Banana & Pecan Cupcakes

I know bananas are still pretty expensive right now. But if you happen to have a couple of well ripened bananas lying around, why not put them to good use in this lovely recipe.

Cakes

225g plain flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 bananas
115g butter, roughly chopped and softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
4 tablespoons sour cream
55g pecans, chopped

Lemon Icing

135g butter, roughly chopped and softened
2 ½ cups icing sugar
juice of ½ a lemon
25g pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 190C.  Line a 12 1/3 cup capacity muffin tray with paper cases.

Sift flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together into a mixing bowl, then set aside. Peel and roughly chop the bananas into a small bowl, mash with a fork and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in mashed banana and sour cream with a wooden spoon.

Using a wooden spoon, fold in the flour mixture and chopped pecans.  Spoon a heaped tablespoon of mixture into each of the prepared paper cases.

Bake cupcakes in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until well risen and golden brown.

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool

Lemon Icing:

Beat butter with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Sift icing sugar over the top and add lemon juice. Beat until combined.

Spread icing on top of each cupcake and sprinkle with finely chopped pecans before serving.

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Island Cookies

It’s been a while between posts, hasn’t it? Life’s gotten busy lately. But I have managed to find the time to squeeze in some baking and to have a play with the ice cream maker, at which I have had some success. I suppose it isn’t much of a consolation to know that I’ve got a few recipes here just waiting for me to create the posts, either.

Hopefully this recipe will help. It comes from my favourite cookie cookbook, Best-Loved Cookies, that I found in the North Melbourne newsagent a number of years ago. I recently made these for my mother the last time she visited. Mum loves macadamia nuts and always misses out on my baking because she lives interstate. She loved this variation of the chocolate chip cookie.


1 & 2/3 cups plain flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

190g butter, chopped and softened

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 & 3/4 cups milk chocolate chips

1 cup flaked coconut

3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 190C oven. Line biscuit trays with baking paper.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and sift together into a bowl. Add salt and set aside.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugars and vanilla extract in a large bowl until creamy. Beat in egg until combined. Gradually beat in flour mixture. With a wooden spoon, stir in choc chips, coconut and macadamia nuts until well combined.

Drop a slightly rounded tablespoon of cookie dough onto the prepared tray.

Bake in preheated oven for 8 – 11 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand for 2 minutes, remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Peanut Butter & Choc Chip Cupcakes

1 ¼ cups plain flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
¾ cup milk
⅓ cup smooth peanut butter
1 egg, lightly whisked
2 tablespoons peanut oil
⅔ cup dark choc chips

PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING
½ cup smooth peanut butter
60 g butter, at room temperature
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 200C. Line a 12 hole 1/3 cup muffin pan with patty cases.

Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add brown sugar, milk, peanut butter, egg, and oil. Stir until just combined. Add chocolate chips and stir.

Fill prepared cases 2/3 full and bake 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Remove from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. Using an electric mixer, beat peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add icing sugar and milk. Spread icing liberally over cupcakes and serve.

Chocolate Banana Cake

By now you may have noticed I have a bit of a thing for chocolate, and for bananas.

In this recipe two of my favourite ingredients have been combined to make an simple,  moist chocolate banana cake.

Chocolate Banana Cake

1 1/2 cups plain wholemeal flour

3/4 cup self-raising flour

2/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup caster sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 large overripe bananas, mashed

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

Icing

1 1/2 cups icing sugar

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

2 tablespoons milk, warmed

 

Preheat oven to 180C.  Lightly grease an 8-cup capacity, 24cm fluted ring tin.

Sift flours, cocoa, bicarbonate soda and baking powder into a large bowl.  Add husks from the sieve.  Add sugar and stir to combine.  Make a well in the centre.

Combine eggs, banana, buttermilk and oil in a jug.  Pour into the well in the dry ingredients.

Stir to combine.

Spoon cake mixture into prepared tin and smooth the surface.

Bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.  Leave cake in the tin for 5 minutes.  Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the icing:

Sift icing and cocoa into a bowl.  Add milk.  Using a wooden spoon, mix until smooth.

Pour icing over the cooled cake.  Using a flat-bladed knife/spatula, spread over top.  Allow icing to run down the sides.  Stand for 20 minutes or until icing sets.