Mocha-Filled Banana Cakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat twenty-four 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with nonstick spray for baking; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and the 1/4 cup sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until combined. Beat in the 1 egg, the espresso powder, and the dash salt. Stir in melted chocolate. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together flour, the 1-1/2 cups sugar, the baking powder, baking soda, and the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add mashed bananas, buttermilk, shortening, and vanilla. Beat on low speed until combined. Add the 2 eggs; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the batter into each prepared muffin cup. Drop about 1 rounded teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture into each cup. Spoon the remaining batter over cream cheese mixture in muffin cups.
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
- Prepare Banana Butter Frosting. Pour frosting over tops of cupcakes. If desired, sprinkle with chocolate-covered coffee beans. Makes 24 cupcakes.
From the Test Kitchen
To make 3/4 cup sour milk, place 2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice in a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 3/4 cup total liquid; stir. Let stand for 5 minutes before using.
Prepare, bake, and cool cupcakes as directed. Place unfrosted cupcakes in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Freeze for up to 1 month. To serve, thaw cupcakes at room temperature about 30 minutes. Prepare frosting and frost cupcakes as directed in step 6.
Banana Butter Frosting
- In a medium bowl, beat softened butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in bananas. Gradually add 2 cups of the powdered sugar, beating well. Beat in milk and vanilla. Gradually beat in remaining powdered sugar. Beat in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach pouring consistency.