Decadent Chocolate Banana Cupcakes

These chocolate banana cupcakes are insanely delicious.  Moist banana cake dipped in dark chocolate then topped with chocolate almond buttercream and a banana chip.  After getting rave reviews for these Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes, I put my thinking cap on to see if I could come up with a new take on the chocolate-covered cupcake.  This was a no-brainer.  My family says that these are the best cupcakes I have ever made.  They look so appealing and the two kinds of chocolate take it to the next level.  It’s like a decadent version of the classic chocolate chip banana bread.

Simple Assembly, No Tempering Your Chocolate:
Putting these chocolate banana cupcakes together is easy.  Once your cupcakes have cooled, just dip them in your melted dark chocolate.  No need to temper if you use the Ghirardelli melts.  One important thing to watch for:  when you bake up your cupcakes be sure to fill each one with 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of batter.  You can also use #16 cookie scoop, I’ve got details of how to choose the right size cookie scoop and which brand to buy here.  It’s important that the cupcakes form a nice dome above the paper.  Otherwise you won’t be able to dip them in the chocolate without making a big mess.  I used a 1M tip to pipe the frosting on top but you can also put the frosting in a  ziplock and snip the end and pipe that way.  Or just spread it on with a butter knife or off-set spatula.  These taste so good you will not care if they look imperfect.

Just a Couple Last Things:
I normally use a 60ml syringe to get perfect cupcakes, which I explain in detail here.  But because this banana cupcake recipe is more like a quick bread and can be a bit too lumpy for the syringe, I just plop the batter in there with a #16 cookie scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup.  It may look like too much batter but just stick with it, this batter doesn’t rise quite as much as a typical cupcake.
Fresh banana slices would be absolutely delicious on the top, but I chose dried because I knew I wouldn’t be eating them all immediately.  If you use fresh bananas, garnish them right before serving so they don’t brown or get slimy.chocolate banana cupcakes
If you have any other ideas for cupcake flavors that could be chocolate-covered, please leave a comment below and let me know.  I’m dying to try some more variations on this design.

Chocolate Covered Banana Cupcakes
 Servings 14cupcakes

For Cupcakes:
3 ripe bananas mashed
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon buttermilk powder or substitute 3 tablespoons buttermilk for buttermilk powder and water
2 tablespoons water
10 oz. Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers or other dark chocolate candy melts
dried banana chips for decoration
For Buttercream
2 sticks unsalted butter softened
1 pound confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder I like Nestle
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4` cup milk, half and half or cream
chocolate banana cupcakes

For Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda and buttermilk powder.
In a medium bowl, beat banana and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and beat until combined. Beat in vegetable oil, vanilla and water.
Pour wet ingredients into dry. Stir until just combined. Pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter into 16 muffin papers in a cupcake pan.
Bake until a toothpick in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
For Chocolate-Almond Buttercream
Meanwhile, put the butter, cocoa, powdered sugar, salt, cream, and extracts in the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat on low until ingredients start to come together then turn up to medium-high and beat for 2-3 minutes. Then turn down to low and let run for about a minute to get rid of air bubbles.

To Assemble Cupcakes:
Once cupcakes have cooled, melt the chocolate in the microwave according to the package directions. Once it is melted and smooth, dip each cupcake into the chocolate, turning it as you go to make sure you're getting all the way to the edge of the cupcake paper. While it's still upside-down, remove some of the excess with the tines of a fork. Don't worry if you leave a small mark in the top of the cupcake, the frosting will cover it. Set aside to let the chocolate set, about 10 minutes.
Using a 1M tip or a ziplock with the corner cut off, pipe wide rosettes onto the top of the cupcake, starting in the middle and working outwards. Top each cupcake with a dried banana chip. Allow the frosting to set for 15-20 minutes before moving to your serving tray or storage container.


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