I recently learnt that New Zealand has the highest rate of banana consumption in the world per capita. In my household we contribute to that quite a lot. Thing is, we buy bananas every week but yet we still seem to always leave a couple of them in the fruit bowl to go brown. Guess I could just buy less bananas, but the more tastier solution is to use the overripe ones in some baking or freeze them to use in baking at a later date. It's a regular thing for us, so quite often I wonder if my husband and I have an unspoken rule that we will never eat the last 2 or 3 bananas. Just so we get to eat cake. Yes we are pigs. Cunning pigs.
Usually the brown neglected bananas will end up as a loaf in my favourite go-to recipe, but a few weeks ago I thought I'd try them as cupcakes in a more delicate recipe and with an icing. They are equally as delicious, but lighter and sweeter than the loaf. It's also nice to have icing as a decadent treat, and the lemon is an awesome addition and cuts through the sweetness of the icing. To be honest though as good as this recipe is I think I'll keep it for special occasions, as for my day-to-day cooking I like to keep things simple and quick. So this weeks batch of brown bananas will probably be back in my old faithful loaf. Anyone have any other suggestions for using up old bananas? Or am I destined to be known as the banana loaf lady.
This recipe is an adaptation from one I found online, you can find the original here.
115g butter (approx 1/2 cup)
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approx 2 medium)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
(note: if you don't have buttermilk just add 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk, and let it sit for 5 minutes, then use as replacement)
2 cups icing sugar (confectioners' sugar)
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons mashed ripe banana
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or more)
grated lemon rind, for garnish
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in bananas and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 180 Celsius/ 375° Fahrenheit for 10-20 minutes (depending on size) or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Then, in a bowl, combine the icing ingredients; beat until light and fluffy. Ice the cupcakes as you desire. For mine I piped small swirls and topped with lemon rind for garnish.
Makes 60 mini bite-sized cupcakes (using 4.5cm diameter cupcake papers)
or (according to original recipe) it makes 1 and 1/2 dozen classic sized cupcakes.