Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Monkey Cupcakes, Banana with Peanut Butter Frosting

This summer we have been to approximately 534 birthday parties.  I tell everyone that my 2-year-old daughter has more friends, and gets invited to more parties than I do.  I'm not really complaining though.  All of these parties have a few major components in common.  My favorite? Cake.  Lots of parents are polite/concerned about their children's sugar intake and share with their kiddo.  Not me. We'll be taking two cupcakes please.  
I made these extra special cupcakes for one of Peyton's little buddies. He is a special friend who we've known since he was a newborn.  His birthday was a few weeks ago and we were finally able to get together and celebrate.  Things have been busy for him: he turned two and became a big brother all in a matter of 24 hours.  Lots of adjustments, but everyone deserves some cake and friends on their birthday.  When his mom told me she was doing a Curious George theme I knew I had to create a monkey cupcake.  
I did a simple banana cupcake with peanut butter frosting.  The "face" is made up of vanilla wafers and Betty Crocker decorating gel in black and red.   I'm only sorry that I did not take proper "blog photos."  They were so fun and tasty that I just had to share.
Monkey Cupcakes, Banana with Peanut butter frosting
Banana cupcakes
adapted from my banana cupcakes, makes 24
2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large, ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tin with papers.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
With a hand or stand mixer beat the sugars and eggs until pale and fluffy. Beat in buttermilk.  Gradually beat in oil.  Add bananas, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Add in flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and a tester comes out clean.  Cool before frosting.
Peanut butter frosting
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 Tablespoons softened butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
Combine all ingredients except for heavy cream, scraping bowl as needed. Once combined add heavy cream and beat on high until smooth and creamy.
Cupcake assembly
For monkey faces you will need regular and mini sized Nilla wafers
Frost cupcakes in a smooth layer.  Place large vanilla wafer at the bottom middle of the cake.  Place two small wafers on either side of the cake.  You may have to use some pressure to get the "ears" to stay in; the frosting will help them adhere.  Create eyes and nose with black decorating gel and a smile with the red gel.
These cupcakes were a huge hit with the toddlers.  They honestly took no time to put together. A simple way to add some fun to any party.
Oh yeah, I completely recommend dipping some vanilla wafers in the peanut butter frosting.