Moist banana cupcakes are flavored with warming spices and topped with an irresistible brown butter cream cheese frosting. This is a great dessert to make with those brown bananas!
*This post is sponsored by Danish Creamery. As always, all opinions are mine.*
Between the mashed banana, buttermilk, and Danish Creamery European Style butter, these banana cupcakes turn out perfectly moist and fluffy every time.
Don’t even get me started on the frosting. The nuttiness of the brown butter cream cheese frosting pairs nicely with the spiced cupcakes without masking the banana flavor.
In a word, these cupcakes are perfection. They’re almost as easy to make as classic banana bread, but they taste like you spent hours preparing them!
This banana cupcake recipe is incredibly simple to throw together and a great way to use up any brown bananas you have lying around. Here’s what you’ll need to make the cupcakes:
- Cake flour: Cake flour contains less protein than all-purpose flour, which results in lighter, fluffier cupcakes. If you don’t have any cake flour, you can make your own.
- Baking powder & baking soda: Help the cupcakes rise in the oven so they’re soft and fluffy.
- Spices: I flavored the cupcakes with a blend of ground cinnamon and nutmeg. I didn’t go heavy handed on the spices; I added just enough to complement the banana flavor.
- Danish Creamery Butter: When it comes to creating cupcakes and frosting that tastes amazing, I prefer to use a high-quality butter like Danish Creamery European Style Butter. Their butter boasts a higher butterfat percentage (85%!) than other European Style butters, which makes a big difference, especially in the brown butter frosting on these cupcakes. You will need one stick of butter for the frosting and 6 tablespoons for the cupcake batter. You can use the leftover two tablespoons of butter to spread on top of some toast or a bagel!
- Sugar: I used a blend of granulated and brown sugar to make these cupcakes. The brown sugar adds moisture and a subtle caramel flavor to the batter.
- Banana: You’ll need roughly 1 cup of mashed banana for this recipe, which is equivalent to two large bananas.
- Egg: Bring the egg to room temperature before making the batter. This will ensure that it’s evenly dispersed into your cupcake batter. If you forget to set your egg out ahead of time, just place it in a bowl of warm water for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Vanilla extract: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Buttermilk: Makes for an ultra moist and tender cupcake. If you don’t have any buttermilk, you can make your own substitute in about five minutes.
How to Make Banana Cupcakes
This is such an easy banana cupcake recipe that anyone can make! Here’s an overview of how the cupcakes are made:
- Prep the muffin tins: Preheat the oven and line two 12-count muffin tins with 15 cupcake liners.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients: If your flour looks lumpy, you may want to sift it first. Then, whisk the cake flour together with the baking powder, baking soda, and spices.
- Cream together the butter and sugars: You can use either a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer for this step. Make sure to beat the Danish Creamery butter until smooth, then add the sugars and continue mixing until light and fluffy or for about 3 to 4 minutes. This will incorporate more air into your batter, which results in softer cupcakes!
- Mix in the wet ingredients: Add the egg, vanilla, and mashed banana to the butter mixture and mix until fully combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk: Alternate mixing the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with the buttermilk in two additions, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. This helps to ensure that you don’t over mix your batter, which can result in denser cupcakes.
- Bake the cupcakes: Divide the batter among the 15 cupcake liners, then bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
While the cupcakes are cooling, you can make the brown butter cream cheese frosting.
To make the frosting, start by browning the butter then let it cool completely. If you’ve never made brown butter before, my brown butter chocolate chip cookie recipe here goes more in depth on how to do it.
For the brown butter, I also recommend sticking with Danish Creamery European Style Butter. Their butter is slow churned in small batches, which gives it more flavor and a super velvety texture!
To brown the butter, slice it up and place it in a skillet over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, let it cook for a few more minutes until you see browned bits of butter on the bottom of your pan and smell a nutty aroma. Then, pour the butter into a heat-proof dish and let it cool to a solid room temperature.
Once the brown butter has cooled to room temperature, simply beat it together with the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and some vanilla extract. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and enjoy!
Can This Recipe Be Made in Advance?
Yes, you can make both the frosting and the cupcakes a couple days ahead of time. Since the frosting has cream cheese in it, be sure to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, then let it come to room temperature before frosting the cupcakes.
If you know you’ll be serving the frosted cupcakes at a later date, I recommend waiting to frost them until the day you’ll be eating them. Otherwise you’ll have to store the cupcakes in the fridge as well, which may dry them out a bit.
Do I Have to Brown the Butter?
Technically no, but I highly recommend browning some Danish Creamery European Style Butter to go on top of the cupcakes. It really takes these to the next level and the frosting is incredible with the bits of brown butter in it.
Can This Recipe Be Used to Make a Cake?
Yes, you can also bake the batter in one 9-inch round cake tin if desired. If you prefer to make a layered cake, I recommend doubling the cupcake recipe and increasing the frosting by half so that you have enough to cover the whole cake.
Can This Recipe Be Used to Make Mini Cupcakes?
Yes, absolutely! Only fill the cavities 2/3 full and reduce the bake time to 10 to 14 minutes.
- The brown butter needs to come to a solid room temperature before mixing together the frosting. This can take 3 to 4 hours. You can refrigerate it to speed up the process, but make sure to let it come back to room temperature first.
- Make sure to use overripe bananas with a lot of brown spots on them. This will result in sweeter, more flavorful banana cupcakes!
- Be sure to use a brick of cream cheese and avoid cream cheese spread in a tub. I also recommend using full-fat cream cheese rather than low-fat.
More Banana Dessert Ideas!
- 1 ½ cups cake flour spooned and leveled (175 grams)
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons Danish Creamery European Style Unsalted Butter softened (85 grams)
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar (100 grams)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- 1 cup ripe mashed banana (250 grams)
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup buttermilk room temperature (160 ml)
Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
- ½ cup Danish Creamery European Style Unsalted Butter sliced into tablespoon-sized pieces (115 grams)
- 8 ounces brick-style cream cheese softened (226 grams)
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar (300 grams)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- To make the banana cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two 12-count muffin pans with 15 cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and salt until well combined.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the Danish Creamery butter until smooth. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix on medium speed until light in color and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes).
- Mix in the mashed banana, egg, and pure vanilla extract, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Alternate mixing the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with the buttermilk in two additions, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
- Evenly distribute the batter between the 15 cupcake liners, making sure to only fill each one about ⅔ of the way full.
- Bake for 16 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and carefully remove the cupcakes from the pan. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the brown butter cream cheese frosting: Add the sliced Danish Creamery butter to a skillet or saucepan. Place over medium heat until the butter is completely melted. Once the butter is melted, allow it to cook for an additional 5 to 9 minutes, stirring often or swirling the pan often, or until the butter is browned. The butter is browned once you see brown bits of milk solids on the bottom of the pan and smell a nutty-aroma. Immediately remove the butter from the heat and pour it into a heat-proof dish.
- Set aside until the butter comes to a solid room temperature (this will take at least 3 to 4 hours). You may refrigerate the butter to speed up the process, but make sure it’s at room temperature before mixing the frosting together.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese and brown butter until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue mixing until fully combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.