Home > Desserts > Banana Cupcakes (Cream Cheese Frosting) Banana Cupcakes (Cream Cheese Frosting) March 1, 2021 | 126 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. These delectable banana cupcakes are moist, sweet with a hint of cinnamon spice, and are loaded-up with creamy, rich frosting. The cream cheese frosting is flavored with vanilla extract and a touch of ground cinnamon, making it the perfect pairing for these cupcakes. We love using overripe bananas in baking! Be sure to try our Cinnamon Banana Bread, Banana Chocolate Chip Cake, or Banana Bread with Greek Yogurt the next time you find yourself with leftover overripe bananas. Banana Cupcakes Bananas are one of the most frequent purchases I make at the grocery store because my whole family loves them. They make such an easy (and healthy) snack 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 end up buying more than we finish and I’m left 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 these Chocolate Banana Muffins, these Banana Pancakes, or these Banana Crumb Muffins). But the last few months, our project has been to use all those overripe bananas by perfecting a recipe for 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! How to make Banana Cupcakes from scratch So let’s break down these incredible Banana Cupcakes, starting with a few tips on how to make them! Start with room temperature ingredients. It’s important for the final texture of these cupcakes that all of your ingredients are at 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. Mix 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 yields dense cupcakes and too little flour and these cupcakes will likely sink and be too wet. Next, combine the wet ingredients. Beat the butter with both sugars and then beat in the banana, eggs, and vanilla. Don’t cream the butter and sugars too long– this will beat in too much air and that will cause the cupcakes to fall upon baking. Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk into the wet ingredients After each addition, mix the batter until just combined. If you overmix the ingredients, the cupcakes will end up less light and fluffy. Bake. Add cupcakes to a fully preheated oven and bake, looking for the following indications of doneness: very slightly golden brown on top and at the edges, a toothpick when inserted into the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs, and the cupcake has a rounded top that does not look glossy. How to speed up the ripening process for bananas Want to make these cupcakes but your bananas aren’t super ripe yet? No problem; it’s easy to do this! Take some regular bananas, place them unpeeled on a baking sheet, and then bake them for 7-8 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven. You’ll know the bananas are ready when the skins turn a nasty black color (make sure the whole skin is black; flip the bananas if needed). Let the bananas cool and they are ready to be mashed up for Banana Cupcakes. QUICK TIP We want the bananas well mashed for these cupcakes. To speed up this process and ensure thorough mashing, add the bananas to a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer until smooth and broken down. Banana Cupcakes FAQs1Can I make these Banana Cupcakes healthier?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 Healthy Banana Muffins (they’ve got dozens of rave reviews and a reader favorite!) 2How many calories are in Banana Cupcakes?I’ve included a full nutrition breakdown for these Banana Cupcakes with frosting below the recipe if you’re interested. The total caloric amount for one cupcake without frosting is 210 calories. The frosting recipe makes enough to add a lot of frosting to each cupcake. If you want less frosting, cut the frosting recipe in half. The nutritional numbers below the recipe include the entire batch of frosting, divided among 16 cupcakes. 3Can you freeze Banana Cupcakes?I often get this question so I finally put it to the test so I could give a definitive answer. These banana cupcakes freeze perfectly without frosting! Place completely cooled banana cupcakes on a tray in the freezer for 45 minutes. After that, transfer cupcakes to a sealed (airtight) bag and return to the freezer. 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. 4What's the difference between cupcakes and muffins?Cupcake recipes usually have more sugar and fat (dairy/oil/butter) than muffin recipes. Cupcakes also include frosting, whereas muffins typically do not. 5Why are my cupcakes so dense?If the butter and sugar are creamed too long, the butter traps in more air than needed. Then, when the cupcakes bake, that extra air deflates and leaves the cupcake overly dense. Only cream the butter and sugar together for about 2-3 minutes. Another way cupcakes end up dense is if the flour is overmixed in the batter. This begins gluten development which can cause denseness. 6What makes cupcakes light and fluffy? Using the right ingredients that are all room temperature upon beginning. Beating air into the mixture as the butter and sugars are creamed Mixing at a low speed and stopping mixing as soon as ingredients are incorporated. 7How ripe is too ripe for the bananas to make Banana Cupcakes?Banana Cupcakes require super-ripe bananas — this is when they are their sweetest. The bananas should be well speckled and turning brown on the peel — we don’t want any green on the peel. But note there is a point of bananas being too ripe — if the peel is completely brown or seeping liquid, they may be rotten at this point. 8Is there a difference between banana bread and banana cake?Banana cake (or cupcakes) is made like a butter cake with the addition of mashed banana for flavor. Banana bread has a much denser and firmer texture than cake. It’s great for slathering with butter, slicing, and toasting. Banana cake is better enjoyed with frosting or cream on top. Let’s chat frosting Set out the butter and cream cheese about an hour before baking to get them to room temperature. If these ingredients aren’t at room temperature, they won’t combine smoothly, and there will be unpleasant cream cheese chunks in the frosting. Here are some tips for how to bring the cream cheese and butter to room temperature quickly. Slowly add in the powdered sugar. Add more or less powdered sugar, according to your personal taste preferences. More sugar will make the frosting sweeter and firmer, and less sugar will leave the frosting tangier and softer. QUICK TIP The frosting recipe included with this recipe 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. Banana cupcakes garnishes Garnishing the cupcakes is entirely optional, but it does add a nice touch and a fun flavor addition. Our favorite garnish is a banana chip. You can make your own or pick them up at the grocery store — typically near other dried fruits and raisins or in the bulk foods section of the store. Other options: Try a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, a dash of cinnamon sugar, a fresh banana slice, a sprinkle of crushed and toasted nuts, or a candied pecan. Fun Banana Cupcake flavor variations 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) 2 and 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 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 a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Add in the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla. 