Tag Archives: Banana

Healthy Banana Bread Breakfast Bars

27 Feb

So, technically the name is ‘Healthy Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Oat Breakfast Bars {vegan & gluten-free}’…but I didn’t wanna give it all away in the title!  (Recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.)


I know, I know.  I’m usually not on the vegan OR the gluten-free bandwagon.  But, they looked so tasty, and I LOVE banana bread, so I had to try them.  And they did NOT disappoint!  Even without the butter, dairy and eggs that are typically 3 of my favorite things.


The batter (forgive the pic taken with my phone!) is surprisingly simple to make, despite making your own flour.  Yup.  That’s right.  You make your own flour.  I’m not gonna tell you how though, cause you need to check it out for yourself at Ambitious Kitchen!  But this handy trick means that they are gluten-free.  They are also vegan, depending on what kind of chocolate chips you use.


The bars have a good bread-like texture, despite being thinner than a typical banana bread.  But they have a little heartier bite, thanks to the oats.  The chocolate offers a nice balance to the sweetness of the banana.  Overall, just yummy.  And they’re lacking all oils and grease too, so they don’t leave your fingers all messy.  Bonus!


But seriously.  My favorite thing about these bars is that they’re healthy enough to call a breakfast bar (only 116 calories and 2.9g of fat per bar) but tasty enough that we also ate them for dessert.  Yeah.  They were gone within about a day and half.  And there are only 2 of us eating.

Healthy Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Oat Breakfast Bars (recipe from Ambitious Kitchen)


  • 2 1/4 cups gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (gluten-free, if desired)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey (agave nectar if vegan) — I used half honey and half agave
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (vegan, if desired)
  • For chocolate drizzle:
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips (vegan, if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil

For directions visit Ambitious Kitchen.

Day 361 – Banana Cream Cupcakes

27 Jul

Now.  I’ve never been a fan of banana cream pie.  To be fair, I’m not sure I’ve ever ordered it.  Cause, when it comes to pie, I’d rather have something chocolate.  (Shocking, I know!)  But these Banana Cream Cupcakes (recipe below from Everyday Desserts) looked simple and yummy.  And I’m happy with any reason to have Nilla Wafers in the house!

Banana-Cupcake     Mini-Banana-Cupcake

The cupcakes are extremely squishy and quite chewy. They have a very sweet banana flavor. The banana is obviously real, not imitation flavoring. It could double as a muffin, but with no cinnamon or spice involved, it still tastes like a cupcake.


The frosting is smooth and soft. It’s a simple vanilla buttercream. Sugary and simple.

Banana-Cream-Cupcake     Mini-Banana-Cream-Cupcake

This is definitely a cupcake. Not a frosted muffin. It’s so soft and chewy. And sweet. It’s not too sweet. But definitely sweet. The banana flavor really shines through and complements the frosting nicely.


Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 4
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 4
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 19.5



Banana Cream Cupcakes (recipe from Everyday Desserts)

Banana Cupcakes:

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 ripened bananas


  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • Vanilla wafers
  • Banana slices (sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning)

For directions visit Everyday Desserts.

*Tomorrow: Funnel Cake Cupcakes*

Day 327 – Banana Cupcakes

23 Jun

With such a wild and crazy week last week, I decided this week needed to start with something a little simpler.  A couple of classic flavors: Banana and Chocolate.  Yum!  Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting (recipe below from My Recipes).

Banana-Cupcake     Mini-Banana-Cupcake

The cupcake is fairly squishy and very moist (aka sticky). It tastes a bit like a very sweet banana muffin. The banana flavor is very strong. As is the sugar…


The frosting is thick. A little like a whipped ganache frosting. It has a strong, sweet chocolate flavor. You could vary the kind of chocolate, depending on your personal taste.

Banana-Chocolate-Cupcake     Mini-Banana-Chocolate

Together this cupcake is thick and chewy. The frosting just adds to the thickness of the cupcake. Makes it feel like there should be peanut butter involved somehow…which there easily could be and it’d blend right in with the flavors! It’s sweet, but the chocolate cuts through a little of that. Mostly it’s reminiscent of a good, frosted muffin.


Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 4
  • Overall Taste: 3.5
  • Appearance: 3
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 18



Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting (recipe from My Recipes)


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas)
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 4 ounces chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For directions visit My Recipes.

*Tomorrow: Ice Cream Cupcakes*

Day 213 – Honey Banana Cupcakes

1 Mar

Ok, this is one of those days where I need a cupcake that just makes me happy.  You know.  The kind that just warm your heart (and your stomach).  So, why not try these Honey Banana Cupcakes (recipe below from Neighbor Food Blog)?  You got your honey.  Your banana.  And you top it with a Nutella ganache?  What?!?!

