What a delightful combination of flavors of banana, chocolate chips and cinnamon there are in the soft texture of these extremely fragrant cupcakes topped with caramel frosting. And, for extra depth of flavor, drizzle optional caramel sauce just before serving.
The frosting is flavored with caramel sauce. I made the caramel sauce a day ahead and, since I was going to use it the next day, just left it at room temperature in a covered glass container.
The cupcakes are supremely fragrant, not just during baking but even after. The texture is soft and moist and the flavor, just delicious.
The optional shamrocks cutouts are just garnishes made from melted white chocolate mixed with hot caramel sauce. I would have used regular semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips but I was out, so I used what I had. It was really easy. I made the caramel sauce and poured about ¾ cup of the hot sauce over the chocolate and mixed it well with a wire whisk. Then spread the chocolate mixture on a glass baking dish lined with waxed paper. I let it cool then kept it in the refrigerator until it hardened. When the chocolate had firmed up, the next day I cut out the shapes with a cookie cutter. Any shape cookie cutter would work. If you’re inclined to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, then shamrocks would be a likely choice.
I mixed about ¾ cup of room temperature homemade caramel sauce to flavor the frosting. I haven’t tried using store bought caramel sauce, but I imagine it might also work. I love homemade caramel sauce and anything it touches. The frosting and the cupcakes are simply great together—natural partners.
I piped a variety of different swirls on the cupcakes just for the fun of it.
I used tip 104 for these cupcakes.
Same tip 104 used to pipe a circular ruffle pattern around this cupcake.
Star tip 1M for this cupcake.
Since I absolutely love the flavor of these cupcakes I could go on and on about them, but of course the only way to really appreciate them is to make them yourself. As for myself, I’ll definitely be making them again very soon.
- 2 ½ cups cake flour (295 g)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder (12 g)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda (9 g)
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon (6 g)
- ½ teaspoon salt (2 g)
- 1 ¼ cups mashed ripe bananas (339 g)
- 1 cup buttermilk (196 g)
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (12 tablespoons) (170 g)
- 1 ½ cups sugar (300 g)
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract (6 g)
- 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (172 g)
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate OR white chocolate (113 g)
- ¾ cup caramel sauce (hot and straight from the pot)
- ¾ cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature (170 g)
- 5 ½ cups powdered sugar (589 g)
- ¾ cup caramel sauce at room temperature (210 g)
- 3 teaspoons skim milk (for a softer texture, add more milk one teaspoon at a time)
- Line two cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
- Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- Combine and stir together mashed bananas and buttermilk. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, using the flat beater of a stand mixer, beat butter until smooth.
- Gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate each egg before adding the next.
- Add ⅓ of the sifted dry ingredients and ½ of the banana buttermilk mixture. Beat just until blended. Add ½ of the remaining dry ingredients and all of the buttermilk. Beat again just until blended. Finish with the last third of the dry ingredients and beat just until blended. Do not overbeat.
- Add the vanilla extract and beat just until incorporated.
- Add the mini chocolate chips and mix by hand with a rubber spatula.
- Use a scoop to fill the cupcake tins to just about ⅔ each. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven, remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool on cooling racks.
- Place semi-sweet chocolate chips or white chocolate in a heat proof glass bowl.
- Line a glass baking dish with wax paper.
- Make the caramel sauce. When desired color consistency is reached, remove from heat and pour about ¾ cup of the hot caramel sauce over the chocolate.
- Swirl the bowl to cover the chocolate with caramel sauce. Let sit for about 2 minutes. Stir the chocolate with a wire whisk until smooth and well blended.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the glass baking dish and level with an offset spatula. Allow to cool then cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to let the chocolate firm up.
- Press any shape cookie cutter on the cold chocolate for a variety of shapes. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Using the flat beater of a stand mixer, beat butter until smooth.
- On low speed, gradually add powdered sugar beating until smooth.
- Slowly pour in room temperature caramel sauce and beat until creamy.
- Add skim milk 1 teaspoon at a time using only enough to reach desired consistency. If a softer texture is desired, add more milk 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Fill a piping bag with caramel frosting and use either a medium or large star tip to pipe frosting in circular swirls over each cupcake.
- Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Yield: about 2 dozen medium cupcakes
Banana Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting