Have you noticed how as the weather cools down, your preference in food totally changes? While just a week or so ago I was happy having salads for lunch and wraps for dinner, the though now makes me cringe – bring on soup and casseroles! The same goes for desserts. While ice cream sounds great in the summer months, I have no interest in it come autumn and winter.
Take an ice cream sundae for example. While I love the flavours of a good banana split, I can’t bear the thought of eating one at the moment – cold banana, freezing ice cream… no thanks! But what if you could make a warmer version of a banana split? That would make a great winter treat, right?
Well, that’s exactly what today’s cupcake is – a banana split in cupcake form! I deconstructed the flavours of a banana split and rebuilt it as a cupcake without a scoop of ice cream in sight.
So what is a banana split cupcake? It’s a moist banana cake, filled with a dollop of milk chocolate ganache, topped with a “scoop” of vanilla buttercream, dipped in chocolate, coated in sprinkles, adorned with a swirl of vanilla butter“cream” and topped with a jaffa. Phew!
Yes, it’s a steppy recipe but it’s well worth taking the time. While they seem like they’d take a long time to make, they’re surprisingly quick once you get going – other than dipping them in chocolate there’s nothing remotely tricky. And the chocolate dipping is much, much less daunting than it seems – the cupcakes are chilled in the freezer ahead of time, so there’s no chance of the icing melting away into nothingness and it doesn’t dibble once dipped so it’s surprisingly mess free!
I am so, so pleased with these cupcakes – the banana cake base is beautifully moist and gives the cupcakes the authentic banana split flavour. The chocolate ganache filling compliments the cake perfectly, adding richness to the dessert without overwhelming the other flavours. As for the topping – it just looks adorable! The chocolate shell reminds me of the magic-shell chocolate sauce we had growing up and has this beautiful glean to it.
These are undeniably special cupcakes – I hope you like them!
Recipe adapted from Food Network
- 110g butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 2 tsp vanilla essence)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 3 small or 2 large bananas, mashed (approx 220g)
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line 12-piece cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until well combined.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Slowly add flour mixture to wet mixture, mixing well between eachaddition.
- Add bananas and mix until just combined.
- Fill cupcakes cases to 2/3 with mixture. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to rack to cool completely.
- 200g milk chocolate, chopped
- 4 Tbsp cream
- Heat chocolate and cream together over low heat.
- Slowly stir until mixture comes together and looks thick and glossy.
Vanilla Buttercream Icing
- 200g butter, softened
- 3 – 4 cups icing sugar, sifted
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 – 3 Tbsp milk to thin
- Beat butter with paddle attachment or wooden spoon until smooth.
- Add 3 cups of icing sugar one cup at a time. Mix until well combined and smooth.
- If icing is too thin, incrementally add remaining icing sugar until reach desired consistency.
- If icing is too thick, add milk by the tablespoon until reach desired consistency
- Add whitener to get “ice cream” look
Tip: Be sure to taste the icing as you mix it – the finished buttercream should have a smooth, creamy taste without tasting buttery.
Filling & Topping
- Core each cupcake (using a knife or decorating tip), keeping the tops to replace once filled.
- Fill each cupcake with ½ – 1 tsp of prepared ganache. Replace tops on cupcakes.
- Fit decorating bag with large, round tip (I used #12) and fill with prepared buttercream.
- Pipe icing onto top of each cupcake, working to create a “scoop” shape. To achieve this, place tip beneath icing once a basic swirl has been piped, squeezing gently to fill shape from the inside.
- Place in cupcakes in freezer for 20 minutes.
- While cupcakes are in the freezer, prepare dipping chocolate.
Place ganache back over low heat and carefully add 1 Tbsp of warm water. Stir over heat until well combined and chocolate looks shiny. Repeat until chocolate reaches pouring consistency (approx 3 Tbsp). Remove from heat and place in small, deep bowl or glass ready for use.
- Remove cupcakes from freezer.
- Hold cupcake upside down and carefully dip into chocolate mixture, keeping cupcake straight. Allow excess chocolate to run off cupcake before turning up the right way.
- Decorate with sprinkles and set aside. Repeat until all cupcakes have been coated.
- Place cupcakes in freezer until chocolate is set (approx. 5 minutes)
- Fit a decorating bag with a large open star tip (I used 1M) and fill with remaining vanilla buttercream.
- Remove cupcakes from freezer and pipe a swirl of buttercream atop chocolate shell. Top with a jaffa or cherry. Repeat until all cupcakes are decorated.