Banana Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing


This Monday is my husband’s birthday and we are the kind of family who really likes to celebrate birthdays for a few weeks.  Today, sitting on my counter were two black bananas.  And when I say black, they were really black.  So I thought to myself what am I going to do with these bananas.  I could do the standby of banana nut muffins/bread or even freeze ’em for smoothies.  But then I thought, what’s a birthday without cake, cupcakes that is.  So I went online and found some vegan cupcake recipes that used bananas to bind in lieu of eggs.  Here is the fusion of those recipes.  (And boy did these banana cupcakes turn out awesome and incredibly moist!)

Banana Cupcakes:


  • 2 really ripe bananas (really ripe, as in turned black)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract (I used some of our homemade extract)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray pan with nonstick spray.  Line with muffin cup/cupcake liners.

In large free standing mixer toss all the dry ingredients.  In large measuring cup add the 1/3 cup of canola oil and then add the almond milk to the cup mark.  Then add the vanilla.  Wisk together in the large measuring cup.  Pour wet ingredients over the dry ingredients in late free standing mixer.  Add smashed bananas.  Turn on mixer and mix ingredients until just incorporated.  Do not over mix, or you will get tough cupcakes.  Small lumps are fine.  Fill liners just below full.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool then ice with favorite icing.

Favorite Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Icing:

  • 1/2 c nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 c nonhydorgenated vegan margarine
  • 2 c powdered sugar (sift if lumpy)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c unsweetened almond milk

Beat margarine and shortening together until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat 3 more mins. Add the vanilla and almond milk, beat for another 5-7 mins til fluffy. This makes A LOT of frosting. You could easily half this recipe and still have enough for the above recipe.  Please note, though, this frosting freezes beautifully, so I usually make the who shebang and then freeze what I don’t use for another time.  That way when I pick up a vegan chocolate chocolate chip muffin from Whole Foods I can ice it with the already made icing; the addition of this icing to those muffins is incredible and truly decadent, by the way!  To quickly thaw enough icing for a cupcake (or aforementioned muffin), I scoop out what I am going to use and just work it back and forth (with a spoon) across a plate until it is smooth and thawed.  Only takes a couple of minutes.

A tip on icing cupcakes:  I take a ziplock bag and lay it in a bowl (for a gallon size) or large cup (quart size) and then fill it with the icing.  Then seal the bag.  Cut a corner off and voilà you have your own piping bag.

Plain Vanilla Vegan Cupcakes (adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World)

  • 1 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/4 c all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt (increase salt to 1/2 tsp if using oil instead of margarine)
  • 1/2 c nonhydrogenated margarine (I use Earth Balance sticks), softened, OR 1/3 c canola oil
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsps vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin pan with cupcake liners

Whisk the almond milk and vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside a few mins so it curdles

If using margarine sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl and mix

In a seperate large bowl, use a handheld mixer at medium speed to cream the margarine and sugar for about 2 mins until light and fluffy. Don’t beat past 2 mins. Beat in the vanilla, then alternate beating in the almond milk mixture and dry ingredients, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

If using oil, beat together the almond milk mixture, oil, sugar, vanilla, and other extract in a large bowl. Sift in the dry ingredients and mix until no large lumps remain. Fill 12 liners 2/3 full and bake for 20-22 mins until done. Allow to cool on rack before frosting.  Please note that these cupcakes are a grainier texture than the banana cupcakes.  I made these cupcakes for my Dad’s birthday back in September with my favorite vegan buttercream icing (see above recipe).

Me holding the iced vanilla cupcakes (with my favorite buttercream icing) that I made

for my Dad’s birthday in September 2011


Alternative Icing:

Today, I did not have any shortening on hand so I made this simple alternative.  Tasted awesome, however it separates if it sits up, too long.  So I will add it to the cupcakes as we eat them and not ahead of time.

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup nonhydrogenated vegan margarine
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Beat together sugar and margarine until incorporated.  Ass almond milk and beat till smooth.


About Living Well

I am a vegan who loves food and loves life. Why am I vegan? Vegan living seemed to be a holistic way to live. Choosing to live as a vegan is helping me to live more environmentally conscious, more ethically, and more healthy. That said, I still wanted to be able to have foods that I loved. This site will be a place that I share ideas on living well and share vegan recipes. Some recipes are naturally vegan; other recipes I will take and veganize them. My influences in cooking are from my Granny (who is now 96 years old) who taught me how to make homemade buttermilk biscuits, syrup cookies, okra, and other southern comfort favorites; my mom, who knows how to host, and from living in places like London, Spain, and Costa Rica. When I am not cooking I am a professional artist. Cooking is just one more way I get to be creative. May these recipes inspire you, and may they always be delicious! P.S. If you want to check out my art, you can visit my website at:

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