don’t be cruel

I’ve been watching a lot of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” lately, and I noticed in two consecutive episodes, contestants made what they called “Elvis cupcakes.” Pshhh. I made that ish months ago. (Anyone about to tear me apart: I’m being facetious.)

A little while back, I wrote about the mini-BLT-ish sandwiches I made for my friends’ potluck dinner. Feeling ambitious for the event, I also made these chocolate-filled banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting. And feeling overambitious, I opted to make them miniature so if everyone felt full post-feast, they could certainly find room for an itty-bitty cupcake. In retrospect, I wish I had stuck to 12 standard-sized cupcakes and let everyone fight to the death if we ran out.

The banana base flavor of the cupcake really came through, and the chocolate filling soaked in nicely; it was like a little chocolate surprise inside. The frosting was the most disastrous part of the project. It was supposed to be a mousse, but it was so thick, it ended up feeling like dollops of straight peanut butter atop the tiny cakes. I’m not really sure what went wrong. I found the peanut butter a little overwhelming, but I’m also one of those people who doubles the jelly and halves its counterpart in my PB&Js.

post-coning, pre-frosting

1/2 c. mashed ripe bananas

1/2 c. buttermilk1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt

4 tbs. unsalted butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mash ripe bananas until no chunks remain; add buttermilk to bananas, mix and set aside. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg, then vanilla. Add half of the flour mixture, the banana mixture and then the rest of the dry ingredients. Scoop mix into lined cupcake pan. Bake 18-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

1/3 c. heavy cream
2/3 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Combine cream and chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl, and heat mixture on high for 1 minute. Stir and heat again in 15-second intervals until fully melted. Once cupcakes are cool, cut out a cone in the center, pour in cooled filling, replace cone and frost. (I also drizzled some of the extra topping across the frosting dollops to break up some of the peanut butter-ness.)

♦1 c. creamy peanut butter
5 tbs. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. heavy whipping cream
1 to 1 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar

Total time? 25 minutes prep, 20 minutes bake, 25 minutes frost
Cost? $1 banana, $2 buttermilk, $2 heavy cream, $1.25 peanut butter
Overall success relative to expectations? 6 out of 10 Despite my trials, these were pretty successful. It yielded more than 30 cupcakes, and I went home with only about 10. These were a bit more work than your average cupcake — cutting little cones out of each cupcake, angling in the chocolate and — in my case — using every ounce of strength in my body to push out little chunks of peanut butter “frosting” from my piper. I gave myself a bonus point for busting out some fancy liners and edible gold flecks, but to make this a true hunka-hunka “Elvis cupcake,” I think I’ll add some candied bacon next time.


3 thoughts on “don’t be cruel”

  1. Thanks for trying my cupcakes. Sorry the frosting didn’t turn out to your liking. Did you use natural-style peanut butter? Because I think that might cause the frosting to be too dense. The recipe is pretty much straight from Ina Garten and other people online seem to have had good results, prettier than mine actually. Another factor is that these do need to be whipped up quite a bit to incorporate air and make the frosting “mousse-y.” Finally, if you’re just not much of a PB person, you might want to try the PB swiss meringue buttercream on my site, which is much lighter in texture and PB flavor. Since SMBC takes more effort, an easier solution would also be to simply reverse the amounts of PB and butter in the frosting recipe :). I know you’ll probably just try different frostings in the future, but hopefully these tips help if you ever try this one again. Have a great day!


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