Saturday, January 14, 2012

Vintage Banana Cupcakes

If you spend enough time with your nose in vintage cookbooks, aspects of the attitudes contained in them start to rub off.  I now hate to dump out bacon grease.  I ponder whether to use sugar or corn syrup in cakes - and it's not like sugar is rationed these days, thank goodness!  And now and then I make an effort to bake something that sort of "uses up" ingredients that would otherwise go to waste.  Which is where these little cupcakes came from.



The original recipe came from a vintage cookbook from 1951 entitled "250 Classic Cake Recipes," by Ruth Berolzheimer.  I started with her Banana Layer Cake recipe and downsized the volume, then made some substitutions.  After all, I had a banana, some yogurt, and some leftover frosting to use!

1-1/4 c. Fancy Flour Blend OR
1/4 c. millet flour
1/4 c. sweet rice flour
1/4 c. + 2 Tbsp white rice flour
2 Tbsp potato starch
1/4 c. tapioca starch
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 banana, mashed
3 Tbsp banana-honey Greek yogurt (plain would work fine, too)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
Sift together flours, baking powder, soda, salt, and xanthan gum.  Set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar.  Beat in egg.
Stir together mashed banana and yogurt.  Add to sugar mixture along with vanilla and beat together.

Add dry ingredients and beat on medium until just smooth.  Portion out into liners.  Since I made mini cupcakes, I used my small cookie dough disher.  This batter made 24 mini cupcakes, and would likely make 12 regular cupcakes if you'd rather.
Bake for 10-12 minutes for mini cupcakes (plan on 18-20 for regular cupcakes) or until a toothpick inserted into one comes out clean.

Cool completely.
Now, I had some leftover Nutella Buttercream in the fridge that I decided would go good with this.  I'd made it to fill some macarons and had QUITE a bit left.  It's absolutely decadent and pretty easy to make.  I started with a half-recipe of The Brave Tart's German Buttercream and added two heaping spoonfuls (probably at least 1/2 c. if not a little more) of chocolate hazelnut spread.  I say "Nutella" but what I actually had on-hand was a Dutch brand that's very similar.  Use what ya got!  Once the buttercream was fluffy I just dumped in the spread and turned the mixer back up to high for a minute.  Fabulous!  For these little guys, I got the leftovers out of the fridge and placed the bowl over a double boiler.  Once it had warmed up, with some stirring, I beat it for a couple minutes and it came right back to fluffy perfection.
I was feeling lazy, so I tried just spreading it on the cupcakes with a knife.  This turned out to be MORE work, so I grabbed a piping bag and piped the rest:

So there you have it.  Cute, bite-sized banana cupcakes.


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