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Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Buttercream

Photo: Greg DuPree; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine

Total time 1 hr, 35 mins

Serves 12 (serving size: 1 cupcake)

Filled with banana cream, topped with peanut butter buttercream, and drizzled with chocolate, these cupcakes are outrageously rich. Skip the buttercream and turn these cupcakes into "muffins." You can use the base of the cupcake batter and add chopped pecans, shredded coconut and dried fruit for a morning pick-me up. These cupcakes are small but pack in flavor and texture with the banana cream filling and peanut butter buttercream hitting both sweet and savory notes.    


  • 1 1/4 cups mashed ripe banana (about 2 small)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 6 3/8 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) salted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 cups (about 12 oz.) powdered sugar
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

How to Make It

  1. Prepare the Banana Cream Filling: Stir together banana and lemon juice in a small bowl. Beat 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 3 ounces cream cheese, and 2 tablespoons heavy cream in a medium bowl with an electric mixer at low speed until smooth. Stir in 1/2 cup of the banana-lemon mixture, reserving the remaining 3/4 cup banana-lemon mixture for the batter.

  2. Prepare the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place baking cup liners in a 12-cup muffin pan; lightly coat liners with cooking spray. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Beat granulated sugar, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup butter at medium speed in a large bowl until well combined, about 3 minutes. Add milk, eggs, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla; beat at low speed until combined, about 2 minutes. (Mixture may look curdled.) Gradually add flour mixture, beating at medium-low speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Stir reserved 3/4 cup banana-lemon mixture into batter.

  3. Spoon about 1 tablespoon cupcake batter into each muffin cup; top evenly with Banana Cream Filling. Top evenly with remaining cupcake batter, and bake in preheated oven until tops are golden brown and cupcakes spring back when lightly touched, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes to a wire rack, and cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  4. Prepare the Peanut Butter Buttercream: Beat peanut butter, 1/4 cup butter, 3 tablespoons cream cheese, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl at medium-low speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add 3 cups powdered sugar alternately with 3 tablespoons of the cream, beating at low speed until smooth after each addition. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the cream, 1 teaspoon at a time, if needed, to reach desired consistency. Spoon frosting into a ziplock plastic freezer bag. Snip 1 corner of bag to make a small hole. Pipe about 3 tablespoons buttercream onto each cupcake. Drizzle melted chocolate evenly over buttercream.