Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 24-30 cupcakes

2 ½ cups flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
1 ¼ cups mashed bananas (about 4 – the blacker the better)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese
1 lb. confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F. Center a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two standard muffin pans with cupcake liners.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the softened butter with the sugar and medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the buttermilk and mashed banana at low speed.

Add the dry ingredients at low speed, mixing just until the dry ingredients have been completely absorbed by the batter – do not overmix! Divide the batter among the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes, until the top springs back and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove cupcakes to a wire rack and cool completely.

For the frosting, cream the butter well. Add the cream cheese and beat until blended. Sift in the sugar and add the vanilla. Beat until smooth. If too soft, chill a bit before using.

Once the cakes are completely cool, frost with the cream cheese frosting.