Caramelized Banana Cupcakes

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Sometimes I have leftover batter and frosting from all my baking projects. These cupcakes were created from the components of several different cupcakes. In my mind, caramel and banana are a great combination. I decided to add bananas to my favorite velvet batter, and then topped the cupcakes with some salted caramel frosting. And just as i had suspected…they were amazing ūüėÄ

Banana Cupcake Batter:

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/3¬†cups granulated white sugar
  • 4 large, very ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 1¬†teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2¬†large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3¬† cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon instant coffee, dissolved in 1 Tbsp boiling water

Salted Caramel Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp¬†sea salt

Salted Caramel Buttercream:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1/3 cup salted caramel sauce
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Sea salt, for garnish

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Bake Time: 12-14 minutes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Preheat oven to 325. Line two  cupcake tins.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, vegetable oil,eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and bananas. Stir in the coffee, and white vinegar. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients a little at time, mixing after each addition, until just combined.Bake in the middle rack for 12-14 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Keep a close eye on the cupcakes, you don’t want them to over bake! They will continue to cook as they cool. Remove the cupcakes from the pans, and let them cool fully on a wire rack before frosting.

While the cupcakes bake, prepare the salted caramel sauce. Pour¬†the sugar into a large, heavy-bottomed pot, and whisk until completely melted. The sugar will clump in the beginning, but don’t worry…it will melt completely with time.¬†Allow the¬†sugar to cook until it turns a beautiful amber color, and has a nutty aroma. I don‚Äôt have a candy thermometer, so I go completely by visual cues. At this point, remove¬†the mixture from the heat. Whisk in the butter, then the cream. The mixture¬†will bubble up, so be careful during this stage (I burned my finger!). The last step is¬†to stir in the salt. Let the caramel¬†cool to room temperature.You can store any¬†leftover caramel in a mason jar. It will last in your fridge for about two weeks.

Once the caramel has cooled, prepare the salted caramel buttercream. Whip the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer, until it is fluffy. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar, adding it in multiple installments. As the frosting thickens, add caramel, salt, and vanilla. Continue to mix, and add cream until desired consistency is reached.

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Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, pipe on the caramel buttercream frosting using a large, round tip. I topped each cupcake with a drizzle of caramel sauce, a banana chip, and a sprinkle of sea salt.

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