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Chocolate Banana Cupcakes

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes

First of all, thank your for all the support and kind comments to our last post. As the flood waters recede, help is needed more than ever. If you are able to donate even a few dollars, every little bit counts. For those of you in Nashville, I am currently trying to organize a relief bake sale (possibly next weekend, date/location TBD). Please get in touch if you’re interested in baking something or simply helping out.

I was baking these cupcakes as the rain was coming down. Little did I know that only a few days later we’d be under such tight water restrictions that baking anything (or, to be more accurate, baking anything and not driving Taylor crazy because he can’t wash the dishes) is out of the question. I have a few recipes in the backlog I’ll try to post in the meantime, because until these water restrictions are limited we’re not going to be cooking anything interesting.

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes

The cupcakes you see were actually my 2nd attempt. Because, yes, I actually have cupcake failures. I started batch #1 on Friday night, and less than 5 minutes after I popped them in the oven, our fire alarm went off (it’s a recurring problem in our building – we’re used to it by now). To avoid causing a REAL fire, I had to turn off the oven as we shoveled the cats into their carriers (harder to do now that there’s two), and run outside. By the time the fire department came and deactivated the alarm and we were allowed back inside 20 minutes later, the cupcakes were sunken failures. Even turning the oven back on didn’t help. They ended up tasting ok, but were dense, undercooked on the inside and crispy on the outside, more like a chocolate banana brownie of sorts. We ate them, of course, and they were too good to deny them a second chance.

Take 2, no fire alarm. And the result might just be one of my new favorite cupcakes. I neglect to remember just how well chocolate and banana go together. When you eat bananas for breakfast you forget these things sometimes. The frosting could very well be the best part… and I suggest popping your fresh cupcakes into the fridge for storage; the next day the frosting will be thick and almost fudgelike and even more delicious than it was when it was freshly piped. Yum.

Chocolate Banana Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes.


1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup ripe banana (about 1 banana)
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

For Frosting:
1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
1/4 cup ripe banana (about 1/2 banana)
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 1/2-3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

In a small bowl, mash the banana with a fork. Whisk in the coconut milk, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract until incorporated. Mixture will still be a little lumpy because of the nature of the banana, but whisk out as many large lumps as you can. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and pour in banana mixture. Stir until just smooth (do not overmix).

Pour into liners, filling each with 3 tablespoons of batter (cups should be no more than 2/3 full). Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

For frosting, cream butter until smooth and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add banana and mix on high speed until few lumps remain. Add cocoa powder and 1 cup powdered sugar and beat until combined. Continue adding sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition (depending on the temperature of your butter, you may need more or less sugar/cream to achieve the proper consistency). Mix in vanilla. Continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes, adding more sugar if necessary. Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish with leftover banana slices if desired.

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44 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On May 5, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    UUUMMMM!!!! Chocolate and banana. Yummy!!!! And they look beautiful.

    Sorry you are suffering from all the rain. Hope it gets better soon. It will take awhile to dry out tho, I know.

    thots with all in N.


  2. 2
    Posted On May 5, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Hi there,
    I’m in Nashville and would love to be involved with the bake sale. Let me know details as you put them together.


  3. 3
    Posted On May 5, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    I think what I love most about these is the banana in the frosting! How interesting. Good luck with all of the rain…hopefully you will be back in the kitchen before you know it!


  4. 4
    Posted On May 5, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    The banana is quite the twist, very interesting.

    Love the linens! And the cupcakes. :) We happen to be doing cupcakes tomorrow on the blog.


  5. 5
    Posted On May 5, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    YUM! Great combo!


  6. 6
    Posted On May 5, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    I love how there’s banana in the frosting too. Plus, any excuse to have fruit and chocolate together makes it a winner in my book. Can’t wait till the next time I have an excuse to make cupcakes!


  7. 7
    Posted On May 5, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Coconut milk in these? Count me in!! They look so cute! I’m glad that round 2 turned out!


