The combination of banana and peanut butter is one of my all-time favourites. These lovely, nourishing cupcakes are a great way to use up any ripe bananas in your house. Try to source a lighter-flavoured extra virgin olive oil for a milder flavour. Alternatively, you can use coconut oil (see Tips).
80g (1⁄3 cup) milk or freshly squeezed orange juice
90g (1⁄4 cup) pure maple syrup (see Tips)
120g (1⁄2 cup) extra virgin olive oil (see Tips)
170g ripe banana, mashed
60g (1⁄2 cup) almond meal (ground almonds)
200g (1 1⁄4 cups) wholemeal self-raising flour
1⁄4 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
Peanut butter icing
250g cream cheese, cubed, softened
95g (1⁄3 cup) smooth peanut butter (see Tips)
1 1⁄2 tbsp pure maple syrup (see Tips)
Banana chips, for decorating (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan). Line a 12-hole standard muffin tray with paper cases and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk (or orange juice), maple syrup and olive oil. Stir through mashed banana and almond meal until combined. Sift in flour (returning any sifted out husks to the bowl), baking powder and cinnamon, and stir until combined.
3. Divide mixture between paper cases. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of each cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool in tin for 5 minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Peanut butter icing
4. Use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese until smooth. Add peanut butter and maple syrup, and beat until well combined and fluffy.
5. Pipe icing (using a round 1cm nozzle) or spread icing with a small spatula onto cooled cupcakes and decorate with banana chips (if using) before serving.
If you prefer, you can replace the maple syrup in the cupcakes with brown sugar, rapadura sugar (panela) or coconut sugar. You can also replace the extra virgin olive oil with coconut oil (melted).
For the icing, you may need a fraction more or less syrup depending on the sweetness of your peanut butter. It’s preferable to use a brand of peanut butter with no added salt or sugar (or, better still, make your own). If your peanut butter does have added sugar, you might like to cut the syrup quantity by half.
To make a thinner icing, add 1–2 tablespoons of milk in step 4.
Nut-free cupcakes: Skip the peanut butter icing and replace the almond meal with a ground seed mix, such as a mixture of sunflower seeds, pepitas and linseeds.
Dairy-free cupcakes: Skip the peanut butter icing and use the orange juice option instead of the milk, or replace the milk with almond milk.
Courtesy of Sweet Nourish by Louise Keats.