Chocolate “Elvis” cupcakes

Okay. Now we’re back on the usual weekend routine—which is, trying out baking recipes 😋

While we were on vacation in the Philippines, we had the opportunity to try out some of the cupcakes being sold at some nice-looking shops there… For the most part, they were a bit of a disappointment—their red velvet cupcakes, for one, are dry and not at all velvety; the taste is quite bland, which made me suspect that the red color of the cupcakes were mostly, if not solely, due to artificial food coloring rather than the reaction of the cocoa powder to the baking soda, buttermilk and/or vinegar… Anyway, there was one kind of cupcake though that we could count as decent—I might say, even good. This was the «Elvis» cupcake. So, I decided I would try to bake a similar type of cupcake, with my own twist* 😉

* Apparently, the cupcake was called «Elvis» because Elvis Presley liked to put bananas on his peanut butter sandwiches… But since I liked to put cheese (yes, you read correctly: cheese!) in my chocolate peanut butter sandwiches as a kid, I thought I could make a chocolate «Elvis» cupcake (adding cocoa powder to the cupcakes, besides the bananas) with a chocolate and peanut butter cream cheese frosting (adding cocoa powder and cream cheese instead of just using regular peanut butter buttercream).

 

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Chocolate «Elvis» cupcakes

Adapted from The Cozy Apron

Makes 12 cupcakes (24-38 mini-cupcakes)

1 cup (115 g) all-purpose flour

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1-2 ripe bananas, mashed

3/8 cup (83 g) brown sugar

1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar

1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil

2 eggs, at room temperature

1/4 cup (60 ml) sour cream, at room temperature

1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract

  • Pre-heat oven to 175°C.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the mashed bananas and the sugars until combined.
  • Next, add the oil, the eggs, sour cream and the vanilla extract to the banana mixture. Beat at low-medium speed until just combined.
  • Finally, add the rest of the dry ingredients (the flour-cocoa mixture) in 2-3 batches. Mix at medium speed until well-blended.
  • Line 2 mini-muffin pans with baking paper cups (or muffin forms). Fill each cup 2/3-3/4 full with batter. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 18 minutes (10 minutes for mini-cupcakes), or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes in the pans before removing onto wire racks to cool completely.

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Caramelized banana (filling)

4 tbsp butter

4 tbsp brown sugar (packed)

2 bananas

  • Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat.
  • Add the sugar and the bananas. Stir until all the sugar has melted.
  • Continue cooking until the bananas are soft and caramelized. Mash the bananas.*
  • Transfer the filling into a glass bowl (or any other suitable container), and set aside to cool.
* You can puree the banana filling in the food processor, but I liked having some chunks left here and there so I did this by hand using a fork.

Chocolate and peanut butter cream cheese frosting

(Adapted from Wicked Good Kitchen)

85 g unsalted butter, softened

85 g cream cheese, straight from the refrigerator

96 g + 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter

3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

210 g powdered (confectioner’s) sugar

1 tbsp cocoa powder

pinch of salt (optional)

  • Sift the cocoa powder together with the powdered sugar into a bowl. Set aside for later.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth and creamy. (This might take time, so patience is required)
  • Add the cream cheese, peanut butter and vanilla. Beat until well-blended, then gradually increase the speed to «high», and continue beating until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula when necessary.
  • Turn the speed to «low», then gradually add the cocoa-sugar mix. Beat until thoroughly combined.
  • Set the mixer speed back to «high», and beat until thoroughly combined and smooth.
  • Taste the mixture. If it has become too sweet, add the salt and beat until completely combined.
  • Spoon the finished frosting into piping bags (if using immediately), or store in suitable containers for later use.

Assembly

  • Make a hole in the center of each cupcake. Fill the hole with the prepared caramelized banana filling. Optional: plug the filled hole with the cupcake part you removed to make the hole.
  • Frost each (completely cooled) cupcake with the prepared cream cheese frosting. You can use a piping bag, or you can simply spread the frosting on top—works either way.

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