Banana bread is always a good option when you want to do some baking with bananas, but it’s not the only option. These Mini Banana Cupcakes are a great alternative when you want to make a treat that is a little bit sweeter than your standard quick bread and perfect for bite-sized snacking. This recipe makes a relatively small batch of cupcakes – just 24 minis – so it is ideal when you don’t have a whole bunch of bananas on hand that need to be used up. In fact, you really only need one medium-sized banana to make this recipe work!
The fluffy, moist cupcakes are lightly sweetened and have just a touch of nutmeg to them, which really emphasizes the banana flavor without overpowering it. You could add cinnamon to these cupcakes, but I really enjoy tasting the rich flavor of the bananas and not making them heavily spiced. The cupcake batter uses no dairy and can be mixed up in just a couple of minutes, so it is good both for those with dietary restrictions and for those who are working on a tight time line. If you prefer to make larger cupcakes, you can make about 8 with this recipe, but you’ll need to extend the baking time by about 4-5 minutes.
These cupcakes would be delicious with any frosting, but they are amazing with this rich Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache on top. The ganache is made with just peanut butter and dark chocolate, so it has an intense cocoa flavor to go along with a salty-sweet peanut butter one. I recommend using a national brand (I used Jif) of creamy peanut butter, or another brand that doesn’t separate as it sits, for the best results in your ganache. The ganache needs to be prepared in advance and given time to set up at room temperature. Once it is set, it is whipped with an electric mixer until it transforms into a fluffy, mousse-like frosting that can be piped on to your cupcakes. The frosting is decadent and both chocolate and peanut butter-lovers should love it.
Mini Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache Frosting
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 large egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 24 mini muffin cups with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
In a small bowl, whisk together mashed banana, egg, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Pour into dry ingredients and whisk until batter comes together. Divide evenly into prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and tops spring back when lightly pressed.
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache Frosting
1 cup creamy peanut butter (national brand, such as Jif)
3 oz dark chocolate, chopped
Melt the dark chocolate in a small, microwave-safe bowl on medium-high power. Heat the chocolate in 30-45 second increments, stirring between each, to ensure that the chocolate melts without burning.
Stir together melted chocolate and peanut butter until very smooth. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap and allow it to sit overnight, or until set. When the mixture is set, beat with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until the ganache becomes fluffy and mousse-like.
Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.