Sunday, July 18, 2010

Banana Cupcakes

Isn't it a requirement that when you visit your grandmother, you bake banana cupcakes? It was when I was growing up, with both my grandmothers. So when Nee-Nee decided to give Oliver his first baking experience, it brought back lots of great memories for me. Even down to the crunchy banana cupcakes. What, you mean eggshell isn't supposed to be an ingredient?

Mixing the batter

I think he thought I was going to scold him for something!

Pouring the batter

Tasting the batter (of course!)

Watching them bake

Giving one a try

Celebrating their success by helping Nee-Nee eat hers! Isn't he so proud of himself?!

Want the recipe? Old family secrets about to be shared here! Actually, I think it's the same as most banana cupcake recipes out there, it just feels special to me because I grew up eating and making them. We use the same recipe whether for cupcakes, cake, or bread. Best when topped by my Grandma Ruth's Fluffy White Frosting, you know, the kind that tastes like marshmallow cream. Or by my Grandma Evelyn's Caramel Icing, which Grandma Ruth also made. Maybe they exchanged recipes? Who knows. Anyway, don't make me choose between them! When I was younger, I always had to have this cake for my birthday.

Banana Cake/Cupcakes/Bread

1-1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
2 eggs
1/4 c. sour milk (to make your own: mix milk w/1 capful of lemon juice and let stand a few minutes)
3 very ripe mashed bananas
2-1/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Mash bananas. Add sour milk to the bananas, set aside. 
Combine all dry ingredients, set aside.
Cream sugar and butter. Add beaten eggs.
Add alternately flour and banana mixtures (always begin and end with dry mixture). Add vanilla.
Bake until golden brown on top and toothpick comes out clean. 
For cupcakes: about 30 minutes. For 9 x 13 cake: 35-40.

Note: my brother told me he recently made them using lime yogurt instead of the sour milk. I didn't have any lime yogurt around, so I tried it with lemon. I have to say, it was delish. Not that I'm going to say it was better than grandma's, that would be blasphemy!

Grandma Ruth's Fluffy White Frosting (aka 7 Minute Frosting)

2 egg whites
1-1/2 c. sugar
5 Tbsp. cold water
1-1/2 tsp. light corn syrup (Karo)
1 tsp. vanilla

Put egg whites unbeaten, sugar, water, and corn syrup in upper part of double boiler. Place over rapidly boiling water, beat constantly with egg beater, and cook 7 minutes or until frosting will stand in peaks. Remove from heat, add vanilla, and beat until thick enough to spread.

Grandma Evelyn's Caramel Icing

1/2 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. milk
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar

Melt butter with brown sugar, add milk. Cool to warm. Add powdered sugar until desired consistency.

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