Honey-Banana-Cupcake     Mini-Honey-Banana

The cupcakes look like banana muffins.  Dense, fairly moist and sticky.  The banana flavor is definitely the star, but the honey makes them much sweeter than a typical muffin.  You can definitely tell it’s a cupcake.


The glaze is smooth and thicker than a ganache, but still very runny and easy to spoon onto the cupcakes.  It has a sweet, chocolate taste with just a hint of Nutella nuttiness. Really tasty. It’s be good with some graham crackers or Nilla wafers too!

Honey-Banana-Chocolate     Mini-Honey-Banana-Choc

The chocolate and the cupcake to really well together.  It’s sweet, it’s chocolatey, with that little touch of banana and hazelnut.  This would be another great brunch (or morning) cupcake.  Almost, almost a frosted muffin, but better.

Honey-Banana-Choc-top     Mini-Honey-Banana-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 4
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 3.5
  • Ease of Making: 4.5
  • TOTAL: 19.5


Honey Banana Cupcakes (recipe from Neighbor Food Blog)


  • 1½ cups flour
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 3 large extra ripe bananas (about 1¼ cups), smashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • ½ cup Nutella
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup cream

For directions visit Neighbor Food Blog.

*Tomorrow: Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes*

Day 204 – Banoffee Cupcakes

20 Feb

Banana and caramel.  Ok.  Not an overly common combination.  But I’m curious about it.  Banoffee Cupcakes (recipe below from Good Food Channel).  But first, check out today’s tip video!

Alright.  Time to see how our combo works out.

Banana-Cupcake     Mini-Banana-Cupcake

The cupcakes are very much like a sponge cake. Thick and sticky. They aren’t particularly sweet, which is unexpected. And they have a light banana flavor.


The caramel is very thick. It actually tastes and feels more like a caramel-flavored fudge, than a caramel sauce. (My caramel came out really thick, not gooey at all, so I added a little bit of regular caramel I had left over from my Samoas cupcakes. It worked perfectly!)

The frosting is thick and smooth. Extremely easy to pipe. It tastes like a traditional buttercream with a light caramel flavor. Not strong or dark at all. Very sweet!

Banoffee-cupcake     Mini-Banoffee

The frosting and the caramel bring out the best in the cupcake. I’m very glad now that the cupcake isn’t too sweet, because the frosting and caramel have sweetness covered! It is still like a frosted sponge cake, because the cake is so thick and dense and the frosting is so light and creamy.

Banoffee-top     Mini-Banoffee-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 3.5
  • Appearance: 4.5
  • Ease of Making: 2.5
  • TOTAL: 17


Banoffee Cupcakes (recipe from Good Food Channel)

For the cupcakes

  • 250 g unsalted butter, soft
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed to pulp
  • 250 g self-raising flour

For the frosting

  • 250 g unsalted butter, soft
  • 550 g icing sugar
  • 9 tsp caramel, plus extra to decorate

For the caramel

  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 80 ml water
  • 350 ml double cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

For directions visit Good Food Channel.

*Tomorrow: Coconut Lovers Cupcakes*

Day 175 – Gina’s Banana Cupcakes

22 Jan

I am amazed at how many banana cupcakes there are out there!  And how many variation bakers have come up with.  I am intrigued by them because sometimes they are muffin-like.  Sometimes obviously a cupcake.  And sometimes I just can’t decide.  What do you think?  Gina’s Banana Cupcakes (recipe below from KitchMe).

Banana-Cake     Mini-Banana

The cupcakes are very moist and squishy,  they are the kind of moist that leaves your fingers oily.  They are a little like a banana nut muffin, but not quite as dense.  They do taste like a banana nut muffin as well, just a little sweeter and without the spice.


The frosting is smooth and very creamy.  Extremely soft.  It pipes on, but doesn’t fully maintain it’s shape.  It tastes like a cream cheese frosting, just a dark cream cheese frosting,  the molasses is cut a little by the sugar, but you definitely taste it.

Banana-Cupcake     Mini-Banana-Cupcake

The molasses really brings out the walnuts and the banana flavor.  It’s darker than the typical banana cupcake, which is a nice change.  Since the frosting is so creamy though, it’s almost like eating a muffin with a thick glaze, instead of a cupcake.

Banana-Cupcake-top     Mini-Banana-Cupcake-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 4
  • Frosting Taste: 3.5
  • Overall Taste: 3.5
  • Appearance: 4
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 19


Gina’s Banana Cupcakes (recipe from KitchMe)


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large ripe bananas, peeled & mashed
  • 3/4 cups walnuts, chopped


  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

For directions visit KitchMe.

