Due to some new…shall we say “financial circumstances”…we are in the process of trying to learn to use everything up, no matter how unappetizing the prospect may seem. Coming back from the hospital, I was faced with some bananas that not only weren’t green any more (I don’t like them when they get to yellow), they were starting to grow spotty. Often when this has happened in the past, I’d throw out the spotty banana and buy more. However, in our attempt to learn how to make use of what we have rather than taking our food for granted, I decided to let the bananas turn completely black and make some sort of banana baked good.
After some consideration, the decision was that while banana bread is good, you can’t go wrong with a banana cupcake. And since we’re getting into the fall months, a spiced cupcake is the best kind to enjoy. So we settled on:
Spiced Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting½ C. shortening 2/3 C. mashed banana 1 ½ C. sugar 2 eggs 2 C. Flour 1 tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. salt 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon ½ tsp. cloves ½ tsp. allspice ½ C. milk Preheat oven to 350°. Line two medium-sized cupcake pans with paper liners.
Beat shortening, banana and sugar for 2 minutes.
Add eggs and beat until well blended. Add all dry ingredients and milk alternatively, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Pour into cupcake papers.
Bake for 23-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting (below).
Cream Cheese Frosting8 oz cold cream cheese 1 stick unsalted butter, firm but not cold 1/8 tsp salt 3 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted ½ tsp vanilla
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, and salt (and cinnamon, if you’d like additional spice) on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, and gradually add the confections’ sugar, beating until incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Do not overmix or the frosting will become too fluffy. Add milk, 1 tsp at a time, if frosting is too thick.