Banana Cupcakes {Cream Cheese Frosting}

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The best banana cupcakes with an amazing cream cheese frosting

Cake Stand holding 8 banana cupcakes

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Banana Cupcakes

Bananas are one of the most frequent purchases I make at the grocery store because my whole family loves them. They make for such an easy (and healthy) snack and so I’m always encouraging my boys to eat one. We are usually pretty good about eating most of the bananas before they go bad, but every couple of weeks I’ve bought more than we finish and I end up with a bunch of overripe bananas. If I’m being honest, I think we try to always leave a few bananas to over-ripen so we can make something delicious. (Like this banana bread, these healthy chocolate banana muffins, this banana cake, or these banana crumb muffins)

But the last few months our project has been to use all those overripe bananas and perfect banana cupcakes. My toddler is the cupcake fanatic in our home – he could eat cupcakes for every single meal if I let him!

He also enjoys making them almost as much as he loves eating them and Bentley….well he’s always there to sneak some bites:

Author baking banana cupcakes in kitchen with 2 boys

So let’s break down these best ever banana cupcakes. First off:

How do you make super moist banana cupcakes?

  • Start with room temperature ingredients. It’s important for the final texture of these cupcakes that all of your ingredients are room temperature. (That includes the butter and cream cheese for the frosting!) For the cupcake batter: Using room temperature eggs ensures that the eggs disperse more evenly into the batter giving these cupcakes a lighter texture (the eggs trap air). Soaking refrigerated eggs in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for about 10 minutes is a quick way to do this. Otherwise, pull the eggs out about 30 minutes before use.
  • Once you’ve got all of your ingredients together and at room temperature, these cupcakes come together quickly and you’ll be amazed how easy they are to make! Start by mixing together the dry ingredients. When you measure the flour be sure to spoon and level the measuring cups so you aren’t adding in too much or too little flour. Too much flour and you’ll get dense cupcakes and too little flour and these cupcakes will likely sink and be too wet.
  • Next, combine the wet ingredients: You’ll beat together the butter with both sugars and then beat in the banana, eggs, and vanilla. Once these wet ingredients are combined and smooth, you’re ready to combine mixtures.
  • Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk into the wet ingredients and beat everything together until JUST combined. If you over mix or beat the dry and wet ingredients you’ll end up with dense cupcakes.
  • While the cupcakes are baking, you can whip together the cream cheese frosting which comes together in minutes. The best tip I can give for the perfect frosting: make sure the cream cheese and butter are both the same temperature (room temperature). They’ll cream together nice and smooth giving your frosting the perfect foundation.

3 banana cupcakes

How long do you bake mini banana cupcakes?

If you want to make these banana cupcakes in a miniature muffin tin instead of a regular muffin tin, you’ll want to make sure to still use paper liners and you’ll bake them around 10-15 minutes. Check the cupcakes around 10 minutes. You can test for doneness by sticking a toothpick in the center of a cupcake. If it comes out clean they are done and if it comes out wet you can add a few minutes!

How do you store banana cupcakes?

Honesty these banana cupcakes (and the frosting) are even better the second day! The flavors from the banana and spices have intensified by day 2 so don’t stress about having to make these the same day as an event! For any cupcakes that don’t get eaten, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. These cupcakes are best within 3-4 days of being made.

Can you freeze banana cupcakes?

I always get this question so I finally put it to the test so I could give a definitive answer 🙂 These banana cupcakes freeze perfectly pre-frosting! You’ll want to put the completely cooled cupcakes in a sealed (airtight) bag and then you can place them in the freezer. Unfortunately the frosting doesn’t freeze well and already frosted cupcakes don’t freeze well either. To thaw the cupcakes, place them in the fridge overnight and you’ll have perfectly thawed banana cupcakes that are ready to frost the next day.

Overhead shot of mashed bananas

How many calories are in banana cupcakes?

I’ve included a full nutrition breakdown for these banana cupcakes below the recipe if you’re interested. The total caloric amount for one cupcake is 210 calories. This does not include the frosting as that will change depending on how much frosting you use per cupcake. The frosting recipe below makes enough to add a sky-high amount of frosting to each cupcake (exactly what is pictured in these photos). If you want less frosting, cut the frosting recipe in half.

Can I make these banana cupcakes healthy?

These banana cupcakes are definitely a treat. If you are looking to make them healthier you can make them without frosting or use half the frosting recipe (and subsequently less frosting per cupcake). For a healthier banana treat, I’d suggest trying these muffins (they’ve got dozens of rave reviews and a reader favorite!)

What are some fun flavor variations I can add to these banana cupcakes?