  8. 8
    Posted On May 6, 2010 at 1:59 am

    Your cupcake failure was out of your control and therefore does not count as a failure!! They look gorgeous!! Hope the flooding situation improves soon!


  9. 9
    Posted On May 6, 2010 at 7:34 am

    i think these are the most tempting choc + banana recipe i have ever seen!


  10. 10
    Posted On May 6, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Gorgeous and irresistible!!


  11. 11
    Posted On May 6, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    My thoughts are with Nashville! I have a feeling if you sell these at the bake sale, they’ll be a surefire win!


  12. 12
    Posted On May 6, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I’ve been obsessed with banana desserts lately and these look perfect! I’ve definitely bookmarked them and may make them my next cupcake venture. That’s so annoying about the fire alarm… Grr! But you ended up with a beautiful result :)


  13. 13
    Posted On May 7, 2010 at 9:10 am

    This frosting looks incredible! I so love the banana in it. ! bet this would be wonderful even on simple banan bread as an extra special treat. Yum!


  14. 14
    Posted On May 7, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Absolutely adorable! Thanks for the recipe, too…can’t wait to try these :)


  15. 15
    Posted On May 7, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Hi Lindsay,
    I was glad to hear that you, Taylor, and the kitties are okay. Everyone’s fine here, though many homes within a mile of our house were flooded for a few hours. Please do post details about the bake sale! I will send information to the Nashville Vegans Meet-up group.
    Thanks for posting this lovely recipe for more vegan cupcakes! Take care.


    • Posted On May 7, 2010 at 1:45 pm

      Good to hear, Danielle! I was thinking of you and hoping you made it through ok. Will definitely keep you updated on the bake sale. :)

  16. 16
    Posted On May 8, 2010 at 10:54 am

    I made these cupcakes last night and they were great!


  17. 17
    Posted On May 8, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    These look very tasty and I bet they’re as delicious [:
    The only question I have is about the ingredients’ proportions.
    I’m planning to cook these for my birthday but my pan is more suitable for baking muffins than cupcakes :/ (my point is the holes are a bit big) and I need 25 cupcakes.
    My question is, can you tell me approximately how many “bigger cupcakes” would turn out from this recipe?
    Thanks in advance :)


  18. 18
    Posted On May 9, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Pure deliciousness!


  19. 19
    Posted On May 10, 2010 at 10:05 am

    ooh this frosting looks so good!


  20. 20
    Posted On May 10, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Yummy. Sinfully delicious :)


  21. 21
    Posted On May 11, 2010 at 2:36 am

    Oooo, that looks so yummy!

    XOXO from Sweden


  22. 22
    Posted On May 17, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I made these cupcakes Sunday and they were a huge hit with my co-workers. One of them even said they may be the best one’s I’ve made yet!

    My frosting didn’t turn out as dark as yours did, what could cause that? Also, what size tip do you use? I really need a good star tip, but can’t figure out what people use!


  23. 23
    Posted On May 26, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Sounds delicious!


  24. 24
    Posted On June 9, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Thanks so much for this recipe. It looks wonderful and I can’t wait to try it.


  25. 25
    Posted On July 24, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Just wanted to tell you that I made these yesterday to bring over to my sisters house for a dessert and they were OUTSTANDING! The only (very minor) changes I made was to substitute natural plain applesauce for the oil and I only used 2 cups of confectioners sugar in the frosting. It wasn’t as “fluffy” looking as yours in the photo but it was still plenty sweet and piped on well with a soft fudgy texture when cooled. SOO good! I will most definitely make these again!


  26. 26
    Jen F
    Posted On October 12, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I googled “chocolate banana cupcakes” and landed on your site. I just made these cupcakes, and they are a-mazing! The coconut milk is a great little addition. I have nothing bad to say about these divine cupcakes. Definitely will make them again soon!


