Saturday, August 20, 2011

Banana Split Cupcakes

Banana Split Ice Cream Sundae Cone.  
Now that's a name.  
These are extremely easy and for sure to be a crowd pleaser.  I used my Yogurt Muffin recipe because it lends itself to fruit flavors well.  I made Strawberry Banana batter and the icing was a combination Chocolate Cream Cheese and Vanilla Butter-cream.  

Any cake mix will do for making Ice cream cone cupcakes.  My plan was to go for a Banana Split Cupcake.  So immediately thought, they must go in cones.  I haven't made ICCC's in decades. Literally, I think the last time I participated in ICCC baking I was in grade school.  Ok, now what flavors to I need to incorporate to emulate the Banana Split.  Banana, Strawberry, Chocolate, Hot fudge, nuts or sprinkles and of course a cherry on top.  I had to make a split decision (HAHA!) on what flavors to make what.  Banana cupcake was definite, but should I make strawberry icing too? No wait, the easiest way to get all the flavors was to do a fruit based cake and chocolate/vanilla icing.  I wish I had sprinkles/ nuts for the tops of these to complete the look, alas I was out and not going to the store for toppings at 10:30 p.m..
These cupcakes were made at the end of a looong day and Hubs was brining them to work the next morning so sadly I don't have an great photo's of them. I will just have to make them again soon!

Strawberry Banana Yogurt Muffins
2 Tbs Melted Salted Butter
1 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 egg whisked
5 Tbs Yogurt (Use vanilla unless going for specific flavor, ex. Strawberry Banana)
1 Banana (The more ripe and mushy the better)
1/2 cup Strawberry chunks, pea size for ICCC (larger chunks for regular muffins)

First melt the butter and allow to cool to room temperature. In large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and powder. Separately whisk egg and add to flour with yogurt.  Mixture will be very thick so use a spoon and mix in mushed up banana and strawberry chunks.  Once all ingredients are combined add in the butter and mix well again.  Now you are ready to add batter to cones.  Do this very carefully and neatly.  Any batter that drips on the cones will burn. Fill each cone approximately half way.  Less is more here.  When the cones overflow they get ugly. Just trust me. You can always just put extra icing to fill the gap if they are under-filled.  If they overflow there is really no saving them.
You can cook them individually in a cupcake pan with tinfoil to hold them up or if you are cooking a large batch, put them in a 13x9 casserole dish and just be very careful putting them in the oven.
Baking times TOTALLY vary.  This is a very moist batter. My oven is very temper-mental.  I'd say 350 for 10-18 minutes.  I'm sorry I can't give a better estimate. I made them and made a huuuge mess and every batch cooked differently due to over and underfilled cones.  You are better off at a lower temperature for longer time so the cones don't burn.  Guess and hope method. I'll report back once i've made them again in a more consistent fashion.
Icing. Yum. Chocolate Cream Cheese icing is simple and delicious. Try not to devour it before icing actual cupcakes. Thanks to Cupcake Project for the perfect recipe.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing in one piping bag and Vanilla Buttercream in the other.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing
1 Stick Softened Room Temperature UNSalted Butter
3-4 Cups of Powdered Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
 Whip the butter using a mixer until smooth, slowly add sugar about a half cup at a time until icing is stiff enough to pipe, add vanilla extract and mix again.

To make the two icings look like soft serve ice cream put each icing in a separate piping bag with no tip. In a third bag put in wide starburst tip. Carefully squeeze each bag until the icing is juuuust about to come out open end and evenly insert both icing filled bags into third bag with tip.  Try to get them as even as possible.  Make sure to twist shut both flavors separately at the wide end. Twist shut the third bag and pipe out icing, squeezing bags together.  Test a few strips until you find your groove and go with it.  To build up height pipe a single layer from the inside out. Then pipe from the outside, in building up.  Top with Maraschino Cherry that you have patted dry with a paper-towel.   I've been told they make icing bags, just for this kind of thing but work with what you've got. I suppose you could just alternate globs of icing in one bag and go for a marble effect too. All depends on how anal precise you want to be.
These cupcakes are fantastic for kids parties.  They are 60% frosting and 30% cake.  Plus no wrapper to peel. Great for outdoor parties. Here kids have an cone, go play.  No plate needed. Napkins? Pshaw, they'll just use their sleeves anyway! Enjoy!

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