It’s been a little while since cupcakes have graced The CPB Gallery. It’s been a while for banana, too. But today is our lucky day – we’ve got both!
I bake from scratch most of the time, but every now and again I use a little help from the grocery. Who doesn’t? This recipe isn’t totally from a box, but it’s not totally from scratch either. It’s kind of hybrid, which lends it some of the convenience of a boxed recipe, with the flavor of something homemade. These may not be a five star cupcake, but they are a solid 4 stars and great in a pinch.
Here’s a pic of the naked cupcakes. (Scandalous!)
Well I guess they have paper liners, so they’re not totally naked. Sorry to disappoint! Anyway, as you can see there are interesting valleys ingrained in the tops of these cupcakes. The indentations give you a sneak peak to the moist chocolatey goodness that awaits inside. These cupcakes were good the first day, but they tasted even more moist and rich as the days went on. I don’t really understand how or why that happens, but I am thankful for it!
I had a milk chocolate bar on hand that I decided to put to use as my garnish. I’ve never tried making chocolate curls before, but it seemed like an easy undertaking at the time. However, as you can see by the chocolate shreds atop my cupcakes, I could use some practice. I later found these tips on baking 911 for making beautiful chocolate curls:
Warm a 4-ounce chunk of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate in a microwave for 30 seconds. Just warm the chocolate slightly–don’t let it melt. (You may also warm the chocolate under a desk lamp.) Using a vegetable peeler, make the curls by pressing down while peeling them off the smoothest, widest edge of the chunk. The harder you press, the thicker the curls. Let the curls fall onto a waxed paper-lined preferably chilled metal sheet pan. Let set in a cool place. If at any time the curls start to droop or melt, refrigerate until ready to use.
Next time I’ll do my research before I attack my innocent chocolate bar. I got one nice curl, anyway:
Whether or not you go through with the curls, I hope you enjoy these cupcakes. They are quick, easy and delicious. I modified the original recipe slightly and added extra frosting because I like my peanut butter. ;)
Recipe after the break.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes
modified from Ultimate Recipe Showdown
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Jif)
1 cup ripe banana, mashed and firmly packed
1 Tbsp canola oil
3 Tbsp water
1 large egg
1 Tbsp Dutch process cocoa powder
1 (9oz) pkg devil’s food cake mix w/o pudding (recommended: Jiffy*)
Peanut Butter Frosting
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Jif)
2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 – 1 1/2 Tbsp whole milk
1 milk chocolate bar, peeled into curls
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside.
3. To make the cupcakes, in a medium bowl and with an electric mixer, beat the peanut butter, banana, oil and water together on medium speed until mostly smooth or only a few very small pieces of banana are visible. On low speed beat in the egg, cocoa powder and the cake mix. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute or until batter is well blended.
4. Spoon an equal amount of batter into the lined muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake on the center rack for 15 to 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center of cakes comes out clean.
5. Remove cupcakes from the pan and place on a wire rack until completely cool.
6. While the cakes cool, make the frosting. With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and peanut butter until smooth. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons milk until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. (If needed, add up to an extra 1/2 teaspoon of milk to make frosting smooth.) Frost cupcakes. Garnish each cupcake with milk chocolate curls.
* I couldn’t find Jiffy mix, so I just measured out 9oz of Betty Crocker’s Super Moist Devil’s Food Cake Mix.