People love my banana pudding - to such an extent that an attorney with whom I used to work actually requested it for his office birthday party dessert a couple of years running. Some have mistaken it for sour cream banana pudding, but that's not how I roll - I'm of the "cream cheese banana pudding" camp. This recipe captures the flavor of my banana pudding, but not the texture - they are goo-free. Because, personally, I'm not a fan of gooey-filled cupcakes. If it's goo you want, there are several banana pudding-themed cupcake recipes floating around the Interwebs that incorporate either a gooey banana filling or a pudding filling.
If absence of goo is not a deal-breaker for you, read on.
BANANA PUDDING CUPCAKES
1 box yellow cake mix, plus ingredients to make cake (as shown on box)
2 ripe (brown) bananas
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 box Nilla Wafers, divided
Kathryn's Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting (recipe follows)
2 ripe bananas for garnish
Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Mash ripe bananas and baking soda in separate bowl and stir banana mixture into cake batter, stirring in vanilla last. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan and spray with nonstick spray. Place Nilla wafer in bottom of each liner and pour cake batter over top of each wafer, filling each liner 2/3 full. Put cupcake pan or pans into cold oven, set temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes. While cupcakes are baking, crush several Nilla Wafers in zip-top bag (using hands or rolling pin). Cool cupcakes before frosting. Pour Nilla Wafers crumbs into dish and roll sides of top of each frosted cupcake in crumbs, creating a "halo" effect. Slice bananas, dip slices into lemon juice (to slow browning) and garnish each cupcake with a banana slice. You can also insert a whole Nilla wafer into the top of the frosting for additional garnish. Serve immediately.
Kathryn's Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting: Beat together 6 ounces softened cream cheese, 4 tablespoons softened butter and 1 tsp. vanilla extract on medium speed with a heavy-duty mixer for 3-5 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Increase speed to medium and beat for an additional 3-5 minutes.
The cold oven tip comes courtesy of the Your Cup of Cake blog; YCoC's simple banana cupcake recipe can be accessed here.