Adult-Friendly Boozy Banana & Whiskey Cup Cakes With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Updated: Jul 14
Got some over-ripe bananas in your kitchen? Me too. But before you get your best banana bread recipe out, let me tickle your appetite with these Boozy Banana Cup Cakes!
These cup cakes are light, moist, slightly squidgy, boozy, banana-ry, and smothered in a maple cream cheese frosting! ... Changed your mind about that banana bread yet?
If you love bananas, and if you love whiskey, these cheeky little cups are for you! In fact, even if you don't love whiskey - these cups are STILL for you. Honestly, unlike my Scottish-born and bred fiance, I'm not a huge whiskey fan. But paired with the sweet, vanilla/honey flavour of ripened banana, and the beautiful caramelised flavours of brown sugar, whiskey really works!
Apart from the flavour, the texture of these cup cakes also scores pretty highly in my books, with a perfectly soft and moist crumb. Unlike many other banana cake recipes which, although delicious and moist, tend to be a little too sticky and heavy, these cupcakes are wonderfully light-textured, yet still provides a little 'squidge' which I think is important for any banana cake!
All in all, it's a pretty spectacular cup cake, if I do say so myself.
I've topped my cupcakes with a just-pipeable maple cream cheese frosting which just about holds its shape. I find that to thicken this too much with more icing sugar means losing out on the flavour of the maple and cream cheese and results in a overly sweet frosting that just doesn't do these cupcakes the maple-flavoured justice they deserve.
Whilst I love this flavour combo, what's great about these little beautifies is that they are quite versatile and pair well with other flavours too - here are a few suggestions:
Alternative serving suggestions:
Chocolate buttercream - I actually save half my batter and put some dark chocolate chips in the remaining half top it off with a classic chocolate butter cream - add a small splash of whiskey for an extra boozy kick!
Whiskey buttercream - for the real whiskey fans! Classic vanilla butter cream with a splash of whiskey!
Cinnamon Cream cheese frosting - Both banana and whiskey pair amazingly with cinnamon. For a great pipe-able cinnamon frosting, check out Sally's recipe on Sally's Baking Addiction!
Vanilla Buttercream - This plain-jane really blossoms with the flavours of whiskey and banana!
Pecans - Add toasted pecans to the cake batter or sprinkle on top of your cupcakes! Roughly chop your pecans and toast them in the oven on baking parchment at 150C for about 15 mins for a great toasty flavour!
Salted Caramel - Why not drizzle some salted caramel over the top of a vanilla or whiskey buttercream?
Butterscotch Chips - I sprinkled some (correction: The remaining chips I had after eating most of the tub from the packet) over these over my maple cream cheese frosting which was delicious!
Chewy banana chips: This would not only look great but provide another hit of luscious banana flavour to your finished cupcake!
What's needed for the cupcakes?
Flour: 2 cups of self-raising flour are at the base of these cupcakes. This, along with a small addition of baking soda helps towards a nice light cupcake
Baking Soda: A small addition of baking soda is required to help the cupcakes rise a little further due to the acidity in some of the ingredients of our cupcakes .
Cinnamon: Cinnamon adds a nice undercurrent of flavour. The amount called for is subtle and not overpowering.
Bananas: We use 2 large ripe bananas, mashed down (about 270g). Make sure your bananas have some dark spots as we want the sweetness of overripe bananas!
Butter: Creamed with the sugar, softened butter adds a lovely flavour, some moisture, and structure.
Oil: We use a small addition of oil alongside the butter as the fat for this recipe. Flavourless vegetable oil helps to keep the cupcakes perfectly moist.
Sugar: We mix both brown sugar and white caster sugar in this recipe. Brown sugar adds a wonderful a caramelised flavour and pairs fantastically with banana
Eggs: To bind all of our ingredients and add some further moisture
Sour Cream: Sour cream tenderises the flour and creates a moist, tender crumb.
Vanilla Extract: A small splash of pure vanilla extract for flavour
Whiskey: Our secondary ingredient for these boozy cupcakes! I use scotch (Bells/ Grouse/ Johnnie Walker) but you can also use Irish whiskey or even bourbon!
Buttermilk: Adds flavour and works alongside the baking soda to help with rising. If you do not have buttermilk, you can DIY your own buttermilk by adding a whole-milk to a measuring cup, removing 1tsp and replacing with a tsp of lemon juice or white vinegar. Mix and leave to curdle slightly for about 5 minutes. When you have some curds at the top of the milk, its ready to use!
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
have I already mentioned that love this flavour combination?! The tangy-ness of the cream cheese perfectly offsets the richness of the sweet banana and smokey, vanailla-ry whiskey. The flavours of the maple syrup also does wonders to the flavour of the cupcake. I even add a tiny hint of whiskey for an extra boozy kick, which is only just detectable and not at all overpowering.
This frosting is very light and creamy and only just holds its form when piped, so it not great for elaborate decorating, but just enough for a rustic swirl. I used a large round piping tip for classic ice-cream sundae swirls on top, but you could just spread on with a pallet knife if you're not too bothered about decoration. If you would like to create a more elaborate look to your frosting, feel free to add more icing sugar, although you will loose the flavour of the maple and whiskey. You could perhaps opt for a butter cream from the suggestions above? or even use a maple flavouring to reduce the liquid amounts of the frosting, if you can get your hands on some? I'm certainly going to look for some online!
Love Banana? Try these out next time!
Boozy Banana & Whiskey Cup Cakes With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 18-19 minutes
Makes: 18 cup cakes
250g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
88g softened butter
100g white sugar
90g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs lightly beaten
22g flavourless oil (sunflower or vegetable)
270g Bananas mashed with a fork
50g sour cream
1/4 cup whiskey (just under 60ml)
1/4 cup buttermilk
Maple cream cheese frosting
215g cream cheese
110g softened butter
440g icing sugar
1 Tbsp + 2.5 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp whiskey (optional)
(if using maple flavouring, prepare a standard cream cheese frosting and replace the usual vanilla essence with the maple flavouring to taste!)
1. Preheat your oven to 190C and line 2 muffin tins with 18 cupcake cases
2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and cinnamon and set to one side
3. Using a hand held mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the softened butter with half the oil and the brown and white sugar for about 4 minutes until fluffy
4. Add the egg mixture and beat on a low speed for a few seconds until incorporated
5. Add the sour cream, buttermilk, remaining oil, vanilla and whiskey and beat together until combined
6. Add the mashed banana and beat together until fully incorporated
7. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture by hand in 3 stages until just combined. Do not over mix. (If you are adding chocolate chips, this is now the time to fold in!)
8. Fill your cupcake cases 2/3s full and bake for 5 minutes in the oven at 190C before reducing the heat of the oven to 170C and cooking for a further 18 minutes or until slightly golden and a skewer, when inserted comes out clean
9. Remove trays from the oven and leave cup cakes to settle in the tins for 2 minutes before placing them on on a wire rack to cool to room temperature
10. As cupcakes cool, prepare your frosting:
In a large bowl, cream together softened butter and cream cheese with a hand mixer on medium high speed until light and creamy. Add the icing sugar and maple syrup (and whiskey if using) and beat on low speed until incorporated, then increase speed to high until you have a soft-peak consistency that just about holds its shape. Fill a piping bag and pip onto cooled cupcakes, or spread on with a pallet knife. Top with your choice of toppings, or leave plain!