Saturday, April 9, 2011

2nd Blogiversary Celebration: Banana Split Cupcakes

Can you believe that it has been two years since I started my cooking blog adventures?  Me neither.  To celebrate I gave away a signed copy of Pioneer Woman Cooks.  It was won by lovely reader S who happens to be a local Cincinnati Nestie that I met earlier in the year when I went to a Christmas cookie swap.

Since not everyone was able to win the grand prize, I'm sharing a consolation prize so that you can all still celebrate this milestone with me.  These banana split cupcakes are like a secret adventure.  The outside gives you no hint of what lies inside.  As my sister Kelly's boyfriend/prom date stated when he bit inside, "Oh my god!  There are strawberries and pineapples!".  It's such a pleasant surprise and I think the filling keeps the cake extra moist.

Speaking of the cake, I would have liked the flavor of the banana to come through more but I think had I put in more banana than called for it would have ended up with a texture of banana bread rather than this fluffy cake.  If there were more room I would have stuffed a banana slice into the center of the cupcake but it was already pretty full.  The whipped cream frosting was perfect (and soooo easy to make.  Don't waste your time on the pre-made stuff like Cool Whip or Ready Whip.  This is infinitely better!).  The chocolate topping really pulled the taste together in my opinion and it gives it that festive look once its finished with sprinkles.  Overall it takes a little effort to make each component and assemble but nothing was especially hard and the look is worth it.  This tasted and looked just like a sundae but in cupcake form.  So fun to eat!

Tip: You can assemble the cupcake through piping the frosting a day or two in advance.  Then, store the cupcakes in your refrigerator until you're ready to finish with the gananche, sprinkles, and cherry.  Don't do the finishing steps until you're almost ready to serve because otherwise the color of the sprinkles will bleed into the chocolate and whipped cream, becoming muted in color.  Unfortunately I learned this the hard way!

Happy 2nd Blogiversary to me!  Thanks for coming to my party :).

One Year Ago: Blueberry Citrus Cake
Two Years Ago: Crockpot Turkey.  Why or how this became the first recipe I ever posted I am not quite sure but wow how far I've come in such little time!

By the way, need a way to use up the rest of your buttermilk after making this recipe?  Check out my buttermilk tag for ideas.

Banana Split Cupcakes
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Yields: 30+ Cupcakes


For the cupcakes:
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
  • 1 1/3 cups mashed ripe banana
For the filling:
  • 1 lb. strawberries, hulled and diced small
  • 2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
  • 12 oz. crushed pineapple, drained
For the frosting:
  • 1½ cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
For the ganache:
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp. light corn syrup
For garnish:
  • Multi-colored sprinkles
  • Maraschino cherries
  1. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt; whisk together and set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce the mixer speed to medium low and add in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Mix in 1 the mashed banana until well combined.  With the mixer on low speed alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing only until just incorporated.
  2. Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 to ¾ full.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes.  Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. To make the strawberry filling, combine the strawberries and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl.  Toss well, smashing slightly with a fork.  Allow the berries to macerate at least 20-30 minutes.
  4. To fill the cupcakes, cut a small cone out of the center of each cupcake with a paring knife or small biscuit cutter.  (The excess cake can be discarded or saved for cake balls or parfaits)  Add a teaspoon or two of the strawberry filling to the center of each cupcake.  Top with a teaspoon or two of the crushed pineapple, filling to the top of the cupcake.
  5. To make the frosting, add the heavy cream to the chilled bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  Whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.  Add the powdered sugar and continue to whip until thoroughly combined and stiff peaks form.  Be careful not to over-beat!  Blend in the vanilla extract.
  6. Add the whipped cream to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip.  Pipe a swirl of the whipped cream onto each filled cupcake, covering the filling.  Transfer the filled and frosted cupcakes to the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  7. To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.  Bring the cream to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Remove from the heat and pour the hot cream over the chocolate; let stand 1-2 minutes.  Whisk together until a thick, smooth ganache forms.  Blend in the corn syrup.  Let stand at room temperature at least 10 minutes so the ganache is not hot.
  8. To finish the cupcakes, pour a spoonful of the ganache over the whipped cream topping of each cupcake.  Garnish with sprinkles and maraschino cherries before the glaze sets.  Chill the assembled cupcakes until ready to serve.
Source: Annie's Eats