Cupcakes are much more interesting than cake, in my opinion. I know cupcakes are meant to be indulgent, but I wanted to attempt a slightly more nutritious version. At first, I wasn’t going to make them healthier, but the better half of me couldn’t resist – plus, I saw it as a challenge. I found a great looking recipe for Peanut Butter-Banana Cupcakes at Visions of Sugar Plum. The frosting magically came together on the first try. All in all, I consider these “adult” cupcakes. First reason being that I meant to add amaretto to the batter, but forgot. Second reason is that they are not overly sweet, you can actually taste the cake and the frosting separately. Most cupcakes use the cake as a platform for a monster glob of frosting. These cupcakes are a little more refined and quite a bit healthier.
1/2+1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon Smart Balance
6T firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate, 70% or higher (optional)
2T amaretto (optional)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (1 large)
1/4 cup + 2T skim milk
3/4 cup nonfat cream cheese
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural)
6-8T confectioner’s sugar
1. Make the frosting by whipping the cream cheese and peanut butter together until very creamy. You can use an electric mixer to add fluffiness, but I used a fork. Add the sugar and mix well. Taste frosting and add extra sugar if desired. Place in the refrigerator, covered.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift or whisk together the first four ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. Using a mixer, cream the butter, sugar and peanut butter in a large bowl until well mixed. Add the eggs, vanilla, amaretto, chocolate and mashed banana and beat for another minute. Gradually add the flour mixture and milk. Mix well.
3. Divide batter evenly into 6 muffin cups lined with muffin papers. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
4. Remove muffins from the pan after about 10 minutes and let cool completely before icing. We had a decorative icing kit, but you can use a knife or a plastic bag with a small hole cut in the corner to pipe it on.
The cupcakes were good. The flavors were right on but the cake was a tiny bit chewy. I only had a very small banana which may have been the problem, so I suggest a large banana. but the chewiness wasn’t bad and actually provided a neat texture. Next time I may add a bit of applesauce, and also add some chopped walnuts to the batter for some crunch.
One of the cupcakes below is different, can you tell which one? I chopped up some organic 70% chocolate and mixed the chocolate into the batter for that one cupcake. A combination of banana, peanut butter, cream cheese and chocolate? That reminds me of something…