There’s Nigella, Giada, Paula…and then there’s Martha. For many, Martha Stewart is the gold standard for baking and homemaking. If anything, this undomestic goddess is always up for a challenge.
Ever since my friend Steve’s former housemate baked through Martha Stewart’s entire Cupcakes book in a year at Queen’s University (seriously…the whole book. And she didn’t taste a single one!), I’ve been wanting to try her recipes. My birthday is less than a week away, but I received my first present last weekend from my cousin Theresa and her new husband Peter Paul.
BEHOLD, the cupcake bible:
With so many recipes I didn’t know where to start when choosing one for my co-worker’s birthday treats. In moments of such indecisiveness, it’s best to turn to the experts. My friend Steve was the official taste tester for each cupcake his housemate made and suggested the roasted banana cupcakes. The recipe looked pretty straightforward and simple, without too much butter. Little did I know the recipe would take a few hours to complete. It was totally worth it, especially since I doubled the recipe so I could take them to work, the “future in-laws” (as my parents like to refer to my boyfriend’s parents) and still have some left over for my family.
Martha Stewart’s Roasted Banana Cupcakes
yield: ~16 cupcakes
- 3 ripe bananas, plus 1 to 2 more for garnish
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup sour cream1/2 teaspoon
- baking powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used more like 1/2 teaspoon)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.
- Place 3 whole unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and roast 15 minutes (the peels will darken).
- While bananas are roasting, sift together together cake flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Remove bananas from oven and let cool. Peel carefully into a medium-size bowl and mash.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- With an electric mixer on medium–high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (~5 minutes). Add egg yolks slowly, beating until each is incorporated and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Add roasted bananas, beat to combine.
- Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of sour cream, beating until just combined after each. Beat in vanilla.
- In another bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks.
- Fold 1/3 of whites into batter to lighten. Gently fold in remaining whites in two batches.
- Divide batter evenly among lined cups. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes.
- Cool cupcakes completely on wire racks before frosting.
- Using an electric mixer, beat all ingredients until smooth. Feel free to add some extra honey or cinnamon to taste.
- Garnish with slices of banana (roasted or raw)
These roasted banana cupcakes were definitely worth the extra legwork. But seriously, beware. They take quite awhile to prepare. I cheated by cooling the mashed banana in an ice bath and popping the cupcakes in the freezer so I could frost quickly. They also work well as breakfast muffins, since they aren’t too sugary and pack a whallop of yummy roasted banana flavour and nutrition. If you decide not to frost them, consider smoothing a pea-sized amount of honey onto the tops – it’s glorious.
Frosted or not, these tiny treats won’t last long. They can be frozen (unfrosted) up to 2 months or stored up to 3 days at room temperature.