Recipe: Cinnamon Banana Maple Cupcakes.

“I even picked all of the chocolate chips off of the paper after I finished the cupcake. There may have been a bit of paper stuck to some of them. Oh well!” 

That’s the sign of a good cupcake – if you’re willing to risk eating the paper. And these cupcakes apparently were paper-eating-worthy.

maple cupcake open

worth the risk.

I made them because a friend suggested it – she wanted a banana maple cake, and thought I could make a pretty good one. I was flattered, and of course, accepted the challenge with open arms (and oven).

“The cupcake was piquant, thanks.”  

No, thank YOU for eating. There was other feedback  along these lines, but most with some unsuitable for posting expletives used to stress the deliciousness experienced….

pretty and piquant.

pretty and piquant.

I modified an existing coffee cake recipe of mine, including the addition of maple syrup and a packet of banana flavored oatmeal. I substituted the eggs with white vinegar (my new favorite baking trick) and topped it with a maple buttercream, based on my Signature Buttercream, but, like the cake, with the addition of maple syrup.

“The icing is amazzzzzzzzzing.”

I guess it worked. 🙂

fabulously frosted.

fabulously frosted.

Anyway, because they were such a hit with the masses, I’m going to share the recipe with you now, so you, too, can win friends and influence people with delectable desserts and captivating cupcakes.

“These are really friggin’ good.”

Heck yeah, they are. Now go wash my car and fold my laundry, and maybe you can have another… 😉

two for the road.

two for the road.

Of course I’m kidding. But I’m not kidding about how good they are – see for yourself!

Cinnamon Banana Maple Cupcakes.

What you’ll need:

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tblsp white vinegar

3 tsp canola oil

1 cup flour

3 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 packet banana oatmeal

1/2 cup half and half

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 cup cinnamon chips

What You’ll Do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, white vinegar, and canola oil. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and oatmeal, and add to the sugar/vinegar/oil. Mix until just combined, and add the milk and maple syrup. Mix well. Fold in the cinnamon chips. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners, and fill each about halfway. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Makes about a dozen cupcakes.

 Maple Buttercream Frosting. (*this recipe is measured all in weight,except for the maple syrup)

What you’ll need:

8 oz butter (softened)

4 oz shortening

1 lb 4 oz confectioners sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

What you’ll do:

Cream together the butter, shortening, and sugar. Add maple syrup. If you’d like a thinner frosting, add water, a very little bit at a time until desired consistency is reached.

The Return of Recipe Sunday: Banana Caramel Cake.

I was starting to feel guilty for abandoning Recipe Sunday for the past two weeks, so I decided that I would make up a recipe tonight on the fly and hope that it turned out good enough to post! Well tonight I give thanks to the baking gods, because it sure did. It’s a pretty simple cake, too, with a simple cinnamon glaze on top. I found this funky cake pan with raised dots on top mixed in with all the old pans my Aunt passed down to me, and I’ve been dying to use it, so I figured, what the heck – lets use it tonight, just for the pure joy of trying something new.

Dr. Seuss would totally bake a cake in this.

Ok, I admit it – I used caramel flavoring and not “real” caramel. Don’t tell my pastry school teachers. ;P

And away we go….

glaze of glory.

Banana Caramel Cake (In a funky pan):

What you’ll need:

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 egg

1 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp caramel flavor

1 tbsp baking powder

1 cup AP flour

1/2 cup fat-free or skim milk

1/2 of a medium-sized banana (mashed)

What you’ll do:

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Mix sugar, egg, oil, and caramel flavor. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Add to egg mixture alternately with milk. Fold in the mashed banana. Baking time will vary depending on what pan you use, but it took 25 minutes in the funky pan.

Cinnamon Butter Glaze.

Combine 1/4 cup butter (melted), 1 tsp cinnamon, and add confectioner’s sugar until desired consistency is reached (I used 1/2 a cup).

Recipe Sunday: Banana Walnut Butter Cake.

I had a banana on the kitchen table that was starting to over-ripen. I really didn’t want it to go to waste, and I also really wanted to bake something from scratch – I haven’t in over a week! I was thinking about bread, and as I was digging through the cabinet for the yeast, I found an open bag of walnuts. I’m also on the tired side as it was a very busy, yet productive and enjoyable weekend. So, over-ripe banana + open bag of walnuts + extra tired me = Banana Walnut Butter Cake: an easy recipe I created myself, on the fly. It’s quick to prepare and decadently delicious to dine on. It just takes a tad long to actually bake, due to the heaviness of the batter. But on a below freezing winter evening, there’s nothing wrong with a little extended oven action.

looks like bread, tastes like cake.

Banana Walnut Butter Cake.

