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Brown Butter Banana Cupcakes + Cream Cheese Frosting

This Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe combines tender cupcakes made with ripe bananas, toasty brown butter, and a generous amount of vanilla then topped with a fluffy, not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting and a spoonful of raspberry jam because, why not?!


A brown butter banana cupcake on a white plate topped with cream cheese frosting and raspberry jam.

My son does not have a sweet tooth—I’m not sure he’s my child but that’s a different blog post. The only dessert he gets excited about is my molasses banana bread, so I made a new recipe in hopes of expanding his horizons.

There’s nothing wrong with the banana bread, it’s truly delicious, but sometimes I want a treat that’s a little more celebratory, more indulgent, and special than everyday banana muffins.

At times I crave ultra-moist brown butter banana cupcakes with tangy cream cheese frosting and a swirl of jam on top. Delicious banana cupcakes that could be made for birthdays, graduation parties, Father’s Day, or anytime you want to treat yourself.

If you love bananas, you’ve got to try these Blueberry Buttermilk Banana Popsicles—so refreshing! ✨

3 Reasons To Make This Banana Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Two banana cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting and raspberry jam.
  1. Texture: We love the soft, ultra-moist cupcakes that is more banana cake than banana bread. They aren’t dense like my apple muffins. You’ll appreciate that this is a light and fluffy cupcake recipe.
  2. Flavor: Browning butter adds a deep toffee-like, toasty, caramel, nutty taste that pairs wonderfully with bananas.
  3. Ease: This simple recipe makes baking up these delicious treats quick and easy. (With big flavorful results!) Browning the butter takes a little extra time, but there’s no complicated steps. Another easy dessert recipe are these cocoa cookies; these pumpkin cookies are another quick favorite.

The Secrets To Browning Butter

A glass bowl of brown butter with a spoon sticking out of the bowl.

My tip for the tastiest, moistest banana cupcake recipe is to use brown butter. Brown butter is created by melting butter on the stove long enough that the milk solids start to caramelize. Brown butter adds a nutty flavor and enhances the richness of baked goods but also makes a delicious one-ingredient sauce for pasta, veggies, and more. Here are my chef’s tips for getting it right:

  • Brown butter can burn quickly so remove from the heat and pour into a heatproof bowl as soon as it’s ready.
  • Use room temperature butter and cut into cubes so it cooks evenly.
  • If you have a light-colored pan use it to brown the butter. This will make it easier to spot when it starts to darken.

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    Ingredients

    All the ingredients to make banana cupcakes including ripe bananas and more.

    See recipe card for exact amounts.

    • All-purpose flour: Cake flour won’t work here, it’s too light.
    • Baking Soda: Baking soda + the sour cream helps the cupcakes rise.
    • Baking powder: 1 teaspoon does the trick!
    • Salt: I use Morton’s kosher salt unless otherwise specified.
    • Bananas: You need 1 and 1/2 cups of mashed bananas, which is about 4 medium or 3 large bananas. Just like with these whole wheat banana pancakes, the fruit adds moisture, but more importantly, perfect banana flavor.
    • Unsalted butter: Measure the butter, then brown it. Browned butter loses some of its moisture so it will be slightly less after browning. That’s okay, we’re making up for it with the sour cream.
    • Sugar: These cupcakes call for less sugar than most recipes. We’re letting the ripe banana, frosting and jam add most of the sweetness.
    • Large eggs: Eggs create structure and lift.
    • Sour Cream: Sour cream creates tender banana cupcakes.
    • Vanilla Extract: Adds tons of flavor—measure with your heart.
    • Cream cheese. For the frosting. Make sure it is at room temperature before starting.
    • Powdered sugar. Melts beautifully into the frosting.
    • Raspberry jam. This is totally optional, but I love the pop of color and sweet-sour taste it adds to the cupcakes.

    Tips For The Fluffiest Banana Cupcakes

    A brown butter banana cupcake on a white plate with a blue tablecloth underneath.

    Ripe bananas are key. Similar to my banana hazelnut chocolate chip cookies, you must use ripe bananas to make these cupcakes. In fact, the riper the better. Whenever I have bananas that are getting too ripe to eat, I put them in the freezer to bake with later. The more ripe the banana, the sweeter they will be.

    Use frozen bananas if you have them. If you are using frozen bananas, discard the brown liquid that comes off the thawed bananas. Mashing the bananas with this liquid makes for heavy, dense cupcakes. The other bonus of frozen bananas is once they thaw they basically turn into puree, so no large chunks!

    Sour cream adds richness. And gives the cupcakes structure so they maintain a pillowy rise for perfect banana cupcakes.

    Filling the cupcake liners. Don’t fill them too full, 2/3 is plenty to prevent spilling over.

    How to Make the Best Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

    step one

    Brown the butter. Cut butter into pieces and melt over medium heat, stirring constantly until you notice brown solids starting to form on the bottom of the pan. Scrape into a heatproof bowl and set aside.

