I have a history of sharing my desire for unusual chocolate cakes with you. Chocolate Avocado Cake with avocado icing and Chocolate Beet Cake might not have been your cup of tea. Those flavors aren’t ones that you see paired very often, and I might have frightened you off a bit. The Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes might have been less of a stretch but a lot of people can’t get over the association of lavender with their grandmother’s hand cream. While everyone who ate those cakes found them delicious, I recognize that the flavors I paired are a far stretch from traditional.

Well I’m not quite willing to start making chocolate cakes straight out of a mix yet. Or ever really.

And so I bring you Chocolate Banana Cupcakes. A little tamer than avocado and beets, certainly, but every bit as flavorful.

This cupcake recipe reminds me of a frozen chocolate dipped banana or a banana split with plenty of hot fudge, and the bananas inside make me feel slightly better about inhaling two in a row. What an excellent quality in a cupcake! If only they were all so virtuous.

By the way, do you see how it looks like my little chocolate banana cupcakes are wearing a beret, slightly tilted to the side? Yeah, not on purpose, but I am still laughing at my poor icing skills and thanking my luck it turned out so cute. What are your favorite tips for icing a cupcake? Do you smear it on or pipe it out? Any specialty tips you use for piping? Both the physical tips and any advice would be welcomed!

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes
Adapted from Love and Olive Oil

Ingredients
1/2 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup ripe banana (about 1.5 bananas)
1/3 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For Frosting:
1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
1/4 cup ripe banana (about 1/2 banana)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more if you prefer a different consistency
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper liners, and spray them with cooking spray if you have it (my cupcakes were hesitant to let go of their papers).

2. In a small bowl, mash the banana with a fork. Whisk in the coconut milk, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract until incorporated. Mixture will still be slightly lumpy due to the banana, but smoosh out as many large lumps as you can. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and pour in banana mixture. Stir until just smooth (do not overmix).

3. Pour into liners, filling each with 3 tablespoons of batter (cups should be no more than 2/3 full). Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

4. While you are trying to avoid eating all of those beautiful warm cupcakes, busy yourself by preparing the  frosting. Cream butter until smooth and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add banana and mix on high speed until few lumps remain. Add cocoa powder and 1 cup powdered sugar and beat until combined. Continue adding sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition until you achieve your desired consistency.  Mix in vanilla. Continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes, adding more sugar as necessary. Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

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