Joy the Baker

Fact: the world is better with bananas

January 16, 2008

Say you’re a 17 year old girl, and it’s your birthday.  If you can’t have a new car, a cute new boyfriend, or a hassle free day from your parents, what would be next on your list?  Probably, Banana Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cupcakes. No?  You’d want one of those super skinny Macbook Airs?  Well let’s say, for the sake of… me, that you’d want Banana Cupcakes.  Let’s just pretend.  These little gems are far better than anything Steve Jobs could design.  Last time I checked, Steve Jobs didn’t make anything that tasted like both banana and chocolate. So… I rest my case.

Happy Birthday to you Carsen!  Maybe Steve Jobs will make your next birthday cake.  Cross your fingers, or something.

The recipe for this banana cake produces a super moist, but not super dense cake.  It doesn’t have the heaviness of banana bread, but it has all the delicious banana flavor.  The walnuts give the cupcakes lots of flavor and texture variation.  And the chocolate chunks?  I try to sneak chocolate into everything, and these were no exception.

Super Moist Banana Cake

Print this recipe!

1 cup butter, softened

2 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups ripe bananas, mashed

(about 4 medium bananas)

3 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350.  Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.  Mash the bananas and add the sour cream. Set aside.  Cream the butter in the sugar until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Beat in the vanilla extract.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each egg for 1 minute.  Scrape down the bowl after each addition.  Add the flour mixture alternately with the banana mixture, until just combined.  Fold in the nuts and chocolate.  Bake in cupcake papers, or a well greased and floured cupcake pan for 15- 20 minutes.  Check them after 15 minutes.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

8oz cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-4 tablespoons milk

4-6 cups powdered sugar

depending on desired consistency

Cream the butter and cream cheese together in an electric mixer.  (Be sure that the two are at room temperature.  Cold cream cheese or butter can make your frosting lumpy.)  Add the brown sugar and vanilla extract, and beat for about 2 minutes.  Turn off mixer and add 2 cups of powdered sugar.  Turn the mixer on a low speed so the sugar doesn’t fly out of the bowl.  Slowly add more sugar alternately with the milk until you reach your desired consistency.  I like my cupcake frosting to be slightly more thick than cake frosting, so it can hold its shape on the cupcake.

Because of the moist bananas in these cupcakes, they hold up very well in the freezer.   Bake them off, and tightly wrap unfrosted cupcakes for freezer storage.  Take them out and defrost as needed (you could even sneak them into the microwave for quick consumption) for a breakfast treat or unexpected company.  They’re delicious and flavorful with or without frosting!   Would I lie?  (No.)

25 Comments Add A Comment

  • Joy. I just made them today because I needed to do something with those bananas we had and my mother wanted muffins.

    And, oh, how should I describe it? The world is better with Joy the Baker. Fact.

  • I made these without the frosting and they came out perfect. I am new to this blog and I can’t wait to bake my way through it!

  • Joy, I made these (though adapted) for my friend’s birthday and they were a HUGE hit, both in the office and at her birthday party! Thank you so much for your amazing recipes. I blogged about it, but, as usual, made it very clear that the credit goes to you.

  • I just made this into a cake. I baked it for 30-35 min at 350 and filled one 8 x 8 pan and one 9 ” round pan. I also reduced the sugar to 1 cup and substituted 1/2 cup yogurt + 1 tsp baking soda for the sour cream. Delish!

  • I am a dummy, I see that someone asked the same question above. No answer posted, so maybe only kinda dumb, LOL!

  • I want to do a banana cake with a cream cheese-y-ish icing for my youngest child’s first birthday this weekend. Do you think these would work OK as a cake? BTW: I will be making 2 9″ squares and 1 9″ round (to construct a sailboat). Also, I am happy to see that even with brown sugar the icing takes color well…YAY!

  • Okay I want to make these but in cake cake form not cupcake and without walnuts. Will this work out okay?

  • My mom used to make me banana cake for my birthday. She passed on 4/22. I don’t know how she made my cake, so I will take this recipe and run with it. It will remind me of her just cause its banana =) Thanks

  • Update on that cupcake experience: Everyone loves it!! I’ve already told 5 different people about your website :)

  • I used your delicious frosting on some carrot cupcakes and they were amazing. I had a friend that asked for my leftover frosting so she could eat it with a spoon! I posted my results if you get a chance. Thanks for sharing!

  • Hey Girly!
    I’m planning to try the cupcake recipe today!
    Unfortunately, I don’t have a mixer (except for my right arm, that is), so I’m totally going to be lame and ask the boyfriend to buy frosting at Trader Ho’s…but I’m excited to make these! Gotta further impress the boyfriend’s sister :)

  • Hi Joy,

    I just discovered your site and love it! I have heard of a brown sugar cream cheese frosting but I’ve never made it before. I was wondering, is the frosting gritty from the brown sugar? It sound delish but I know a lot of people like a smooth frosting.


  • I just made these last night, and I will be frosting them this morning. Even without any frosting they are awesome. Thanks for the great recipe! (I’ll post about it soon and link it back to you).

  • Thanks, Joy! These were incredibly good.. I think i ate four on my birthday.. or maybe it was five..

  • I think I may just make this for your mom for her b.d. when she comes up here to visit next week!

Leave a Reply

8 trackbacks


homemade decadence

The Web Series



Brown Butter Banana Bread with Rum and Coconut
Sweet Corn Pancakes
Roasted Apricot Breakfast
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Pie
Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry Pie
Creamy Pumpkin Pie Bars
Homemade Hot Dog Buns
The Ultimate Club Sandwich
Peanut Butter and Pickle Sandwich

Joy, Recently

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Let It Be Sunday
Sausage, Cheddar and Grits Frittata
Roy Choi’s Furikake Kettle Corn
Apple + Fennel with Pistachio + Apricot
Let It Be Sunday (+Monday)
Fall 2014 Cookbooks!
Baking Bootcamp: Apple Pie Biscuits
Beer Brownies