Friday, June 29, 2012

400th Post! Banana Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

Holy moly! It's my 400th post!! What better way to celebrate than with more cupcakes? Right?? These cupcakes came together very organically, and were completely unplanned (meaning you can easily make them last minute and for no reason just like I did!). My sister had some very ripe bananas and asked me if I wanted to make something with them before they went to waste. Of course I did! I always do :)

She had also just purchased a jar of Nutella, so these cupcakes were a natural vehicle for all those amazing and complimentary flavors. Seriously, bananas and Nutella go together like ice cream and hot fudge, French fries and ketchup, macaroni and cheese... really, it's one of the best food combinations out there. It's also perpetually what people seem to crave when they want sweet crepes. Nothing quite like bananas and Nutella smushed inside a hot sugary crepe.

I can't imagine there is a person in the world who is unfamiliar with Nutella, but just in case let me shed some light. It's the chocolate and hazelnut equivalent of heroin*. Yup, it's seriously addictive stuff. It is absolutely amazing in everything. It's also fantastic eaten by the spoonful. There's really no wrong way to eat Nutella.

For the record, I highly recommend making frosting with Nutella. I also recommend eating that frosting by the spoonful. Another good idea would be to pipe it onto these super banana-packed cupcakes. They are extremely moist and very flavorful, and with the rich and creamy Nutella frosting they are perfect little bites of Heaven. Honestly, I can't even put into words how good these cupcakes are. I really shouldn't have to. I think the pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy!

*For the record, I have never tried heroin. I have, however, seen Trainspotting, so I consider myself an expert on heroin's addictive nature. Therefore, I can safely compare it to Nutella. Booyah!

Banana Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting
Makes 14

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream or buttermilk

1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Nutella (chocolate hazelnut spread)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

Place the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with 14 paper liners, spacing them out evenly.

Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat between each addition until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Add half of the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Then add the sour cream, mix again, and then finish with the remaining dry ingredients, beating just until mixed.

Fill each liner 2/3 full with batter. Bake the cupcakes for about 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and Nutella together until fluffy and smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the confectioners' sugar and beat until well-combined and fluffy. It should be silky and smooth. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large piping tip of your choice with the frosting and frost the cupcakes as desired. There should be just enough to frost all the cupcakes, but if you desire a more frosting-heavy cupcake, multiply the frosting recipe by 1 1/2.

Frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated up to 2 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature before serving.


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