Guys, I mean seriously, I think this is one of the best thing I’ve ever made. Honestly. These cupcakes don’t look like much but they are incredible. This is not your ordinary banana cupcake. It’s the mother of all banana cupcakes. A bold claim I know, but what the hell, I’m sticking with it! And this from someone that is not even that much into cupcakes.
I am not one to blow my own trumpet, at least not this much :P, but I feel no guilt whatsoever in doing so for these. Everything about it is awesome: the banana flavour making them super moist, the poppy seeds adding that little crunch and texture, the mascarpone making the frosting creamy but light and not too sweet and the coconut -both the cream and the toasted flakes -giving them freshness and combining beautifully with the bananas.
Now, if after this description you don’t want to dive into them, then I think there is something wrong with you. Nah I’m kidding…but really…
All good banana loaf stories start with some over-ripe bananas. This story is no different. It started with some very over-ripe bananas, a craving for coconut and a pack of poppy seeds forgotten at the back of the cupboard.
I am not a fan of hard icing with loads of butter. Just thinking about it, it makes me feel a little sick. It’s one of my odd things I guess, as I think most people enjoy that kind of frosting. So I am always thinking of ways to make a tasty frosting that is soft and tasty.
I love using mascarpone for frosting, like I used for my Parsnip and Pecan Cake with Maple Syrup (if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend!). It’s perfect to get a nice consistency but also to get that creaminess we all want so much from frostings.
And coconut. Well coconut is simply one of the most delicious flavours out there. Right?
I was going to take some down to my neighbours downstairs as this recipe made a lot but I am ashamed to say that I didn’t. Instead, between Christoph and I we pretty much devoured the whole thing in a few days (how greedy is that!) and in the process completely ruined my exercise and eating plan. Sometimes even the best laid out plan can fail when faced with such things as this.
I think I’ve gone on about them enough don’t you? So how about we get on with the recipe?
Banana and Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Mascarpone and Coconut Frosting (yields 24 cupcakes or 12 cupcakes and 1 loaf)
For the Cupcakes:
280g of Self-raising sponge flour (sponge flour has been sifted and is quite fine, making for light sponges and batters)
150g Caster Sugar
4 Medium Eggs
3 Medium well ripened bananas
3 tbsps of Poppy Seeds
For the Frosting:
2 cans of coconut milk, full fat (it should give around 185g of coconut cream)
30g Icing sugar
To make the cupcakes:
Pre-heat oven to 180C non fan or 160C fan.
Cream your butter and sugar together until creamy and pale. Beat the eggs and add it little but little to the butter and sugar mixture, mixing as you go. Mash your bananas and add it to your wet mixture. Add the poppy seeds.
Sift your flour into the mixture, bit by bit until all incorporated. Fill your cupcake cases evenly, or as evenly as you can (I wish I had an ice cream scoop for this!). Bake for 18 to 20 min.
It’s up to you if you want to make all of them cupcakes. But if you fancy having a mix of both like I did, I baked the loaf for 40min.
Leave it to cool completely.
To make the frosting:
Add the mascarpone to a bowl. Open your cans of coconut and carefully (do not shake them!) remove the cream from the top and discard the water. This should give you around 185-185g. Sift the icing sugar and mix it until is is creamy and smooth. At this point it will be a bit too runny to use it as icing. Put it in the fridge for an hour or until it has thickened and is ready to be used as frosting.
Frost your cupcakes (and/or loaf) as beautifully or as messy (if you are like me and you can’t use a piping bag properly!) as you like.
They will keep well for a few days (by day 3 they will need to be gone one way or another!) in an air tight container. Keep it in a cool place.
EDIT: I had completely forgotten that I had “hidden” a couple of these in the freezer (probably in a futile effort to stop myself eating more of them) and I can declare that they freeze very well! The bananaa flavour seems to get even stronger, which I love.