  • Instead of the cream cheese frosting you can add a peanut butter frosting or a brown sugar buttercream to these cupcakes.
    • Peanut Butter Frosting:
      • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
      • 1 cup peanut butter (creamy, not chunky)
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 2 and 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
      • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
      • 1-3 tablespoons whole milk
    • In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter with room temperature butter and beat together in a stand mixer or with hand beaters until smooth and creamy. Add in the vanilla, powdered sugar, and salt. Beat together and slowly add in the milk until the frosting consistency is reached.
  • You can also add an ingredient to the batter of these cupcakes. I like banana cupcakes plain, but for those of you that like nuts with banana treats, you could add in some chopped walnuts to the batter. You could also add in miniature chocolate chips. If you add either I’d add about 3/4 a cup to this batter!
  • Alternatively, you could sprinkle some finely chopped nuts on top of the frosting of these cupcakes OR garnish with a banana chip like I’ve done in these photos!

How can you speed up the ripening process for bananas?

Want to make these cupcakes but you don’t want to wait for your bananas to over-ripen? No problem -it’s so easy to do this! Take some regular bananas, place them on a tray, and then bake them for 7-8 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven. The skins turn a nasty black and then you know they are ready (make sure the whole skin is black, flip the bananas if needed). Let the bananas cool and they are ready to be mashed for these banana cupcakes.

Up close photo of banana cupcake with bite taken out of it

More Banana Treats:

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The BEST EVER Banana Cupcakes

5 from 33 votes
The best banana cupcakes with an amazing cream cheese frosting
Print Recipe

The BEST EVER Banana Cupcakes

5 from 33 votes
The best banana cupcakes with an amazing cream cheese frosting
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Banana Cupcakes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Servings 16 cupcakes
Calories 210kcal
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

Banana Cupcakes

  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 overripe bananas: measured to get 3/4 cup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (or use plain milk + vinegar -- see notes)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 package (8 ounces) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature (do not use low fat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or use 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Optional: banana chips to garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cavity muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • In a separate large mixing bowl, using hand mixers, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth and creamy. Mash over-ripe bananas and measure to make sure you have exactly 3/4 cup. Beat in the bananas to the batter until smooth. Add in the full egg, egg yolk (reserve whites for another recipe/omeletes throughout the week or discard), and pure vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.
  • Add the dry to the wet ingredients alternating additions with the buttermilk (Add half the dry, half the buttermilk, rest of the dry, rest of the buttermilk). Beat after each addition JUST until the ingredients are incorporated being careful to not overmix.
  • Pour batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 full. You should use all of the batter between 16 cavities. Bake in preheated oven about 18 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool in muffin tin several minutes then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

For the frosting:

  • Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Using a hand mixer, cream together the room temperature butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until completely smooth. Mix in vanilla extract, sea salt and cinnamon. With mixer running on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar and beat until well blended and smooth. Chill the frosting while the cupcakes finish cooling.
  • Frost completely cooled cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and if desired, garnish with a banana chip.

Video

Recipe Notes

You can make your own buttermilk by combining 3/4 cup milk with 3/4 of 1 full tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and set aside for 5 minutes before using. Do not use plain milk for this recipe.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 210kcal

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Nutrition Facts for banana cupcakes: 210 calories

The ultimate BEST EVER banana cupcakes! Plus all the tips and tricks to make these perfect every-time! via chelseasmessyapron.com #cupcake #banana #dessert #bananacupcakes #easy #quick #recipes #cake #cupcakes #healthy #treat #bake #baked
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Recipe Rating




108 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These look gorgeous and I’ve got two overripe bananas hanging in my kitchen right now calling my name! haha.

    1. 5 stars
      The only recipe I will ever use. I have made them twice in 2 weeks and they are absolute deliciousness! Follow the directions and they will turn out perfectly. Thanks!!

    1. The notes section on the recipe give my recommendation; enjoy! 🙂 (You can make your own buttermilk by combining 3/4 cup milk with 3/4 of 1 full tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and set aside for 5 minutes before using. Do not use plain milk for this recipe.)

      1. 5 stars
        Not to sound obtuse, but the reason you’re getting questions about the vinegar is because of the odd way you say 3/4 Tablespoon — which I think is what you mean when you say “3/4 of 1 full tablespoon”. Anyhow, I made the cupcakes exactly as written and have to agree that they’re really the best I’ve ever had. I’m going to make a banana/bourbon frosting. Thank you very much.

        1. Wow! So delicious. It was my first time baking banana cupcakes and they came out perfect.

          Didn’t have buttermilk so I used my 1/4 tsp and added 3 of those to my 3/4 cup of milk.

          Oh also in case anyone is confused 1/8 tsp is a pinch. This is in regards to the nutmeg measurement.

          Also, if you freeze the frosting for 10mins it comes to a perfect pipping consistency. I used a ziploc bag with a corner cut off. ????????

