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Banoffee Cupcakes

August 19, 2011
Banoffee Cupcakes with dulche de leche inside and in the buttercream

[For Sara and Alex, getting married today: congratulations]

I was honoured to be asked to be one of a troop of bakers (is there a collective noun for bakers? Maybe “a rise”) to make cakes for a friend’s wedding. Having just got back from a week in East Grinstead chasing 70 teenagers around I was rather limited on time and ingredients but I did have 6 over-ripe bananas and a can of dulche de leche, which basically shouts BANOFFEE! Each cake has a little pocket of dulche de leche hidden under the icing too.

I made my all to frequent mistake of not leaving enough time to spend on photography, so apologies for the shoddy pictures. I also made a last minute decision to make little sugar hearts and clusters of spun sugar to go on the top, as their colour scheme is an autumn-y palette and this seemed to fit. Some of the hearts came out better than others but I’d definitely do them again with more time to perfect them. Do you agree?

I didn’t have any plain flour, so I used self raising and left out the bicarbonate of soda. However, I think that this, combined with very ripe and therefore liquidy bananas made the cakes rather dense. Next time I’d keep the bicarb and maybe add some extra flour just to make the mixture a bit drier. Or I could just stick to the recipe….

Banana Bread  (from the Times Website)

Makes about 18 cakes or 1 loaf

125g butter 
175g unrefined soft brown sugar, eg, light muscovado
2 eggs
280g plain flour 
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
125ml milk
3 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1tsp vanilla extract
75g walnuts, chopped (optional – I stirred in some Speculoos spread instead but be careful it doesn’t alter the consistency)
1 can of dulche de leche to be shared with the buttercream

Heat oven to 180C/Gas mark 4.
Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add one egg,  beat well.
Add the second egg, beat well.
Sift in half the flour with the bicarbonate of soda and salt, and mix well.
Mix in the milk, then the remaining flour. 
Mash the bananas and then fold (here I think I may have been too rough – causing it to be dense) them in to the mixture with the vanilla extract and walnuts. Or, try a little cinnamon, or stirring in some speculoos spread if you are lucky enough to have any.
Divide into cupcake cases (or pour into loaf tin if you’re making a big one)
Bake for around 30 mins for cupcakes or one hour for large cake –  until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean and not sticky. Cover the top with foil if it starts to brown too quickly. 

If you are making the cupcakes: when they are cool cut a little cone shape out of the top of each one, teaspoon some dulche de leche into the hole and place the cone of sponge back on it. Then ice them.

If you are making a loaf: BEFORE IT COOLS stir up the dulche do leche until a bit more spreadable and then use a pastry brush to brush it over the top of the loaf to give it a lovely gooey finish.

Dulche de Leche Buttercream (with help from Comfort Bites)

200g unsalted butter, softened
450g icing sugar (extra if too wet to pipe)
6-8 teaspoons dulce de leche caramel

Beat butter, add half the icing sugar, beat well, add the rest, beat some more, add the dulche de leche, beat some more, now beat some more (you get the idea)until you have super light and fluffy buttercream. If you like you could add some vanilla essence.

Little sugar hearts/spun sugar

Pour a load of caster sugar into a heavy bottomed saucpan and heat gently until it dissolves and then turns a lovely caramel colour. Take off the heat and let cool slightly. Then use a teaspoon to draw hearts with it onto some foil. When they are cooled, peel off. tadaa!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 19, 2011 9:59 am

    Thanks for the comment on my blog and I’m so glad you found that the dulce de leche icing worked well for you! The cakes look great, they’re making me hungry!

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