Who Doesn't Love Chocolate Cupcakes?

I love cupcakes. Cupcakes are so cute, portable, and don’t require a fork. It’s kind of fun to peel the paper away. They provide nostalgia. Whose mom didn’t make cupcakes for birthday parties? And cupcakes are guilt-minimized because they of their size. They are so easy to bake... and these little frosted bites of joy are indeed a treat sensation. The varieties are endless. On Sunday the combination of bananas, peanut butter, and chocolate was the winner.

Connor declared these the best thing I’ve ever baked. Granted that is not saying much since baking is not a core competency. But he’s right. They are heaven on a plate - scrumptious. The banana and peanut butter flavors compliment each other perfectly. Perhaps a bit reminiscent of Elvis? These cupcakes are moist, not too sweet, and the cream cheese and dark cocoa frosting is quite light and fluffy. Again, surprisingly not too sugary.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Banana Cupcakes (or Bread)
Makes 2 loaves or 18-24 muffins

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ripe large bananas, mashed
1 cup skim milk
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl stir together flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl combine mashed bananas, milk, peanut butter, oil, vanilla and egg. Add to flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into two greased loaf pans or muffin tins.

For bread - bake at 350 F for 50- 55 minutes (check at 40 minutes!) or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

For cupcakes, 325 F for 25 - 30 minutes.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from a Cooking Light cake recipe – I cut it in half and it made too much for a half batch of cupcakes, but likely enough for a full batch of cupcakes)

1/2 cup (4 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, softened (I used low-fat – what I had!)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 to 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar, divided

To prepare frosting, place the cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until fluffy. Add cocoa, milk, and 1/8 teaspoon salt; beat at low speed until well blended. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar; beat at low speed until creamy. Gradually add remaining 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar. Spread frosting over cupcakes once they are cooled.

I stored these in the frig because of the cream cheese frosting.

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