Bite-sized Banana Cupcakes topped with a delicious dark chocolate frosting made with Dutched cocoa! These mini treats are perfect for snacking or taking to share!
Mini Banana Cupcakes
I love a good chocolate banana combo. And since we seem to consistently have that one (or two) old banana at the bottom of our fruit bowl, I’m frequently in need of ways to use up a very brown banana. I took my favorite Banana Cupcake recipe and made it mini! Bring on the bite-sized cupcakes! And the dark chocolate frosting!! Made with a lot of cocoa powder, the frosting is less sweet than traditional American buttercream, so it’s perfect for any cake or cupcake. I truly love this frosting. It’s easy to make and tastes even better than the sweet chocolate frosting you may be used to. Yep. It’s that good!
What You’ll Need
- Flour: I like to use unbleached all-purpose flour. For healthier cupcakes, you can replace half of the flour with a white whole wheat variety
- Leavening (baking powder + baking soda)
- Sugar: for these cupcakes, you can use coconut sugar, raw cane sugar, or white granulated cane sugar
- Egg: for a vegan option, you can use flax egg as well. Mix 1 Tbsp of flaxseed meal with 3 Tbsp warm water; allow to thicken for 5 minutes
- Plant-based milk: any kind of milk will work in the cupcakes and the frosting – plant-based or regular
- Oil: I always use olive oil in my baking, but you can use any liquid oil. If you choose to use liquid coconut oil, it’s important that all of your other ingredients are room temperature so the oil stays a liquid
- Vanilla extract
- Plant-based butter: for this frosting, you can use any kind of butter in stick form or from a tub. If you plan to use stick butter, it needs to soften at room temperature, but tub butter should be taken straight from the refrigerator (it’s already soft)
- Vegetable shortening: this adds structure to the frosting. If you’d like to omit it, you can use more butter in its place, but you may need less “milk” for the frosting
- Dutch process cocoa powder: for the dark chocolate frosting, you’ll need to use a Dutched cocoa powder; natural (or regular) cocoa powder won’t give you that dark chocolate taste
- Powdered sugar: for the best frosting, I don’t recommend anything but regular powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or raw cane sugar)
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp plant-based milk
- 2 Tbsp oil (I used olive oil)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 heaping cup mashed banana (1-2 very ripe bananas)
- 1/4 cup plant-based butter (see note)
- 2 Tbsp vegetable shortening (or more butter)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa (Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa is a great option)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 Tbsp plant-based milk
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and prepare a mini muffin pan with mini liners (or spray with non-stick spray).
- In a large bowl, sift the flour. Then whisk in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg, milk, oil, vanilla, and mashed banana until well combined. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and gently mix just until there are no more streaks of flour.
- Scoop batter into the prepared mini muffin pan, filling each well nearly to the top - you should get 20-22 muffins. Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out with a few crumbs.
- Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Once the muffins are totally cool, you can make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together the plant-based butter and shortening. Beat in the vanilla extract. Sift in the cocoa powder and beat until combined. Sift in the powdered sugar and add 2 Tbsp of plant-based milk. Beat, adding more milk until your frosting reaches a consistency that is stiff but easy to spread. It should hold it's shape, but you want it to be smooth enough to pipe.
- Add the frosting to a piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice (I used a Wilton 32 tip). Pipe frosting onto cupcakes, 3 at a time, and top with sprinkles - don't wait until you've frosted all the cupcakes to add the sprinkles or the sprinkles won't stick!
- Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature.
- If you're using a stick "butter", make sure to let it soften at room temperature. If you're using plant-based butter from a tub, then you can use it straight from the refrigerator
- If you plan to replace the shortening with more butter, you may not need to use as much milk in your frosting as the shortening is a little more stable than the plant-based butter
- To get a dark chocolate frosting, the Dutch process cocoa powder is necessary. Without it, you won't have that lovely dark chocolate taste. I like to use the Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa - it's affordable and more easily available
- The frosting recipe makes just enough to pipe the frosting on as I did in the photos
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 96mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 13gProtein: 2g
calculated nutrition information may not always be accurate