*Tomorrow: Red Velvet Cupcakes*

Day 165 – Joanne’s Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

12 Jan

I love a good banana cupcake.  Add chocolate chips?  Yes, please!  Then you offer to top it with bourbon cinnamon frosting?  You mean, not simply cinnamon, but cinnamon AND bourbon?  Oh yes!  Yes, please!! So, here they are.  Joanne’s Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes (recipe below from Eats Well With Others).

Banana-Cupcake     Mini-Banana-Cupcake

The cupcakes are extremely moist and squishy. A lot like a banana muffin.  These are extremely similar to banana muffins actually. The taste. The texture. Almost identical. They have a nice, sweet banana flavor with a hint of the cinnamon.


The frosting is thick and smooth.  It tastes like it’s gonna be a typical cinnamon buttercream. Then, at the end, you get a little hit of that bourbon. Tasty and interesting.

Banana-CC-Cupcake-side     Mini Banana-CC-Cupcake

This blends really well. It feels like a holiday kinda cupcake, but I don’t know why. The cinnamon and the banana and the bourbon all flow really well into one another. And the chocolate chips are distinct, but not out of place. Very nice. And, it could be a breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack cupcake. Always a good thing.

Banana-CC-Cupcake     Mini Banana-CC-Cupcake-top

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 4.5
  • Overall Taste: 4
  • Appearance: 3.5
  • Ease of Making: 4
  • TOTAL: 19.5


Joanne’s Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes (recipe from Eats Well With Others)

Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Bourbon Cinnamon Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp bourbon

For directions visit Eats Well With Others.

*Tomorrow: Sugar Cookie Cupcakes*

Day 161 – Elvis Cupcakes

8 Jan

So, my hubby has this theory.  It really only applies to the die-hard fans.  But here it is.

He believes that people pick sides when it comes to music.  As in.  Elvis OR The Beatles.  Die-hard fans can only love one of them.  Now, that doesn’t mean you despise the other.  You just don’t necessarily care for them.  What do you think?

Elvis?  The Beatles?  Or are you the rare person who loves both?  Or neither??

This theory happens to apply in our house.  I’m a die-hard Beatles fan.  He loves The King.  So, there ya go.

Either way, today we are all gonna be Elvis fans.  Because, today is The King’s Birthday!  So, let’s celebrate what would be his 79th birthday with these Elvis Cupcakes (recipe below from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen).

Banana-Cupcake     Mini-Banana-Cupcake

The cupcakes are sticky and moist. Pretty light and airy.  Sweet, sweet banana flavor. Wow! A punch of sugary banana. I know that doesn’t sound good, but I don’t mean it as a bad thing. I’m just surprised at how strong the flavor is!

PB-frosted-cupcake     mini PB-frosted-cupcake

The peanut butter frosting is light, soft and sugary. Because the cupcakes are so tender, I actually frosted them with my fingers. The PB frosting shapes nicely if you just use your hands.  It has a nice sweet, peanut butter flavor. Not overly sweet or overly peanut-y, which is nice.


The marshmallow frosting is fluffy and smooth and gooey.  It has a very strong vanilla flavor, thanks to the vanilla paste.  So, more like a vanilla marshmallow.

Elvis-Cupcake      Mini-Elvis-Cupcake

These are so interesting. Each piece has a very distinct, very strong flavor. Yet, when they are all piled on top of one another, it blends so well. You get sweet, banana, peanut butter, vanilla and just that little crunch and salt from the bacon. But it’s extremely well-balanced.

Elvis-Cupcake-top     Mini-Elvis-Cupcake-top

Elvis would have enjoyed this, I’m sure of it!

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 4.5 (for the both of them!)
  • Overall Taste: 4.5
  • Appearance: 4.5 (it’s so cute with all its layers)
  • Ease of Making: 3 (2 frostings + bacon – not super hard, but time-consuming)
  • TOTAL: 20


Elvis Cupcakes (recipe from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen)

Banana Cupcakes:
  • 3 large bananas, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Peanut Butter Maple Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, slightly softened
  • 2 teaspoons maple extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
Vanilla Bean Marshmallow:
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 12 slices bacon, cooked and broken into pieces

For directions visit Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.

*Tomorrow: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cupcakes*

Day 93 – Chocolate, Banana, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cupcakes

1 Nov

November, with its cool weather, changing leaves and fall scents all around, makes me wanna curl up with a cup of coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate – take your pick) and read a good book.  So, I thought, “That should be the theme!”  Enjoy the “cup”cakes and the books all month long.

