Brown Butter Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

These banana cupcakes are incredibly moist and full of flavour. The hint of cinnamon combined with the tartness of the cream cheese frosting and the sweet crunch of the candied walnuts - delicious!  

 Brown Butter Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Walnuts

It's starting to feel like fall around here! I can't believe that it is already September! Where did the summer go? There is always something special about back to school season. Now that I am a student again, I am loving browsing all of the adorable back to school supplies and stocking up on post-it notes and highlighters. Is there anything more quintessentially back to school than banana bread? I knew I wanted to make a cupcake so I decided to celebrate the back to school season with these Brown Butter Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. Everything is better with cream cheese frosting! And lately I have been obsessed with brown butter, if you couldn't tell

The brown butter adds a lovely depth of flavour to these banana cupcakes and nicely complements the candied walnuts. I kept the cream cheese frosting on the tangy side to account for the sweetness of the candied walnuts. The tanginess pairs nicely with the sweetness of the bananas as well. I love the added crunch that the walnuts add to the cupcakes - its a wonderful added texture - but feel free to omit them or switch out the walnuts for a different nut, pecans would also work well! 

 Brown Butter Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Walnuts

Brown Butter Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Walnuts

Makes: 18 cupcakes

Ingredients: 

For the cupcakes:
1 ¾ c cake flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½  tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
½  c butter, browned
1 c sugar
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
8oz cream cheese, at room temp
½ c butter, at room temp
2 to 4 c icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tbsp heavy cream (optional)

For the Candied Walnuts:
½ c walnut pieces
¼ c sugar

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line a cupcake tray with liners, set aside.

In a medium saucepan, over medium to high heat, melt butter. Once melted allow the butter to brown and caramelize in colour (3-4 minutes). Caramelized bits should start to form at the bottom of the pan. Take care not to let the butter burn. Transfer browned butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, be sure to scrape all the browned bits from the pan (they are full of flavour!). Mix on low-medium speed for about 5 minutes to allow butter to cool slightly.

While the butter is cooling, in a medium sized bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. 

In the stand mixer, add sugar to the butter. Beat at medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Beat in eggs on at at time, scraping down the side of the bowl after each addition. Beat in ripened bananas until just combined. On low speed, slowly mix in the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3s of the way full. Bake on centre rack for 15-18 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the centre of the cupcakes comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack to cool Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. 

For the frosting: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, on medium speed, beat together butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes). Reduce speed to low and add in icing sugar one cup at a time. If you are using the candied walnuts - I would recommend using 2 cups of sugar, for a less sweet more tart frosting. Mix until combined. Add in vanilla. Whip frosting on medium - high speed until light, fluffy and pale in colour. If you would prefer a thinner frosting, add in heavy cream until desired consistency is reached. Frost cupcakes as desired.

For the Candied Walnuts: In a small pan, over medium to high heat, add walnut pieces and sugar. Stir occasionally, to prevent mixture from burning. When the sugar starts to melt, mix frequently to coat the walnuts. Immediately transfer candied walnuts to parchment paper. If necessary, once cooled, roughly chop candied walnuts into small pieces. 

 Brown Butter Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Walnuts

S'more Cupcakes

Nothing says summer quite like a s'more! These chocolate cupcakes are topped with a rich chocolate ganache buttercream, graham cracker crumbs and a toasted meringue frosting

 S'more Cupcakes: Chocolate Cupcakes with graham crackers crumbs and meringue frosting

I'm back! Did you miss me? I didn't mean to take such a long break between posting - but I am super excited to share these s'more cupcakes with you! I also have lots of other fun recipes to share with you over the next couple of weeks. I am so excited about all of the the delicious summer berries and stone fruits that are in season right now. But back to the cupcakes.

 After I made this Lemon Rosemary Meringue Cake, my mom surprised me with a kitchen torch! I was super excited...and a tiny bit nervous (have you seen those flames! haha) to try it out. I debated what to make first. But once the weather really started warming up, I knew that I wanted to make a twist on a summer time classic. One of my favourite things about summer is summer nights sitting around a bon fire with friends, roasting marshmallows and making s'mores. Nothing says summer more than s'mores.

These cupcakes are the perfect summer treat - great for a summer bbq, to celebrate the kids being done school or you know, just because. They have all the elements of a s'more - just in cupcake form! The chocolate cupcake base is one of my favourite go to recipes - slightly modified. It is moist and full of chocolate-y flavour. The chocolate ganache frosting is rich, smooth and creamy - I could eat it with a spoon! the crushed graham crackers add texture to the cupcake. The shinning star of these s'more cupcakes however, is the meringue frosting. It is sweet and sticky - just like a marshmallow. It also browns beautifully.  There is no doubt about it - these cupcakes are visually stunning. The combination of the different textures and flavours makes you want to dive right in and of course have s'more! 

