Banana Caramel Cupcakes

Well, there are only two sleeps left until Christmas day and I’m sure my little one isn’t the only one almost bursting with excitement. I’ve been meaning to get to a few bananas in the fruit basket, but as there is so much fruit on offer at this time of year, I went a little crazy this past weekend and came home with a box loaded with kiwi fruit, mangoes, oranges, apples, strawberries, bananas, a pineapple and plenty of others so I just haven’t been able to gobble them up fast enough yet, although I’m thoroughly enjoying my fresh morning smoothie.

These particular bananas were a little past their best and instead of baking banana bread, I decided to try something different.  I cut this recipe out of a newspaper insert a long time ago as the combination of ingredients intrigued me, but I’d never actually got round to baking them. I think it is a Donna Hay recipe, but can’t quite remember. Today was the day and although you might think that biting into a layer of plain caramel instead of icing might be incredibly rich, surprisingly, it isn’t as the basic banana cupcake batter (to me it’s more of a muffin really, but no-one’s arguing) softens the richness of the caramel.

For added yumminess, I grated one of my favourite chocolates, Peppermint Crisp over the top and in keeping with the spirit of Christmas and all things Christmas themed, the red and green wrappers and lollies completed the look.

Banana Caramel Muffins

ingredients:
1¼ cups plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder, sifted
1 cup caster sugar
125 g unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
¾ cup milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
1½ cups mashed banana
380 g store-bought caramel filling

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C.
  2. Place all ingredients (except for the caramel) into a bowl and whisk until well combined. It is a little runnier than you’d expect, but don’t be put off – that is the way it is supposed to be.
  3. Spoon into 12 x ½ cup-capacity muffin tins lined with paper cases and bake for 27 – 29 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Note that because of the banana, there may be a bit of sticky residue on the end of the skewer but this could be banana and not batter. Don’t over bake the cupcake/muffin.
  4. Allow to cool in the trays for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  5. Place the caramel into a bowl and whisk until smooth, then spread onto the cupcakes/muffins and decorate as you see fit. The original recipe just left them plain.
  6. You could also cut out a tiny piece of the centre of the cupcake and fill it with caramel, then stick the cut-out back on top before spreading more caramel onto the top. A lovely caramel surprise in the centre!

Enjoy!

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