Banana Maple Bourbon Cupcakes

Alright y’all – I apologize for being MIA for a bit, I’ve been involved in some particularly interesting baking adventures recently, including making a friend’s wedding cake, and unfortunately haven’t found the time to write about it. But now I’m back! Let’s talk about bananas. I’m quite clearly obsessed with all things chocolate, but I found myself wanting to try something out of my element. I figured banana cupcakes would be good, but banana cupcakes infused with bourbon would be better. And I was not wrong 🙂

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The Cupcakes:
Bourbon banana cake with walnuts
Banana bourbon whipped cream filling
Maple bourbon buttercream
Sprinkled cinnamon and banana chips

The recipe:

Bourbon banana cake with walnuts (yields about 25 cupcakes):
2 1/4 C cake flour (or 2 C all purpose flour, if you don’t have cake flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 bananas
1 C unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
3 tbsp buttermilk
2 tbsp bourbon
1 C chopped walnuts

(If you’re in Colorado or any other area above sea level, don’t forget to adjust for high altitude! Just send me a message and I can convert the recipe for you:) )

Banana bourbon whipped cream filling:
1 C heavy whipping cream
2/3 C sugar
1 banana
2-3 tbsp bourbon

Maple bourbon buttercream:
1 1/2 C sugar
1/3 C water
150 g egg whites (if you’re using eggs, use the whites from 4 eggs)
1 tsp vanilla
1 lb unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 tbsp bourbon
5 tbsp maple syrup

For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk and sift thoroughly into another bowl. Set aside.
3. Cream sugar, butter, and vanilla in stand mixer or with hand mixer until light and fluffy.
4. Peel and slice bananas and add to mixer. Cream with sugar and butter mixture.
5. Add eggs, buttermilk, and bourbon to creamed butter mixture. Beat thoroughly.
6. Add flour mixture to creamed butter mixture in two portions. Mix well between each addition.
7. Fold in chopped walnuts, taking care to not overbeat the mixture.
8. Line a cupcake or muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
9. Fill cupcake tins with batter (about 2/3 of the way full).
10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until middle of cupcake is firm to touch.

For the whipped cream filling:
1. Peel and slice banana and microwave for 30 seconds, then mash together. Add bourbon to mashed bananas and let the mixture cool back to room temperature.
2. Whip heavy whipping cream with mixer until it resembles whipped cream.
3. Add sugar and mix thoroughly.
4. Mix in banana mixture until just incorporated. You’re now ready to fill!

For the maple bourbon buttercream:
1. Combine sugar and water in saucepan, heat on low until boiling.
2. While sugar mixture is heating, whip egg whites, vanilla, bourbon, and maple syrup with mixer until frothy.
3. Pour boiling sugar mixture into egg white mixture while mixing.
4. Beat on high speed till cool and stiff. This is going to take several minutes.
5. Once the bowl feels cool, switch the mixer to low speed and add in butter in small chunks.
6. Beat for another few minutes on low until buttercream comes together. It will look like cottage cheese for awhile…this is completely normal and happens just before the buttercream pulls together so don’t panic.
7. You’re all ready to frost! Top iced cupcakes with sprinkled cinnamon and banana chips. (To make the banana chips, I sliced bananas and laid them out on a baking tray with parchment paper, drizzled them with a little lemon juice, and baked in the oven at 200ºF for roughly an hour and a half.)

I guarantee you’ll go bananas for these cupcakes 😉 (sorry…I had to!)

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Maker’s Mark Bourbon Cupcakes

I’m a whiskey lover. I can vaguely remember the days long ago when I flinched at the sight of a whiskey bottle because I thought the taste was too strong. But over time, it grew on me, and today I can confidently say that it’s my favorite.  My preferred bourbon? Maker’s Mark.

So obviously, Maker’s Mark cupcakes had to happen. And they did.

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I loved these. I wanted to stuff them all into my face, but my roommates beat me to it! (Yes, they’re avid whiskey lovers, and more importantly, sugar lovers just like me. Great minds think alike?)

The Cupcakes:
White cake
Bourbon chocolate ganache filling
Cinnamon bourbon cream cheese frosting
Sugar & cinnamon

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Here it is:

White cake (yields about 16 cupcakes)
2 C cake flour (or 1 3/4 C all purpose flour)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 C sugar
3 egg whites
2/3 C milk (whole milk is best)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Maker’s Mark Bourbon chocolate ganache filling:
6 oz bittersweet chocolate
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 C heavy cream
3-4 tbsp Maker’s Mark Bourbon

Cinnamon Maker’s Mark Bourbon cream cheese frosting:
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 C (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature)
4-5 C confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp Maker’s Mark Bourbon

For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk and sift thoroughly into another bowl. Set aside.
3. Cream sugar and butter in stand mixer or with hand mixer until light and fluffy.
4. Add half of flour mixture to creamed butter mixture and mix. Add half of milk (1/3 C) to mixture and mix. Add rest of flour mixture and mix.
5. In a measuring glass, combine remaining milk with egg whites and vanilla extract. Whisk well.
6. Add egg mixture to batter in 3 increments, mixing on high speed for about a minute after adding each increment.
7. Line a cupcake or muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
8. Fill cupcake tins with batter (about 2/3 of the way full).
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until middle of cupcake is firm to touch.

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For the ganache filling:
1. Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat.
2. Melt chocolate over double-boiler on low heat (or in microwave–heat in 10 second intervals, mixing in between, until melted thoroughly).
3. While butter and chocolate are melting, heat heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat.
4. Combine chocolate and butter when melted.
5. When heavy cream begins to boil, mix into chocolate and butter mixture and whisk rigorously until well-combined.
7. Add Maker’s Mark and mix well.
8. Cover and refrigerate until solid.
9. Once solid, mix with a spoon and you’re ready to fill. (side note on filling cupcakes: I usually cut an inverted cone out of the cupcake. Basically, cut a circle into the top of the cupcake but point towards the center of the cupcake with the knife so that you’re making an upside-down cone. Pull the cone out and cut off the very top circle of it–you’ll put this cake circle back onto the cupcake after filling it).
10. Fill a pastry bag (or, for less advanced bakers, a Ziploc bag with one corner cut off) with the ganache filling, pipe the ganache into the hollowed cupcakes, and replace the top cake circles.

For the cream cheese frosting:
1. Cream butter and cream cheese with mixer.
2. Add cinnamon and bourbon and mix.
3. Add all of confectioner’s sugar in 1-2 cup increments, mixing between each addition.
4. If buttercream is not stiff enough, add a small amount of confectioner’s sugar and mix well.
5. Fill a pastry bag (or Ziploc bag) with the buttercream and pipe out a generous amount of frosting in a circular motion.
6. Mix a little sugar with a pinch of cinnamon together in a separate bowl.
7. After icing cupcakes, sprinkle sugar & cinnamon mixture on top.

And there’s my boozy dessert creation for the day. Enjoy responsibly 😉

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