Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

When bananas are turning brown on your counter, do you turn to a trust banana bread recipe to save the day? While I love a good banana bread, I am partial to cake. Or in this case, cupcakes. I’ve made this cake countless times and several different ways and it’s always good and always a hit. This time I made cupcakes and froze several individually so I could have a treat whenever I felt like it.

Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese FrostingI’ve blogged about this cake before here. It was back in 2010 when I bid farewell to the baking group Tuesdays with Dorie. It was my farewell post as things had changed so much for me that I just wasn’t able to keep up with the commitment anymore. So I said goodbye to the group, but not to Dorie and her amazing banana cake. I love my book, though tattered and scratched [amazon_link id=”0618443363″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Baking From My Home To Yours[/amazon_link] is a staple in my kitchen and there’s no way I would part with it.

Dorie is a baking genius and overall sweet human being. I met her at a book signing in Chicago in October 2010 and while I was already a big fan, I just fell in love with her kind and generous personality. She’s truly a gem of the food world and we are blessed to have her!

Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese FrostingIn Dorie’s book she tells us that this recipe can be made many ways by changing add-ins, frostings, and the like. But my favorite way is Dorie’s original recipe. It’s definitely my go-to recipe for using up over ripened bananas. Sorry banana bread! And thank you Dorie. :)

Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese FrostingJust a quick note. The recipe calls for toasted coconut. While traditionally this is done in the oven, you can also do it on the stovetop in a dry skillet. Just keep the heat on medium low, be patient and stir often. Don’t walk away. It takes a while for the browning to start, but once it does it goes quickly, so be ready to remove the coconut to a plate or paper towels to cool.

Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

One final note. You probably noticed my frosting is a bit knobby. That’s because I didn’t cream it good enough. But that’s okay, because it still tastes amazing. :)

Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Serving Size: 1 cupcake

Calories per serving: 305

Fat per serving: 14.1 g


    For the cake:
  • 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 3 very ripe bananas (1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut. toasted
  • For the Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 2 8-oz packages of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray or butter 2 12-cup muffin pans.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg together.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugars and beat for a couple minutes, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and rum. Batter will be silky smooth. Lower the speed of the mixer and add the bananas. Do not be concerned when the banana curdles the batter.
  4. Add the dry and liquid ingredients alternatively, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in toasted coconut.
  5. Using two 12-cup muffin tins, divide the batter event for a total of 24 cupcakes. Place the muffin tins on baking sheets and bake for 25 minutes, or until tops spring back when gently touched with your finger.
  6. Cool on rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pans to cool completely.
  7. To make the frosting:
  8. Soften the cream cheese and butter, but don’t let it get warm, just take the chill off. Beat the cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Slowly add the powdered sugar until completely combined. Beat in the vanilla. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Notes from Amanda

Saturated fat: 8.8 g Unsaturated fat: 4.4 g Carbohydrates: 44.5 g Sugar: 30.1 g Fiber: 0.8 g Protein: 3.8 g Cholesterol: 51.8 mg


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14 Responses to Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. 1

    Guess what I have on my counter right now? Three black bananas (for banana bread) and four huge “dark yellow” ones. I am making these for the kids this week! Thanks for this post!

  2. 2
    Maria says:

    The cupcakes look delish!

  3. 3
    Veronica says:

    I just gorged myself on banana bread but I could totally polish it off with one of these cupcakes. I’m a fan of cake myself. :)

  4. 4

    I love the addition of coconut, must try this!!

  5. 5


    These look tasty, and I especially love cream cheese icing! Excited to meet you!!

  6. 6

    They look awesome. Love the added coconut flavor.

  7. 7

    What a beautiful batch of banana cupcakes! These look absolutely delicious and super flavorful. Thanks for sharing! Also, I’m having a great giveaway today with four potential prize winners, so you should enter!

  8. 8

    These look delicious. I haven’t tried this recipe before. Bookmarked :)

  9. 9
    Cathy from Colorado says:

    I made these cupcakes and froze them, as I had a need for them later. I used canned frosting (works well). When I delivered them, everyone raved about them and I gave your web-site and recipie to several people from all over the country. You now have a much larger fan base. Keep up the good job.

  10. 10

    […] made several different desserts using bananas. These cupcakes are among my favorites, and these spiced banana chocolate chip muffins were also really […]

  11. 11
    Rita says:

    Don’t know what went wrong. Recipe did not work at all. I’m a baker and followed directions to the t. The cupcakes were way too dense and didnt taste like banana at all. I actually threw them out. They weren”t edible. They looked so good in your pictures. Can you advise? Thanks.

    • 11.1

      Hi Rita. I’m very sorry to hear these didn’t work out for you. From what you are describing, the only scenario I can come up with is that perhaps an ingredient was inadvertently left out or mismeasured? :-/ I have made this recipe in cake and cupcake form over the last 4 years probably 10 or 12 times, and I’ve never had a problem. I even went back to Dorie’s book to double check and make sure I had all the ingredients, measurements and instructions listed properly and they are. I know you said you followed the recipe to a t, but did you happen to substitute anything that could have changed the consistency, like margarine for butter, egg substitute, a different liquid other than coconut milk? Is it possible that the oven was too warm or maybe they just baked too long? Wish I knew the answer, I’m sorry they didn’t work for you!

      • Rita says:

        The only thing i left out was the coconut Do you think that made the difference? I measured everything else exact even sifted the flour and the measured it, maybe it was the bananas when i make banana bread i use bananas the I’ve frozen and then defrost. them.. Could that make a difference? also can you explain how long you mix them? Maybe I overmixed them? They look so wonderful Im willing to try again., Also what brand dark rum do you use? Thanks so much.

        • Hi Rita. I don’t think that defrosted bananas would make a difference (did they measure 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups after being mashed?), and I just mash them with a fork. Leaving out the coconut might be the issue though. The coconut adds moisture to the cake, just be careful not to toast it too much. In fact, you don’t even have to toast it, it just helps to bring out the coconut flavor more. It’s a full one cup of coconut, so that’s a significant ingredient reduction. For the rum, I don’t even remember the brand but I do know I have used different types, so that shouldn’t matter. I also noticed that the recipe on the blog post was from a previous program I used and it may have made it difficult to read the measurements, so I am going to go into the post right now and put it into the proper printable format. So be sure to print it out from that. Let me know what happens! :)

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