More cupcakes please

Holy moly, I have found my new love in cupcake form…when I was checking out Annie’s new posts and saw her version of these, I couldn’t wait to try my own.

Banana Split Cupcakes (yields 30 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tbsp.) unsalted butter, room temp
2 1/2 cups sugar
6 eggs, room temp
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 1/2 cups mashed banana (approx. 3 bananas)

For the filling:
1 lb. strawberries, diced small
2 tbsp. powdered sugar

For the frosting:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the ganache:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. light corn syrup (Karo brand, find in the baking aisle)

For the final flourish:
1 jar maraschino cherries
sprinkles of your choice

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake trays with liners.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.  Cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, around 2 minutes.  Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the eggs one at a time, making sure to scrape down the bowl after each addition.  Mix in the mashed banana.  Reduce the speed to low and add in the 1/3 of the flour mixture followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk, then 1/3 of the flour followed by the rest of the buttermilk.  Then add the remaining 1/3 of the flour mixture (always start and end with the dry ingredients).  Divide batter into cupcake liners to about 2/3 full – these are super rich cupcakes, so the smaller size is perfect. Bake in the oven for about 22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let them cool in the pan for around 15 minutes before transferring them to a rack.

2. While the cupcakes are in the oven, chop up the strawberries and put them in a bowl with the powdered sugar.  Mash them around for a bit and let them sit for around 30 minutes.  Drain most of the liquid before filling the cupcakes.  *Also at this time either wash & dry your standing mixer bowl and put it in the freezer or put a medium sized bowl in the freezer.  This is for the icing, step 4.

3. Once the cupcakes are cool, its time to fill them!  I highly recommend spending $5 to get the Cuisipro Cupcake Corer from Williams-Sonoma.  It makes this process easier and faster than using a knife (which you can do, too).  It pops out the perfect size and creates quite a pile of cheater bites for you while you work 🙂 …Anyway, once you have the holes, fill them with the strawberry mixture to the tippy top.

4. Now it’s time to make the icing.  Take your bowl out of the freezer and your heavy cream out of the fridge.  Whip the cream on medium-high speed (use the whisk attachment on the standing mixer or regular beaters with a hand mixer) until soft peaks form – around 2.5 to 3 minutes.  Sift in the powdered sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form (when you pull out the mixer the cream makes little mounds).  Fold in the vanilla with a spatula.  Put the icing into either a pastry bag or just a ziplock bag and pipe big fluffy swirls onto the top of each cupcake, covering the strawberry filling.  Put the iced cupcakes in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.

5. Now its time to make the ganache.  Put your chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl.  Put the cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.  Pour the hot cream in the bowl with the chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes.  Whisk together until a smooth ganache forms, then blend in the corn syrup.  Let sit at room temperature for around 15 minutes.

6. For the final flourish, take the cupcakes out of the fridge.  Drizzle with spoonfuls of ganache, sprinkles and a cherry on top.  Chill until ready to serve!

As you can see, these cupcakes are quite an extensive process, but my are they worth it.  You could bake the cupcakes a day in advance if you don’t have the time to dedicate all in one night.  I highly recommend these for a special someone’s birthday or a fun occasion that warrants a fun dessert, which for me doesn’t take much!  I made these for my colleagues at a work function and they were a big hit.  I am super excited to try more cupcake varieties like this!  Let me know any suggestions you may have!!

Photos from: my kitchen & Williams-Sonoma’s website
Inspiration from: Annie’s Eats & my love of cupcakes

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