 S'more Cupcakes: Chocolate Cupcakes with graham crackers crumbs and meringue frosting

S'more Cupcakes

Makes: 2 dozen

Ingredients 

For the Cupcakes

1/2 c hot water 

1/2 c cocoa powder 

2 1/4 c flour 

1 tsp baking powder 

1 tsp baking soda 

1 tsp salt 

1c butter, cut into cubes

2 c sugar 

4 eggs, at room temperature

1 c sour cream 

For the Frosting

1/2 c chocolate chips 

1/4 c heavy cream 

1/2 c butter, at room temperature 

2 c icing sugar 

1 c crushed graham crackers

For the Meringue

4 egg whites

1 c sugar 

Directions

For the Cupcakes Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pans with liners. In a small bowl, whisk together hot water, cocoa powder. In another medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. 

In a small sauce pan, over medium heat combine the butter and sugar. Stir occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted. Remove from heat and pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. On medium, beat butter & sugar mixture until it begins to thicken and pales in colour (approx. 4-5 mins). You want to ensure the mixture has cooled slightly before adding your eggs. Add eggs one at a time, scrapping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add in cocoa mixture. Mix until incorporated.  With the mixer on low speed, add half the flour, followed by the sour cream, ending with the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until just incorporated.

Divide batter evenly into prepared cupcake liners. Fill liners 1/2-2/3rds of the way full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

For the Frosting  In a small microwave safe bowl, heat the cream for 30-40 seconds or until almost boiling. Pour over chocolate chips and stir until melted, creating a chocolate ganache, set aside. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, over medium to high speed, cream together butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in chocolate ganache until well incorporated.

For the Meringue  Over a double boiler heat together the egg white and sugar for 5 -7 minutes, whisking constantly. Transfer mixture to a clean stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on high for 5 - 7 minutes or until stiff glossy peaks form.

To Assemble Fill pipping bag fitted with a large round tip (or coupler) with the chocolate ganache frosting. Pipe a boarder around the cupcake and roll in crushed graham crackers. Fill a second pipping bag fitted with a large star tip (Wilton tips 1M or 2D) with the meringue. Pipe meringue into the centre of the cupcake and brown using a kitchen torch.

 

 S'more Cupcakes: Chocolate Cupcakes with graham crackers crumbs and meringue frosting

Vanilla Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting

These vanilla cupcakes with milk chocolate frosting are the perfect birthday (or everyday) treat. They are simple, classic and delicious! 

 Vanilla Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting

This April weather has seriously got me down. We had a huge ice storm here this weekend. If you looked outside you would have sworn it was January and not almost May! We were stuck inside all day on Sunday, since the car was completely frozen over. I made a huge pot of tomato sauce for dinner and decided that we needed something classic and comforting for dessert.  The vanilla cupcakes are delicious and moist. They have a great crumb and nice bite to them. The real star here however, is this whipped milk chocolate frosting. It is light, fluffy and oh so delicious.  The frosting on its own reminds me of a big glass of chocolate milk. The sweetness of the milk chocolate makes the frosting lighter than your traditional chocolate frosting made with either cocoa powder or semi sweet chocolate. 

I decided to keep the cupcakes fairly casual. I didn't use my usual cupcake decorating technique but instead I used an off set spatula to quickly frost these cupcakes. I couldn't wait to dig into them and I love the more relaxed look this frosting technique gives. There is something nostalgic about it. Of course I had to add sprinkles! They brightened up the cupcakes (and the grey weather that we have been having). 

 Vanilla Cupcakes With Milk Chocolate Frosting

Vanilla Cupcakes With Milk Chocolate Frosting

Makes: 1 Dozen

For the Cupcakes 

½ c butter, at room temp

1 c sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½  tsp baking powder

1 ½ c flour

½ tsp salt

½ c milk

For the Frosting

1 c butter, at room temp

3 c powdered sugar

100 g milk chocolate, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and set aside. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, over medium speed cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one a time, scraping down the side of the bowl after each addition. Mix until just incorporated. Add in the vanilla. 

In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. On a low speed, add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Add the milk, followed by the remaining flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix. 

Fill cupcake liners 1/2 to 2/3s of the way full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack to cool completely. 

For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, over medium-high speed cream together butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.  Switch to a whisk attachment, over medium speed, mix in melted chocolate. Whisk on medium - high speed for an additional 2-3 minutes or until frosting is light and fluffy.  Once cupcakes are fully cooled, frost as desired.

 Vanilla Cupcakes With Milk Chocolate Frosting