          Have bookmarked recipe and will be baking again. 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Okay but these actually are the best ever! OMG! I am not much of a baker and I’d never had banana cupcakes before but I was just craving the idea of them. These are perfect! A people denser than regular cupcakes but incredibly moist and icing is to die for. I followed the recipe exactly and I would make these a million times again. Perfection.

  3. 5 stars
    Even though I’m not finished baking these, I can already tell these are going to be delicious. Several minutes into baking scents of banana and butter have already started to waft out of the oven. I love foods with banana; the fruit adds a rich flavor and scent to my desserts. The smooth frosting is no exception either – it’s heavy, creamy, and tastes so good! I will definitely be trying this recipe again.

    1. Ahh i’m so glad to hear this! I love cooking with fruit adds too because of the way it makes my house smell! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Just made these tonight and they are soooo good! I put a bit more cinnamon in mine, because I’m a huge fan of cinnamon and I did use plain whole milk, and they are just amazing. And the frosting is to die for! I’m always skeptical of cream cheese frosting because sometimes it can be too cheesy. But this frosting was just perfect. It compliments the cupcakes wonderfully! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    1. Yay! I’m so glad to hear this Jamie! I totally agree on the frosting. I don’t like the overly cheesy cream cheese taste so I love this frosting too! Enjoy!! 🙂

    1. You actually need the acid in the buttermilk (or DIY version) for these cupcakes to properly rise!

  5. It’s a shame this recipe does not have the measurements for the ingredients. Cups are so imprecise and not everyone is American!

  6. Hi!! Would the frosting hold its shape? Im going to make this for a party and i just want to make sure that the shape would hold up. Thank you!!

    1. The frosting holds its shape well! Not as good as a buttercream, but it does well! Try to keep it at room temperature or chilled as much as possible (in the heat it would melt)

  7. Its me again, haha! Would you suggest that i chill the cupcakes first before serving it to a party? 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    These cupcakes look so super amazing just like all of your other recipes! Thank you for blessing us all with these finger lickin’ good banana cupcakes!

  9. 5 stars
    Wow, these turned out GREAT! I used commercial icing on my first batch and pretty tasty. Utilized the icing recipe for a repeat baking, EXCELLENT flavor but wayyyy too much leftover 🙁 I don’t like to slather icing on heavy I guess. How long will it keep?

    1. It will definitely last at least a week in your fridge in a air-tight container. I’m so glad you enjoyed these!! 🙂

  10. 5 stars
    Delicious! I made the cupcakes exactly per the recipe. My bananas had been frozen then brought up to room temp prior to use. For the frosting, I used 2 cups of powdered sugar (instead of 3). I don’t feel the cream cheese taste overpowered the banana in the cake. This recipe is a keeper. Next time I might amp up the spices a bit by adding a dash (small dash) of ginger or allspice. Thank you Chelsea!!

  11. 5 stars
    Made these and they were wonderful. I tweaked the recipe and added extra cinnamon into the batter. Also for the frosting subsituted about 2 tablespoons of butter for 2 table spoons of peanut butter. May have been more bc i added peanut butter until the taste was right. I thought peanut butter might be a nice addition to banana and it was! I also used a sift for all dry ingredients in cake and frosting.

  12. 5 stars
    I made these today for my dear daughter’s 8th birthday to share with the her entire class. My child’s school has strict rules on what to bring for bdays. They only allow fruit cupcakes and no icing or frosting. So I spent the night searching for a recipe that will click with kids. After I baked and tasted it, I knew it was yummy but still I was worried if the kids will like it as they can be really fussy. Besides, I’m not much into baking and its my first attempt at it so I just followed everything that you wrote as much as possible. Anyway, I made 35 cupcakes for a class of 23, just made sure there extras just in case. Low and behold, daughter called up on the way home telling me that her classmates loved the cupcakes! After class, the her classmates asked for the spare cupcakes and gave out all of it. One classmate tod her, your mum’s cupcake are the best! One told her, can we exchange mum’s? Hahahahahha! Now trouble is, classmates asked her to asked mum to make banana cupcakes again! Anyway, thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. You made my 8 year old’s bday really special!

    1. Ahhh you made my whole day!! I’m so happy these were such a hit with the kids! You’re a rockin mom! Thanks so much! And happy birthday to your little girl! 🙂

    1. Thanks Bonnie! Let’s troubleshoot: Did you change any ingredients out? Did you measure the banana in measuring cups to get exactly 3/4 cup (as opposed to just using 2 bananas?)

  13. Hi Chelsea,
    I just made these! They are very yummy. I do believe I must have done something wrong, they didn’t rise very much. I measured everything as directed. Had all my cold ingredients at room temperature. I’ll def make them again to see if the outcome is different!

    1. Hey Lynn! Do you live at a high altitude? Also were your bananas super wet? Either could cause a less than ideal rise! Oh, and is your baking soda/powder fresh?

