake for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack before frosting.

For the Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting:
60 grams (2 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
60 grams (4 oz., half a stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
120 grams (1 cup) powdered sugar
12 grams (2 tablespoons) cocoa powder
155 grams (1/2 cup) nutella

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, add the cream cheese and butter and beat on high for 5 minutes, until the mixture is light and smooth. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder, and mix on low until the ingredients are combined. Turn up the speed to high, and beat for 2 more minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add in the nutella and mix on low, until combined (don’t overmix, or the frosting will get grainy).

Spread the frosting on the cupcakes, and garnish with slices of banana.


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