These were a huge hit when I made them for my son's second birthday party, and I've been itching for an excuse to make them again. A bake sale would be the perfect reason. The frosting, in particular, is both unusual and comforting, taking it from a banana-muffin-like cake into the realm of something special. This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine, a great source for the fast but fancy recipes we're going for here.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 ripe bananas), plus 1 whole banana, for garnish (optional)
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Make a well in center of flour mixture. In well, mix together butter, mashed bananas, eggs and vanilla. Stir to incorporate flour mixture (do not overmix).
Dividing evenly, spoon batter into muffin cups.
Meanwhile, make frosting.
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat confectioners' sugar, butter, honey and ground cinnamon until smooth and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
Bake cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Spread tops with honey-cinnamon frosting.
Just before serving, peel and slice banana into rounds, and place one on each cupcake, if desired.