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Caramel Pecan Banana Cupcakes

by Lori on January 15th, 2012

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These banana cupcakes have a gooey caramel pecan center and can be topped two different ways: 1. with crunchy toasted coconut or 2. with a chocolate cream cheese frosting. You can’t go wrong with either one.


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It’s treat day at work on Monday! I love treat days. It gives me the chance to bake without having too many sweets hanging around the house the rest of the week to tempt me. There will be plenty of people to share them with at work.

It also gives me a chance to try out a new recipe. I realize making a recipe for the first time to share with others is risky. Fortunately, everything turned out OK. It’s hard to go wrong with banana, caramel, pecans, coconut and chocolate frosting.

About the Recipe

This is a recipe I adapted from a family cookbook. The original recipe was by Ken’s mom’s cousin Connie and was called First-Prize Banana Cake. I can see why it won a first prize. It is a two-layer cake with a caramel pecan center. It also has toasted coconut on top and bottom, with chocolate frosting around the sides.

I decided to adapt the cake into two different types of cupcakes. One with a toasted coconut top and another with a chocolate cream cheese frosting.
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The Play-by-Play

In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
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In a stand mixer, cream together shortening and sugar.
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Add eggs, one at a time, to the shortening and sugar mixture.
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Blend in the bananas and vanilla.
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Add the dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk.
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Stir in the pecans.
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Scoop the batter into the greased and floured muffin tins.
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Sprinkle half of the cupcakes with coconut.
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Bake for 15 minutes or until done.
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Let the cupcakes cool on a wire rack.
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Meanwhile, make the pecan filling. Combine sugar, flour, evaporated milk and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly.
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Add chopped pecans, salt, vanilla and coconut extract, and let cool.
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Once the cupcakes and filling are cool, cut the cupcakes in half.
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Spread a spoonful of filling on one half of each cupcake and put back together.
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Your coconut ones are complete!
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For the plain ones, make the chocolate icing. Combine cream cheese, butter, powder sugar, cocoa and vanilla in a stand mixer until smooth.
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Spread over each plain cupcake and top with one pecan.
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Enjoy!

Recipe: Caramel Pecan Banana Cupcakes

Summary: A sweet banana cupcake with a gooey caramel pecan center

 Ingredients

For the cupcakes:
1 7/8 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup coconut
For the caramel filling:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
For the frosting:
4 ounces cream cheese
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups powdered sugar
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375. Grease and flour 24 muffin cups.
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Cream together shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in bananas and vanilla; blend well.
  3. Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk; beating well after each addition. Stir in pecans.
  4. Divide batter among the muffin cups. Sprinkle the top of 12 of the cupcakes with coconut. Leave the rest plain. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  5. Remove baked cupcakes from tins and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Meanwhile, make the caramel pecan filling. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoon flour, 1/2 cup evaporated milk and 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until thickened. Add 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract. Let cool.
  7. Next, make the chocolate frosting. Combine cream cheese, butter, cocoa, powdered sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer until creamy and there are no lumps in the frosting.
  8. To assemble the cupcakes, cut each cupcake in half. Spread a tablespoon of caramel pecan filling in between each cupcake and put back together. The coconut ones are complete.
  9. For the plain ones, top with chocolate frosting and a pecan.

Preparation time: 45 minute(s)

Baking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 24 cupcakes

Rating :  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Tips & Tricks

  • About the frosting: Blend the butter and cream cheese together first. Then gradually add the powdered sugar and cocoa. Don’t add it all at once like I did, or you will end up with a powdered sugar snow storm in your kitchen. You’ll notice in the picture above a light dusting of powdered sugar all over my counter. 🙂
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