Today’s book is Oh! The Thinks You Can Think by Dr. Seuss.  Today’s “cup”cake is Chocolate, Banana, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cupcakes (recipe below from Craftstorming).  Because, we have to start off with something huge, right?

Choc-Banana-Cupcake     Mini-Choc Banana Cupcake

The cupcakes are moist and delicate – quite crumbly.  They have a surprisingly strong banana flavor, since there’s only 1 banana in it. The cakes kinda taste like a chocolate-dipped banana.

Cookie-Dough-Filled-Cupcake     Mini filled cupcake

The filling is smooth and creamy, but thick and grainy like cookie dough.  A yummy, peanut butter cookie dough. Yummy being the key word there.


The frosting is a smooth buttercream, not terribly thick.  It tastes like a buttery, sweet version of the filling. You can tell they’re related, but not identical.

CBPB-CD-Cupcake     Mini-CBPB-CD-cupcake

The whole package is really well-balanced. You get the peanut butter first, but it’s not an overly powerful taste. Then the chocolate-dipped banana taste. Then the sweetness of the frosting. It’s a very well thought cupcake!

Notes: I was happily surprised by this cupcake. A lot of times banana, chocolate and peanut butter is an overwhelming flavor combination, but this cupcake managed to make it light and delicate. Don’t get me wrong. You still wanna have a glass of milk nearby. The minis are a pretty good interpretation. Don’t overfill the tin though, cause they get a little top-heavy.

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 4
  • Frosting Taste: 4.5
  • Overall Taste:4.5
  • Appearance: 4
  • Ease of Making: 3 (nothing is particularly difficult, but there are 3 parts. And, you’ll need a scale if you wanna make them, which everyone may or may not have.)
  • TOTAL: 20


Chocolate, Banana, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Cupcakes (recipe from Craftstorming)


100g plain flour
30g cocoa powder (replace with more plain flour if you don’t want the chocolate)
1 tablespoon baking powder
140g caster sugar
a pinch of salt
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
60g smooth peanut butter
120ml whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
120g peeled banana, mashed

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough

113g unsalted butter, at room temperature
113g smooth peanut butter
50g granulated sugar
110g light brown muscovado sugar
60ml whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
130g plain flour
a pinch of salt

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Buttercream

170g unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g icing (confectioner’s) sugar
200g peanut butter cookie dough (reserved)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cocoa powder for dusting (optional)

For directions visit Craftstorming.

*Tomorrow: Zucchini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting*

Day 79 – Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

18 Oct

On this beautiful Friday, with these Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting (recipe below from King Arthur Flour), I also want to wish the Chicago cast of Cuff Me: the 50 Shades of Grey Musical Parody a very Happy Opening!! I had the pleasure of working with the cast (Dana, Lianne, Erin, Tim, Alex, Nick & Dustin) last week and I know they will be amazing!!

Now, speaking of amazing…I need some cupcakes…

Banana-Cupcake      Mini-Banana-Cupcake

These cupcakes are very muffin-like. They have chunks of banana, which isn’t common for banana muffins, but otherwise, it’s pretty similar.  They taste like a very sweet banana muffin. Not quite as heavy on the spice as a typical banana muffin, but pretty close.


Frosting is very thick and very strongly peanut butter – there’s no butter in it, just PB, so the flavor is stronger than other PB frostings. It’s really just a slightly sweeter, slightly whipped version of PB.

Banana-Cake-w-PB-frosting     Mini-Banana-with-PB-frostin

The flavors all kind of meld together. None stand out, which is funny cause they’re not timid flavors. The crunch of the nuts nice. It’s still very muffin-like. Kind of a variation on a muffin. Not bad by any means!! Just doesn’t quite feel like I ate a cupcake.

Note: Minis are very accurate to how the full-size tastes. Full-size is slightly stronger in the banana flavor, but not much of a difference.

Scoring Sheet:

  • Cupcake Taste: 3.5
  • Frosting Taste: 3
  • Overall Taste: 3.5
  • Appearance: 3.5
  • Ease of Making: 3.5
  • TOTAL: 17


Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting (recipe from King Arthur Flour)


  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 small or 2 medium very ripe bananas, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup yogurt or buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon banana flavor, optional
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, optional
  • 2 1/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tablespoons Cake Enhancer, optional, for moist texture


  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter, creamy or chunky
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, optional, to taste
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup milk or half & half
  • 1 1/3 cups crushed honey roasted peanuts, to garnish

For directions visit King Arthur Flour.

*Tomorrow: Caramel Apple Milky Way Cupcakes*

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