Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Pastry Cream from Baked
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 24 cupcakes
Banana Cupcakes
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
  • 1¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1½ cups very ripe bananas, mashed (about 4 bananas)
  • ½ cup buttermilk (or 1½ teaspoons vinegar + ½ cup regular milk)
Pastry Cream
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 6 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For Assembly
  • chocolate sprinkles
  • maraschino cherries
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with paper liners. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Beat the butter and shortening together until light and fluffy, at least 3 minutes. Add in the sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth, at least 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the eggs one at a time until combined. Add in the mashed bananas and beat until just combined. Gradually add in ⅓ of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk, then ⅓ of the flour mixture, than half of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mixture, until just moistened - it's better to finish mixing the batter by hand than risk over-beating the batter.
  3. Fill each cupcake liner with about ¼ cup of batter each. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning the pan halfway through. A toothpick should come out clean; the cupcakes should be set and just barely golden. Place the pans on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  4. While the cupcakes cool, make the pastry cream. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium sized bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer and keep warm over low heat.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt together until the mixture is pale, about 1 minute. Whisk half of the warm heavy cream into the egg yolk mixture, to temper it, then pour the egg and cream mixture into the remaining warm heavy cream in the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened - about 6 minutes. If it looks like the pastry cream is starting to break, remove the pot from heat and whisk quickly to bring it back together.
  6. Remove the mixture from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Strain the pastry cream through the sieve and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the fridge for about an hour, or until chilled completely.
  7. Frost the cupcakes however you like - I placed the pastry cream in a plastic bag, then cut off a large portion of the tip so I would get a nice dollop of pastry cream on each cupcake. Sprinkle with the sprinkles and top with a maraschino cherry that you have patted with a paper towel (to make sure that it doesn't turn the pastry cream red).
  8. A note about pastry cream: Pastry cream cannot sit out at room temperature for very long. I suggest frosting the cupcakes before you plan to serve. I made the cupcakes and pastry cream on one day, then frosted them on the next day, refrigerated the cupcakes for a few hours, then placed them in an airtight container and took them to my friend's house.
Recipe by The Crepes of Wrath at