What you’ll need:

1/2 cup butter (softened)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups Flour

1 small banana (mashed – i mashed it between my hands – it was fun)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

What you’ll do:

Preheat the oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, and beat until well mixed. Add the flour and mix well. Add the mashed banana, mix well. Fold in the walnuts. Grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, and fill with the batter. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. The outside will be golden brown.

I then topped mine with a Brown Sugar Nutmeg spread, but instead of “spreading,” I piped. This was another recipe created on the fly.

Brown Sugar Nutmeg Spread.

What you’ll need:

1/4 cup butter (softened)

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 tsp nutmeg

What you’ll do:

In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and nutmeg until smooth.

gratuitous cake close up.

The Magic Pan.

So I was having dinner at my cousin’s house tonight, and she told of an old crêperie that used to be in Philadelphia called “The Magic Pan.” I’d never heard of this place (apparently it’s been gone for quite some time), but I just adore the name. So from henceforth, my crêpe-making pan will also be known by this charming moniker.

where the magic happens.

Yes. I did it. I made crêpes for the first time. I altered the recipe slightly (I’ll post it this coming Recipe Sunday, for all you crêpe fans, so be sure to tune in). Anyway, I was really careful to keep the layers thin, as two people mentioned that when they tried making them for the first time, they wound up looking more like pancakes.

not pancakes.

So, the hardest part was actually deciding what to fill them with! Often when presented with too many choices, one loses the ability to choose. So I knew I had to use the mini pears, that was a given. And the first crêpe I ever had was from a street vendor in Paris, and it had Nutella in it and that was heavenly, so I busted that out too, and noticed while doing so, an unopened jar of Marshmallow Fluff – this was going really well. After some careful consideration, I settled on two combinations: Nutella and banana for half of them; and Fluff, mini pear and caramel for the other half.

pretty maids, all in a row.

When they were all filled, I gave them a final dusting of powdered sugar.

crepes are the new cupcake.

This was so much fun – I love the fact that you can fill them with anything! I see much more experimenting in the near future. This may even wind up being a crêpe Christmas.The Magic Pan will definitely be gettin’ a lot of action. Now if I could just find a magic man… 😉


cakes in a pan.

Pancakes are awesome. everyone loves them. they remind you of being a kid, when eating whatever you wanted was fun. Well, you know what, pancakes can still be fun, and actually even good for you – if you spend the time to make them as such.

Recently, I was tasked with making enough pancakes to feed my entire class. I was handed a “healthy” pancake recipe. My first thought was “yuck.” My second thought was “I better find a giant pan.” The recipe was for banana oatbran pancakes. Ok, I like bananas, and I like oatmeal too. A banana oatbran muffin is something I would eat, and when it comes down to it, a pancake is really just the same basic batter, fried in a skillet rather than baked in a muffin tin – it’s just a cake in pan, baby.

a pan full of cakes.


In the end, these healthy pancakes wound up tasting better than the bland variety you have to slather in syrup. These tasted great on their own – no syrup required!

In conclusion, the beauty of the pancake is that you have complete control of the portion size. Make them tiny, and enjoy them as a small “breakfast” indulgence!  Most people think of that premade Bisquick junk when they think of pancakes – but no more! Take control of your breakfast destiny! Make your own personal pancakes – your tastebuds and waistline will thank you for it. 😀

have your pancake and eat it too.

A little bananas.

Last night I was having dinner at a restaurant with a few friends. The food (and drink) was amazing, but, not to anyone’s surprise I’m sure, there was just so much of it. Being a self-proclaimed dessert-buff, I make an effort not to over-indulge in appetizers, drinks, and entrees, for the sole purpose of saving room for dessert, because, contrary to popular belief, there is NOT always room for dessert.  The problem was that the food was just so good. I did my best to control the portions, and when it was dessert time, I did, in fact still have some room. I did not, however have room for the gargantuan dessert that I wound up ordering because it was just too tempting – a chipotle cinnamon banana split, complete with two types of ice cream, whipped cream, cherries and who knows what else. I did share it with someone, however it was by no means an equal share. It was just too good. I was angry at myself when I was finished, not for ordering dessert or even eating dessert, but for eating as much dessert as I did.

We got to talking about it, and how upset I was with myself for my gluttonous display. We had been discussing small indulgences earlier in the evening, and one of my dining colleagues brought up something I wished I had thought of myself – a mini banana split.  What a fantastic idea! If only that had been on the menu, I would have certainly ordered it, and all this guilt and beating up of myself would have been spared. I envisioned how this delectable little dessert would look in my mind – mini-bowl, with a slice of banana, teeny-tiny tablespoon size scoops of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream…it made perfect sense! This morning, I was curious to see if others had done anything similar. I found a few, none quite like what I had envisioned, which was great! I did stumble across this one though, from Baker’s Royale, that I really liked:

Aren’t they cute?