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This past week at work I have been busy, busy, busy making a ton of cupcakes. I don’t usually do a lot of baking at work, but this week there was an event at the new Nevada Discovery Museum that was solely desserts. The Discovery is a kid’s museum that just opened in Reno this past Fall. It’s the first museum of its kind in Northern Nevada, and it’s an awesome place to spend a lot of time with kids (or my husband, who is a “big kid”). My catering company did the opening party, and it was a blast. It is always fun to make food for kids because you get to be really creative and make the food fun. This week, the event was for 200 adults and little ones. The menu included 60 mini banana cupcakes, 60 mini chocolate cupcakes, 150 mini mousses (strawberry, lime, & lemon), and 100 baby cookies. In my head, all that should have taken about 4 hours of time. Really though it took closer to 6 hours and I was running to get it all done.  

Everything turned out fantastic, and I even had leftover cake batter. What to do with that leftover cake batter? I know, make more cupcakes! A couple of months ago I made cupcakes in mason jars for the restaurant and they had really good feedback. So I made a half-dozen of those, and then a dozen chocolate ganache cupcakes. And if that wasn’t enough, I had another event this week (a birthday party for a woman turning 90) that wanted individual chocolate ganache cakes for dessert. Just 37 of them. No problem. Since I was on a roll, I baked the cakes in the mason jars and then popped them out and turned them into ridiculous, death-by-chocolate, mini-cakes. It’s always a nice change to step back from the stove every once in a while at work, and play with flour and chocolate. However, the immense sugar high I was feeling all week (from trying everything of course) is something I can live without (an my waistline) for at least another couple of weeks.


I have made many banana loaves in my day, but I think this is the first time I have made banana cupcakes (that aren’t gluten free!-Check out this recipe for a gluten free cupcake I tried my hand at not too long ago). I really wanted a recipe that would be a lot lighter and not as dense as banana bread. I think I found that with this Gourmet recipe. These cupcakes have butter and sour cream rather than oil, which helps make them more fluffy. Because I was making the cupcakes for kids, I substituted traditional vanilla butter cream frosting for the peanut butter frosting that the original recipe called for.

Banana Cupcakes
*From Gourmet
*Makes 12 regular cupcakes (or 36 small)

1 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Bananas – very large & ripe, peeled
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup Sugar
4 oz Butter – unsalted, at room temperature
1 large Egg
1 large Egg Yolk

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pan with paper wrappers. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl with a whisk.
  2. Mash bananas with a fork or place in a cuisinart mixer to puree. Add the sour cream and vanilla to the bananas.
  3. In a separate bowl, use a mixer to beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the egg and egg yolk and mix well. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the banana mixture in two additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
  4. Divide the batter among the cupcake papers, filling each about 2/3 of the way up. Bake 15-20 minutes or until starting to turn brown on top.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

8 oz Butter – unsalted, room temperature
3 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1 TBSP Vanilla Extract
3 1/2 TBSP Milk

  1. Using egg beaters or paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add the milk, salt, and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. If you want the frosting to be stiffer add more sugar. If you want it to be softer, add more milk.