Chocolate and Honey Banana Mini-Cupcakes with Luscious Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

These little cupcakes are very good on their own – soft, light and moist, with tiny specs of grated chocolate, but simply outstanding when frosted with this super-creamy honey cream cheese frosting. What makes the frosting so special is the absence of icing sugar. Instead, I’m using raw muscovado (light brown sugar can be substituted, if the muscovado is unavailable) and honey to sweeten the frosting. The end result is the clean-tasted and truly luscious frosting, without cornstarchy powdery texture that I dislike in any icing sugar-based fillings.

Makes 3 and a half dozen mini-cupcakes (I noticed, my mini-molds are deeper (Calphalon’s) than most molds by other brands, so it could be easily 4 dozen)

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (very finely ground whole wheat flour; if unavailable, use all-purpose flour)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup banana puree, mashed with a fork (about 2 large or 3 small overripe bananas)
  • ½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed muscovado sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely grated

For the frosting (the amount listed should be sufficient to frost 3 ½ to 4 dozen mini cupcakes):

  • 9 tbsp (1 stick + 1 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 12 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp packed muscovado sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 scant tsp pure vanilla extract

Make the cupcakes:

Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350F. Fit parchment mini-cupcake liners into mini-cupcake molds.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl or measuring cup, combine the banana puree, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for a few seconds, until creamy. Gradually add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the honey and continue mixing for another 2 or 3 minutes. With the mixer on medium, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Reduce the speed to low and add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the banana mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape the bowl as necessary, and beat only enough to incorporate the ingredients after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the grated chocolate just until combined.

Transfer the cake batter into a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip and pipe the batter into the prepared molds filling them about ¾-full. This is the easiest way to equally divide the batter between so many mini-muffin molds. Although you can also use a spoon.

Bake the cupcakes for about 18 to 20 minutes, until puffed and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes for 5 minutes on a cooling rack, then unmold and cool completely on the rack before frosting.

Make the frosting:

In a small bowl, using electric beaters, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

In another bowl, using the same beaters (no need to wash them) beat the cream cheese with the muscovado sugar until light, creamy, and completely lump-free. Beat in the honey and vanilla extract. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the creamed butter just until the ingredients are combined, should take less than a minute. Transfer the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe a rosette over the top of each cupcake. Refrigerate to firm up the frosting a bit, for about 20 minutes or so.

The cupcakes can be made a day in advance and kept in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. Remove the cupcakes from the fridge 30 minutes prior the serving time.

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23 Responses to “Chocolate and Honey Banana Mini-Cupcakes with Luscious Honey Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Wonderful cupcakes! Those are delightful flavors.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. Lovely! These look really delicious. :)

  3. Yummy! I really love baking with bananas- it’s one of the best ways to ensure a cake doesn’t dry out!

  4. it look so lovely and the combination sound so delicious! (: (:

  5. Mmmmmmmmmmmm
    These look yummy and the frosting sounds heavenly! The combination of honey and bananas is really tempting

  6. The frosting looks so silky!

  7. These look spectacular :) Wish I could have some right now!

  8. Yummy cupcakes with muscovado made frosting! Good choice of using muscovado instead of the usual icing sugar. Muscovado sugar has two distinctive traits which make it quite unique. The first is the coarse grain. Muscovado sugar has very large, rough crystals which are unevenly sized. The second is the high molasses content of the sugar, which causes Muscovado sugar to be dark, strongly flavored, and very sticky.

  9. Shaz (feedingmykidsbetter) on April 10th, 2011 at 5:05 am

    You put the banana chocolate muffins I just posted on my blog to shame. That is to say these simply look awesome. Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. wow, these look awsome and reunite some of my favorite tastes. i especially like the idea of a honey cream cheese frosting. i love the taste of honey and i would like to use it more often in baking.
    i have a question: can i make them normally sized? how long would you bake them, then? thanks for the reply!

  11. Thank you all for the kind comments!

    Baking Betty, sure you can make them in a regular-size muffin tin. The baking time will be a bit longer, about 24-25 minutes. Check it with a toothpick.

  12. Верочка, здравствуйте! Случайно наткнулась на ваш великолепный блог. Все просто perfect! Это уже настолько не любительский уровень! Явно чувствуется хорошая школа. И талант, безусловно. От души желаю удачи. Я уверена, что вас ожидает успех.

  13. YUM! I’m going to have to try your version of cream cheese frosting. I bet it’s so tasty with the honey:)

  14. Lara, спасибо Вам большое за такие добрые слова. Я очень тронута.

    Sue, it is worth to try! Thanks!

  15. Spectacular show with combines my favorite flavors. Thanks !

  16. I’ve been on a quest for the perfect banana cupcake recipe and these look like the holy grail. Thank you!

  17. Lots of delicious recepies. But what is it with all these recepies.! the measuring are in CUP”s !! Ever seen any chef or baker use cup”s to measure anything.?? I have not.Everyone has different cup”s dont they.? What is wrong with using grams and ml ??

  18. @Sommerfl

    The cup is a customary unit of measurement for volume, used in cooking to measure liquids (fluid measurement) and bulk foods such as granulated sugar (dry measurement). This measure is usually used as an informal unit in cooking recipes where precision is rarely required, rather than as a measure for the sale of foodstuffs.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cup_%28unit%29

  19. tried it and my friends like them! Love your photos too

  20. Hi,
    This looks v v yummy. I wish to try out this recipe of yours, what is 1 stick of butter equivalent to in gram or oz??
    Thanks,
    Ruby

  21. Ruby Liang, thank you. 1 stick is 4 oz or about 113gr.

  22. Those look amazing! I came across your site while looking for some cupcake recipes for my cousin’s wedding. I think I will definitely have to try this out since she loves chocolate and banana! I can’t wait!

  23. Chris, thank you! Congratulations to your cousin! I hope she will like these.

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