I have to be honest. I’m not much of a cake lover. I didn’t even really want cake at our wedding. (I wanted an ice cream bar, but I was outnumbered and thus vetoed. The cake we did have I must say was delicious.) I feel many bakeries produce rather dry creations. And that excessively-sweet and stiff mound of frosting? No thanks. I am in the minority I know. However, there are a few exceptions. My husband makes a family-famous, kick-ass layered chocolate cake with chocolate ganache that will send your taste buds to the Milky Way and back. I also have fond memories of my mom’s yellow cake topped with my great grandmother’s chocolate mocha frosting. I guess I just like homemade cake. These banana cupcakes from my favorite vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli (who won Cupcake Wars with her vegan creations, mind you) are also pretty great. They are moist and flavorful, and the spices that permeate the air while baking will make you think Christmas has come early. Top them with lemon icing? A cupcake lover’s dream. I don’t think you will miss that stiff layer of frosting either. Honestly these reminded me of a tastier and fluffier version of banana bread. Maybe that’s why I let myself eat them for breakfast.
Makes 18 cupcakes
Lightly adapted from: Chloe’s Kitchen
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. ground ginger
1 cup mashed bananas, from about 2 ½ very ripe bananas mashed on a plate using the back of a fork.
1 cup canned coconut milk, mixed well before measuring
½ cup canola oil
2 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
3-4 tsp. lemon juice
1-2 tsp. water (if needed)
½ -1 tsp. lemon zest
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. (If using ground ginger of the wet/refrigerated variety, add that to the wet mixture.)
In a separate bowl, whisk together bananas, coconut milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.
Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. If you don’t have a convection oven, you may want to rotate the pans halfway through baking. Cool the cupcakes completely before icing.
Whisk the powdered sugar, lemon juice, water, and zest in a small bowl until smooth. Spread a thin layer of lemon icing over each banana cupcake.