  14. I don’t comment much, because many recipes fall short of being “wow, amazing.” But this one deserves that title. Really great combination of infrediebts for the perfect taste, texture, and right moistness/bounce. Absolutely amazing. Made this with the kiddos and they had a great time!

    1. I haven’t personally tried that, so I can’t say for sure. I think it would work, but they won’t be nearly as flavorful!

  15. 5 stars
    I made these today for my son’s Minion themed birthday party and they were delicious! I added yellow food gel to the frosting and used marshmallows and M&Ms to make the eyes. Super cute!! Thank you so much for an awesome recipe!

    1. Oh yay! I’m so thrilled to hear these were a hit! And you Minion decorations sound adorable 🙂 Happy birthday to your son!

  16. Well just I’m going to say was a hit grand children’s love your recipie.they now ask for more.thank you so much.
    I’m stared another batch..

  17. 5 stars
    I had a craving for banana cupcakes with creamcheese frosting and these were PERFECTION!! Recipe was very easy to follow, turned out smooth and moist. Frosting was just the right mix of sweetness and tang. Thanks, Chelsea! I shared the recipe on FB ?

  18. 5 stars
    I am in LOOOVE!! (And i loved how it came out to 16 cupcakes exactly!) I made these when my mom’s guests came over and they loved them, so fluffy yet with a perfectly golden, slightly chewy crust on the top. I’m about to make another batch as I type. 😀

  19. 5 stars
    Just finished making these cupcakes and for the first time I measured everything precisely and they were absolutely fantastic. Only change up was I did a peanut butter frosting instead they are absolutely perfect. Will be making these again.

    1. I’m so sorry Maggie, I’m not super familiar with using gluten free flour in baking and couldn’t give a recommendation for these cupcakes. Wish I could be of more help!

      1. its okay, I’m new to it. I ended up using
        “Bobs Red Mill, Baking Flour 1 To 1 Gluten Free” and then I followed the rest of the recipe as directed and they turned out great! They were very moist and not chewy at all!! Everyone loved them!

  20. Do you have any recommendations for high altitude changes to this recipe? It looks perfect for my son’s school birthday treats.

    1. Hi Jenna! I’m so sorry I have never lived at a super high altitude, so don’t have experience or knowledge there. Wish I could be of more help!

    1. Hi Eliane! I wish I could tell you definitively, but without trying either of those myself I really couldn’t say. Wish I could be of more help!

  21. 5 stars
    I’ve used this recipe for cupcakes a few times and I love it. Do you think I can use this recipe for a sheet cake or will it not bake the same?

    1. So happy to hear that! Thanks Alma 🙂 I’m not sure without personally testing, I wish I could be of more help!

  22. 5 stars
    I followed the recipe exactly as written, and it was my first time making banana cupcakes. I made sure that all ingredients were at room temperature before starting. And I was very careful not to over-mix. They came out fluffy and moist with great consistency. I made chocolate buttercream icing for them, and it was great. Next time, I’ll try the cream cheese icing. Thank you for this recipe.

    1. So happy to hear you guys loved it! I bet it was delicious with chocolate buttercream! Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  23. 5 stars
    Wow!! These were delicious! I added some crushed walnuts and chocolate chips to some. 22mins was a perfect time for them to bake. I will def make them again! Thank you! 🙂

  24. 5 stars
    Made them to avoid tossing bananas and to brighten our smiles. Great recipe. They are truly delicious. The icing is perfect, but I made too much.

  25. 5 stars
    Really yummy! A little denser than a typical cupcake but not as dense as a true banana bread. I didn’t have cream cheese so I paired it with the peanut butter frosting recipe included in the blog, topped with some chocolate chips, and it was delicious!

    1. That sounds so delicious! I’m so glad you loved these and I’ll have to give them a try with peanut butter frosting soon! Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  26. 5 stars
    Very light, loved the texture. Nice alternative to banana bread to use up ripe bananas. I didn’t have any cream cheese so made my usual icing but added peanut butter and topped with chopped walnuts. Beautiful and delicious.

  27. 5 stars
    I researched for the best banana cupcake ever and your recipe showed up!
    I “made” the buttermilk that you wrote in the note cause I don’t have any.
    It turned out amazing!
    I wish I could show you how it looked and the best thing is: the taste!
    You were right! It is THE BEST banana cupcake!
    To see the result pictures, please visit my insta: @LaCherieConcept
    Thank you for sharing this recipe with is ????

    1. I am so happy to hear how much you loved these! I can’t wait to check out your pictures! Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  28. 5 stars
    Thanks for a great recipe, Chelsea. I just made these and they came out moist, fluffy and super delicious! (I used a few non-dairy substitutes also – soy & flax). Thank you!

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