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! How to make miniature Banana Cupcakes If you want to make these Banana Cupcakes in a miniature muffin tin instead of a regular muffin tin, make sure to still use paper liners and bake them around 10-15 minutes. Check the cupcakes at around 10 minutes. You can test for doneness by sticking a toothpick in the center of a cupcake. If it comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs) they are done; if the toothpick comes out wet you can add a few minutes! How to store Banana Cupcakes Honestly, these cupcakes (and the frosting) are even better the second day! The flavors from the banana and spices have intensified by day two, 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 (lined with a paper towel) in the fridge. The paper towel helps to keep the cupcakes from getting soggy. These cupcakes are best eaten within 3-4 days of being made — we enjoy them best on the second day after being made. More delicious desserts Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies with a “secret” ingredient that makes these the best! Magic Cookie Bars sweetened condensed milk gooey bars Carmelitas gooey oatmeal bars with a chocolate caramel center Mini Cheesecakes with a raspberry sauce topping Strawberry Scones with a simple glaze topping FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. The BEST EVER Banana Cupcakes 4.98 from 38 votes - Review this recipe These delectable Banana Cupcakes are moist, sweet with a hint of cinnamon spice, and are loaded-up with a creamy, rich frosting. The cream cheese frosting is flavored with vanilla extract and a touch of ground cinnamon, making it the perfect pairing for these cupcakes. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe The BEST EVER Banana Cupcakes 4.98 from 38 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe These delectable Banana Cupcakes are moist, sweet with a hint of cinnamon spice, and are loaded-up with a creamy, rich frosting. The cream cheese frosting is flavored with vanilla extract and a touch of ground cinnamon, making it the perfect pairing for these cupcakes. Course Dessert, Snack Cuisine American, Vegetarian Keyword Banana Cupcakes Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 18 minutes Total Time 33 minutes Servings 16 cupcakes Calories 423kcal Author Chelsea Cost $5.12 IngredientsBanana Cupcakes1 and 1/2 cups (194g) white all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon baking soda3/4 teaspoon baking powder1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg6 tablespoons (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons; 85g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature1/3 cup (68g) light brown sugar, packed1/2 cup (105g) granulated white sugar2 overripe bananas: measured to get 3/4 cup (185g)1 large egg1 large egg yolk1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract3/4 cup (180g) buttermilk (or use plain milk + vinegar -- see Note 1)Cream Cheese Frosting1/2 cup (8 tablespoons; 113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature1 package (8 oz.; 226g) full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature (do not use low fat)1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or use 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon3 cups (340g) powdered sugarOptional: banana chips to garnish InstructionsPREP: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cavity muffin pan with cupcake liners and line a second muffin pan with 4 liners and fill the remaining cavities half full of water. Set aside. (See Note 2) DRY INGREDIENTS:In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.WET INGREDIENTS: In a separate large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, 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 (185g). Mix the bananas into the batter until smooth. Add in the full egg, egg yolk, and pure vanilla extract. Beat until smooth.ALTERNATE DRY INGREDIENTS AND BUTTERMILK: 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.BAKE: Pour batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 full. You should use all of the batter between 16 cavities. (See Note 2.) Bake in the preheated oven for about 18 - 22 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool in the muffin tin several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.For the frosting: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 the mixer running on low speed, slowly add powdered sugar and beat until well blended and smooth. Chill the frosting while the cupcakes finish cooling. (Note: adding the powdered sugar all at once could result in a dust storm of powdered sugar all over your kitchen!)GARNISH: Frost the cooled cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and if desired, garnish with a banana chip.STORAGE: 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. Store any uneatend cupcakes in an airtight container (lined with a paper towel) in the fridge. The paper towel helps to keep the cupcakes from getting soggy. These cupcakes are best within 3-4 days of being made -- we enjoy them best on the second day after being made. Cupcakes can be frozen (without frosting) for up to 2 months. (Here's how to freeze and thaw cupcakes) Video Recipe NotesNote 1: You can make your own buttermilk by combining 3/4 cup milk with 3/4 of a tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and set aside for 5 minutes before using. Do not use plain milk for this recipe. Note 2: This recipe makes 16 cupcakes, so you'll most likely need to use two muffin pans to accomplish that (unless you have two 8-holers at your house!). When you fill the muffin pans with the liners and the batter, add water to the empty cavities. That will keep the pan from warping and will ensure that the heat circulates evenly. Nutrition FactsCalories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 58g | Vitamin A: 384IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. 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