Apple-Banana Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

For awhile it seemed like we never finished a bunch of bananas before they turned too brown for me to eat. I like my bananas a little green and I cannot stand a mushy, mealy one. Blech. So what to do with all those brown bananas? Put them in the freezer! Well, I never really kept track of how many bananas were going into the freezer and while looking around for something else, I realized that I had at least 30 bananas taking up a ton of room in the bottom of the freezer drawer. Well that just wouldn’t do! I needed to freeze baby food. And bread. And cookie dough. Bananas must go!

I pureed some for Jack to eat, which he really likes. They don’t look very good, like brown,watery soup, but he enjoyed them with oatmeal baby cereal. I also used some of the bananas for this peanut butter-chocolate chip-banana bread. Still, I had a plethora of the fruit leftover. Enter this apple-banana cupcake!

I wanted to make something that I could send off with James, not something else to go into the freezer. So I searched and searched for a cupcake recipe that he could take to work on the days that he went in early in the morning, because even though these are called cupcakes, they are pretty much muffins with a delicious buttercream on top. Slightly less dense than a muffin, but still muffin-ish.

The apple flavor is very mild in this cupcake but helped to keep them very moist. I shredded 3 small apples on the large side of my box grater and then discarded most of the liquid so that I just had the apple shreds. I also pureed the bananas with my stick blender so that I didn’t have large chunks of banana. These would have been great with the addition of nuts, too. Let me just say that I also might be browning the butter for buttercream from now on! It gave it such a great depth of flavor and paired with the cream cheese and a little honey? Amazing! It seems like it might be a little too sweet but the cream cheese helped to mellow it out and made it very smooth – perfect for these cupcakes!

Apple-Banana Cupcakes with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Apple banana cupcakes with brown butter cream cheese frosting

cupcakes adapted from allrecipes, frosting adapted from Big Red Kitchen

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup ripe bananas, pureed or well-mashed
  • 3 small apples, peeled, cored, and shredded

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease & flour 24 muffin cups, or use paper liners.

2. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla and buttermilk.

4. Slowly add flour mixture, mixing until combined. Fold in bananas and apples.

5. Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until a tester comes out with only a few crumbs attached. Cool for a few minutes in pan before removing to wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, divided
  • 8 oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-3 tbsp. milk, if needed

1. Place 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter in a cold, small saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook until butter is browned and foam has subsided, stirring or shaking pan often.

2. Cut remaining 1/4 cup butter into 1/2 inch cubes and place in a small bowl. Pour browned butter over top and allow all butter to melt.

3. In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add in honey and vanilla, mix until well combined. Add in powdered sugar and beat until fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add milk if needed to reach desired consistency.

4. Frost cupcakes as desired. Refrigerate frosting if necessary.

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