    A glass bowl of brown butter sitting on a wood counter with a spoon next to it.

    step two

    Get ready to bake. Heat oven to 350°F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Line another tin with 3 more liners—this recipe makes about 15 cupcakes.

    Two muffin tins lined with cupcake liners.

    step three

    Whisk dry ingredients together. In a large bowl combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

    All the dry ingredients in a glass bowl with a whisk in the bowl.

    step four

    Whisk the wet ingredients. In a separate large mixing bowl, mash the bananas. Whisk in the brown butter with granulated sugar. Then whisk in the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract. 

    A bowl with brown butter, mashed bananas, and sugar with a rubber spatula sticking out of the bowl.

    step five

    Mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Combine the flour mixture with the banana mixture to form a smooth cupcake batter.

    Banana cupcake batter with a rubber spatula in the batter.

    step six

    Scoop. Spoon or scoop batter into the muffin tins using a medium cookie scoop.

    Two muffin tins filled with banana cupcake batter on a wood counter.

    step seven

    Bake. Transfer to the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool 5 minutes then remove from the pan to cool completely before frosting.

    Banana cupcakes just out of the oven in muffin tins.

    step eight

    Make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a handheld electric mixer) on high speed until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add powdered sugar. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes.

    A bowl of cream cheese frosting with the beater covered in frosting.

    step nine

    Frost and serve. Frost cooled cupcakes however you’d like. I’m going with a simple swoop of frosting then a small spoonful of raspberry jam. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

    Banana cupcakes on a plate with a fork next to one.

    A Few More Success Tips For Best Results:

    1. Freeze & Frost: Bake the cupcakes in advance and freeze them unfrosted. When ready to serve, thaw, frost with your delicious cream cheese frosting, and enjoy as if fresh-baked!
    2. Flavor Variations: Get creative! Add a hint of cinnamon, a touch of caramel sauce, or even a drizzle of melted dark chocolate to your cream cheese frosting for an extra special touch.
    3. Piping Pro: Elevate the look of your cupcakes by using a piping bag with a decorative tip (I like the Ateco 808) to apply the frosting.
    4. Garnish Game: Top cupcakes with banana chips, a sprinkle of toasted chopped walnuts, or mini chocolate chips instead of the raspberry jam.

    ✨ Let me know if you make these, they are seriously one of my favorite recipes and I think you’ll love them too! What other desserts do you crave besides cupcakes? Pies, cookies, etc? Leave me a comment below!

    Two banana cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting and raspberry jam.

    Brown Butter Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

    Author: Kate
    This Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe combines tender cupcakes made with sweet, sweet overripe bananas, toasty brown butter, and a generous amount of vanilla then topped with a fluffy, not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting and a spoonful of raspberry jam because, why not?!
    Print Pin Rate
    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour
    Servings: 15 cupcakes

    Ingredients

    Cream Cheese Frosting

    Instructions

    • Heat oven to 350°F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Line a second muffin tin with 3 more liners. This recipe makes about 15 cupcakes.
    • Cut the stick of butter into 5-6 pieces. Melt the butter pieces in a light-colored skillet (if you have one) over medium heat. Keep cooking, stirring constantly, until brown bits start forming on the bottom of the skillet and the butter smells toasty. This can take anywhere from 3-8 minutes. Scrape into a heatproof bowl right away and set aside.
    • Combine 1 3/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl with a whisk.
    • In a separate large bowl, mash the 4 bananas with a potato masher or fork. If the bananas have been frozen and are still cold, let them come to room temperature before adding the brown butter to prevent the butter from seizing up and hardening. Then whisk in brown butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup sour cream, and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Whisk together wet ingredients until smooth with a few banana pieces here and there.
    • Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and gently stir with a rubber spatula just until evenly combined, do not over mix. Spoon batter into muffin cups with a spoon or a cookie scoop. Fill about 2/3 full.
    • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes then remove from pan and let cool completely before frosting.

    Cream Cheese Frosting:

    • Combine the stick of butter with the 8 ounces cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the cup of powdered sugar and start on low for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to high for a couple of minutes.
    • Frost the cupcakes as you'd like. For these, I like to spread a swoop of frosting over the cupcake the spoon a little bit of jam on top. Sprinkle with a little extra powdered sugar and enjoy!

    Notes

    1. Using frozen bananas: If you are starting with frozen bananas, make sure they are at room temperature before starting the recipes. If you add the browned butter to the cold bananas, it will seize up and harden. 
    2. Cream cheese: Use the block cream cheese, not the stuff sold in a tub or labeled “whipped”. 
    3. Sour Cream: Full-fat sour cream provides the best texture. You can substitute full-fat Greek yogurt in a pinch.
    4. Freeze the Cupcakes: Cupcakes can be baked unfrosted and frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before frosting.
    5. Chocolate Lovers: Drizzle cupcakes with melted chocolate or sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.

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