  27. 27
    Posted On November 5, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    I found monkey/banana cupcake liners at the grocery store today. I think they are begging to have these cupcakes made in them!


  28. 28
    Posted On March 18, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    I just recently discovered your blog and wanted to comment and tell you it’s absolutely gorgeous! Great photos and recipes!

    I made these cupcakes tonight and they were wonderful. I’m still mulling over whether I’ll make your frosting or go with a peanut butter frosting to round out the chocolate/banana/peanut butter trifecta :) Thanks for sharing this great recipe!


  29. 29
    Valerie Consiglio-Nickerson
    Posted On May 8, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe!!! I just made these for my daughter’s 1st birthday and they are so rockin’! These Chocolate Banana cupcakes may become our yearly birthday tradition! Looking forward to trying out some more of your recipes. Keep ’em coming!!


  30. 30
    Posted On June 16, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Made these tonight and man r they good! No, good isn’t the correct term.
    DELISH!!!!! yum! I’m not a
    Chocolate lover and they were scrumptious!


  31. 31
    Posted On September 8, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Is the butter for the frosting unsalted or not?


  32. 32
    Posted On March 19, 2012 at 5:54 am

    These are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made. They turned out to as be nice and moist as never before. Also loved the frosting, however, I realized that the confectioners sugar feels sandy


  33. 33
    Posted On March 27, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Is there a reason why you use coconut milk in most of your recipes? I’ve never used it- can I use regular milk instead? I especially find it interseting that it is used in the strawberry champaigne recipe. Thanks!


  34. 34
    Posted On May 26, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Thank you so much for this! This year I decided to finally try and bake something, and these cupcakes were my first to make. I made them about a dozen times since then and everyone who tries them falls in love. :)


  35. 35
    Posted On July 18, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I made these cupcakes (but with a peanut butter frosting) the other day and they were AMAZING! Definitely one of my new go-to cupcake recipes.


  36. 36
    Posted On August 31, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    these were delicious, and a good use for overripe bananas. i substituted one individual container of apple sauce for the oil, and they still turned out great.


  37. 37
    Posted On September 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    I made these today for a family party. The only changes I made were leaving out the cocoa from the icing and I sprinkled walnuts on some of them as a garnish. They are delicious! The cake is nice and moist and the banana flavor really comes out in both the cake and the frosting. I will definitely be making these again! Thank you!


  38. 38
    Posted On October 18, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Hi Lindsay! I’ve been following your blog for 2 years now and I’m so very in love with it. <3

    Anywho, I was just wondering, could I use dutch-process cocoa for this? :) Thanks!

    Much love from the Philippines,


  39. 39
    Posted On November 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Thank you very much for this recipe! It’s hard to find an eggless/nutless/dairy free cupcake recipe that tastes so good. Made some for my colleagues and they all thought it was amazing! :)


  40. 40
    Posted On July 7, 2013 at 11:16 am

    This is great, i subsitute buttermilk with coconut milk because I’m kinda allergic to it. But it turned out yummy! Will definitely make some again.


  41. 41
    Kim Hyde
    Posted On June 1, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    Just made these…DeeLish!


  42. 42
    Posted On August 5, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this awesome recipe! My daughter who is 2 years old has a dairy and egg allergy so this recipe was just great for us to try. We baked this together and it was easy to do so I just measured everything and got my toddler to put everything in a mixing bowl and helped her mix all the ingredients up. She enjoyed baking and eating this a lot. The cupcakes turned out moist and delicious! The cupcake itself was already great to eat on its own. We just added some dairy-free chocolate chips to the recipe. I have added this recipe in our favorite recipe book and will definitely make this again and again. Thanks again!


  43. 43
    Posted On September 30, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Hi there! I was wondering if I can substitute butter in the frosting for vegan butter substitute? They have the same texture, so I don’t see why not but I want to get it right the first time so I figured I’d ask! Thank you!


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