These were requested by my son today.
He would never actually eat them, but thinks they're cute enough to take along to a friends' place. I've made these a couple of times before; for parties at his school and a bake sale. Kids always find these super moist cupcakes irresistible.
Me? I love the cinnamon cream cheese frosting. It's completely delicious.
I got both the recipe and the idea for decorating these cupcakes out of the 'Cupcakes from the Cake Doctor' book. This book has so many ideas for cupcakes but I've only managed to try very few. All of that will change, of course, and I might stop browsing through the book and actually try out more fantastic ideas at some point this year.
For the cupcakes:
vegetable oil spray,for misting pans
All purpose flour for dusting pans
1 package (18.25 oz) plain yellow cake mix
1.5 cups mashed bananas (from 3 medium or 4 small bananas)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 F
Mist muffin tin with vegetable spray and dust with flour, shaking out excess flour. OR : just use cupcake liners.
Place cake mix, bananas, water, oil, eggs in a large bow and blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds.
Stop the machine, scrape down sides. Increase speed to medium and beat 2 more minutes. The batter should look thick and well combined.
Scoop batter into your cupcake liners, filling 3/4 of the way up.
Place in the oven and bake 24 - 28 minutes. Remove from oven and place on rack to cool for 5 minutes.
Cool completely (about 15 mins) before frosting.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 package (8 oz.) reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tbsp (1/2 stick butter), at room temperature
3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Place the cream cheese and butter in a small bowl and beat on low speed until well combined.
Add the confectioners sugar a little at a time and keep mixing with low speed until the sugar is incorporated. Add cinnamon, increase speed to medium and beat a further minute or until the frosting is fluffy.
Spread about 2 tbsp of frosting on top of cooled cupcakes, spreading it out to cover the tops of the cupcakes completely.
To make the monkey faces, I used M&Ms for the eyes and nose, banana chips for the ears, chocolate sprinkles for the fur and some melted chocolate for the smile.
Aren't they adorable?