So, I can now officially say that I have baked all the cupcakes for two weddings and have survived. And succeeded with flying colors as well!
My friend Sarah got married in New Hampshire last month, and I was not only in the wedding as a bridesmaid, but also was responsible for baking all the cupcakes for the wedding. Pretty stressful, for sure! 🙂 But luckily, I had two awesome helpers to get everything in order, and despite a few mishaps (like dropping a few cupcakes, it happens…) the wedding was just perfect and the cupcakes were a huge success.
When thinking through flavors with them, I wanted to honor where they both were from and come up with some creative flavors. They specifically asked for my lime cupcakes with a blackberry buttercream, as well as my chocolate chocolate chip cupcakes with a peanut butter frosting. And then, as Sarah is from Texas, we came up with spicy chocolate cupcakes, and for Matt from New Hampshire, I created this cupcake – probably my new most favorite cupcake ever. New Hampshire is all about maple syrup, in fact his family taps their own on their property where they also held the wedding. So what better than maple, bourbon, with some bananas tossed in?
We gave all of the cupcakes a name, such as the Fiery Texan for the spicy chocolate cupcakes (recipe coming soon!), and for this one we went with “Boozy Sunday Brunch in New Hampshire.” That was inspired by a facebook poll with my friends on what we should name it – so thanks friends for the inspiration! 🙂 And I think the name was absolutely perfect.
I found a recipe for a banana maple bourbon syrup on the NY Times website, and decided to play with that for a buttercream, and create a banana pancake cupcake to serve as a slightly less sweet and therefore more complementary base for the outstanding punch of flavor in the buttercream.
**Important note – I start the buttercream first by making the syrup, and then make the cupcakes, and then finish the buttercream to frost. I’ve included the whole buttercream recipe below the cupcake recipe, but make sure to get the syrup started first to allow to cool thoroughly before making the rest of the buttercream.
Banana Pancake Cupcakes
Adapted from Your Cup of Cake
Makes 24 cupcakes
Banana Maple Bourbon Buttercream
Inspired by a syrup recipe by Melissa Clark for the NYTimes website
2 tablespoons unsalted butter for the syrup, plus 1 cup butter (2 sticks or 226 g), softened, for the buttercream
2 medium ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds (should have 24 slices – thus if you’re using smaller or bigger bananas, compensate with extras or less)
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
4-5 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of milk (to use as needed)
Pinch of salt
In a medium skillet or pan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter (though I love browning butter, be careful not to brown it!). Add bananas in a single layer. Cook, without moving, until the undersides of the bananas are golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the banana slices and brown the other side, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove the banana slices and transfer to a heatproof bowl.
Add bourbon to the same pan and let simmer until mostly evaporated, about 1 minute max. Pour in the maple syrup, and simmer until just heated through. Pour syrup onto the bananas and set aside to cool thoroughly.
Once the mixture has cooled, using an immersion blender (or you can use a regular blender if you don’t have an immersion blender), blend the banana and syrup together until smooth.
In a separate large bowl with a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter for about 2 minutes. Then, add 1/3 cup of the syrup mixture, and beat together.
Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, beating the frosting between each cup. At four cups, add the pinch of salt, and beat again. If you would like the frosting to be thicker, add the fifth cup, and if you add too much, you can make it creamier by adding a bit of the milk until you reach the consistency you desire.
Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes. I topped with a maple syrup drizzle (excellent idea) and please, enjoy!