So Good You'll Go Bananas: Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Our friends Jim and Colleen kindly invited us to join their daughter Stella's fourth birthday celebration, and I happily offered to bring cupcakes to the pool party. It was going to be a crowd, so I decided to make several different flavors. Two were old standbys that I have made countless times before: Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes and Restaurant Eve Cupcakes. I also decided to try a new recipe from Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito that I found on epicurious: Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting.

Matt and Renato's first cookbook, Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, includes a recipe for banana cupcakes topped with pastry cream that has been on my to-bake list for a long time. I thought that this might be the same banana cupcake with a different frosting, but it turns out that's not the case. Regardless, I was pretty sure pastry cream wouldn't be a good choice for an outdoor birthday party in August, so it was an easy decision to go with the peanut butter frosting version instead.

To make the cupcakes, you beat sugar and room temperature butter until light and fluffy; add and egg and egg yolk; and alternately add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) and wet ingredients (mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla). You divide the batter among a dozen lined muffin cups and bake.
The frosting for these cupcakes couldn't be easier: you just beat powdered sugar with room temperature butter, room temperature cream cheese, and peanut butter. I piped the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and and garnished them with chopped honey roasted peanuts and dried banana chips. The cupcakes were freakin' delicious. The cake was super moist and full of sweet banana flavor. The frosting is perfect -- creamy, luscious, and slightly astringent with a little tang from the peanut butter and cream cheese. Overall, the cupcake is an indulgent flavor bomb; it's certainly one of my personal favorites.
To give the birthday girl an opportunity to blow out some birthday candles, I arranged some of the cupcakes on a tray, lit candles, and everyone gathered around to sing happy birthday to Stella. I also decorated each cupcake with a small functional pinwheel mounted on a toothpick, and I was thrilled with how well they worked out; the kids were enthralled watching them spin gently in the summer breeze.

Stella's favorite cupcake flavor was strawberry, and like most of the kids at the party, she enjoyed her cupcake by first licking off all of the frosting, the way you would eat an ice cream cone. Watching Stella and her guests enjoy their cupcakes and the party, I couldn't have been happier.

Recipe: "Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting" by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at

Previous Stella Birthday Coverage: "Creamsicle in Cake Form: Oranges and Cream Cake," August 29, 2014.


Anonymous said…
Again - Thanks so much for all of your postings. Your pictures are just beautiful and your honest reviews are so helpful! I have a 1 year old daughter now, and I am looking forward to trying out all of your recipes to enjoy with her!!! Have a super day :)
Thanks so much for the comment -- I appreciate the feedback and your reading the blog!