Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes

Wow…it has been a full year since I’ve last blogged. Ha! As I wrote that, I spoke it out loud and it sounded like “It has been a year since my last confession.” I’m not Catholic so I’m not quite sure how that whole thing works but like many of us I am an expert via many hours of TV and movie watching 😉

Anyway, I’m not going to bore you with why I have been absent. Nothing major happened…my last post was about Blue Apron and I still use them about once a month or every other month. I’m going to start posting again but probably not monthly as I used to.

This idea of combining peanut butter and banana came about because I had leftover baking ingredients in my fridge from when my good friend came over and made cupcakes for her boyfriend’s surprise party. Her cupcakes were a combination of chocolate, rum, peanut butter and some other ingredients that I won’t give away because it is her personal recipe. It was so delicious and she told me that adding peanut butter to the batter makes the cupcakes super moist. So with the leftover peanut butter, milk, eggs, etc, I decided to give these a go!

Ingredients: yellow cake mix, 3 tblsp peanut butter, 1 cup milk/almond milk, 3 eggs, 2 bananas, 1/3 c. butter, buttercream frosting (from can)

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I basically followed the directions on the box and added the peanut butter and bananas.

1. Preheat oven to 350. Melt the butter in a bowl to soften, add milk and eggs. Then mix in the peanut butter.

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2. Peel the bananas and mash with a fork in separate bowl. Add the cake mix and mashed bananas to the liquid mixture.

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3.Mix until smooth…this is where I regret not investing in an electric mixer. Now that I am baking more often, I should at least look into buying the electric hand mixer. My friend who came over had one and it elevated the entire baking experience for me. The picture above is me struggling to get the batter smooth using my weak arm strength.

4. After the batter is smooth, use an ice cream scoop or spoon to put it into the cupcake pan. I had cupcake liners. This recipe makes 24 cupcakes and my cupcake pan holds 12 so I put the leftover batter in a cake pan.

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5. Put in the oven and bake for about 20 min

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6. Wait a few minutes for them to cool before frosting with the buttercream.

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The taste of the peanut butter is pretty faint but it definitely makes these cupcakes so moist and the banana/yellow cake combo is heavenly.

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Since it has banana, I assumed it can be eaten in the morning for breakfast. I mean what are muffins?? What I’m trying to say is that I have eaten this cupcake after each meal: breakfast, lunch, and dinner…Probably not good to have 3 cupcakes a day but whatever 🙂

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Chocolate Avocado Muffins/Cupcakes

I really love the food blogging community. Even though I’m not as active as other bloggers, there’s so many great ideas out there and I love how everyone willingly shares those ideas with the world. Anyway, as I was perusing the food blogosphere, I came across these Chocolate Avocado Muffins from The Chocolate Bottle who in turn adopted the recipe from another site.

I’ve always found that there was a fine line between muffins and cupcakes. I goggled it and it has something to do with the addition of eggs. I’ve always associated muffins with bread and cupcakes with..well, cakes. But honestly, I don’t think there is a huge difference. Anyway, I decided to add an egg and sugar to this recipe because I had some..and also, I’m not a huge fan of avocados (not even guacamole) so I was a bit skeptical.

It turns out there was no need to be skeptical, and one of the reasons I wanted to try this recipe is because I need to sneak some more “good things” like avocados in my diet. I think I’ve said this before but just because I’m vegetarian doesn’t mean I’m a healthy eater. I’m trying to do better though..slowly but surely.

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I used maple syrup, self rising flour, avocado, applesauce, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, milk, 1 egg, and brown sugar. See here for original recipe: Chocolate Avocado Muffins

Preheat at 350. Mix dry ingredients first, then wet ingredients and mix all together. Also, I’m out-of-town so I didn’t have my cupcake pan, had to just use the cups which turned out fine. Without a food processor, I mixed by hand so I didn’t really get to mix/mash in the avocados the way I wanted.

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I sprinkled brown sugar on top. One thing I forgot is to spray or put some olive oil on the cupcake liners..they kind of stuck to the paper. Bake for 18 to 20 min.

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They turned out more cupcake-like in texture, but I have them for breakfast so that makes them muffins in my book  🙂

Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

It’s that time of year again..I’ve said this before, I measure my life in semesters and this week is the start of a new year. Thankfully, this is my last first day of school ever..like in my life. Grad school has been ridiculously hard and what better way to handle the stress than to splurge on some cupcakes.

I had a great summer that included an awesome trip to Miami to celebrate my dear friend’s wedding. The maid of honor and another good friend of mine, Meagan, made these amazing cupcakes for the bridal shower and even though they were mini cupcakes, I had way too many. She was gracious enough to give me her recipe, and I decided to make them as a back-to-school treat..for myself lol.

Meagan’s Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

Ingredients: 1 box golden butter cake mix (Duncan Hines recommended), 1 stick unsalted butter (room temp), 2/3 c. milk, 3 eggs, 1/2 can dulce de leche, gold dragees for decorating (optional)

Frosting: 2 c. heavy cream (cold), 1 1/2 cans dulce de leche

I have actually fallen into the whole Greek yogurt phenomenon (partly due to the John Stamos commercials). So I decided to use that instead of heavy cream for the “frosting”.

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Follow the directions on the box; blend cake mix, eggs, milk, and butter. Preheat oven  350, line pan with cupcake liners and I sprayed Pam because of my previous experiences making cupcakes/muffins..
In a small separate bowl, mix 1/4 can of dulce de leche and 1 c. of the cake batter and set aside.
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Fill the muffin tins half way with the cake batter and spoon a level tablespoon of the dulce de leche mixture into each cupcake liner. Use a butter knife to swirl it into the batter.
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Bake until tops are golden brown or 10 to 12 min. For the frosting if you use cream, beat the heavy cream and add the rest of the dulce de leche and beat until soft peaks form.
For me, I added plain Greek yogurt to the rest of the dulce de leche.
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Wait for the cupcakes to cool before frosting. Since I used yogurt instead of frosting, I didn’t top them all at once, just one at a time before I ate them so I kept the rest of the yogurt mixture in the fridge.
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*singing* Soooo goooood…listen…I can’t even…ya know what, you’re just gonna have to try this yourself 🙂