Cupcakes for Teens (and me!)

Chocolate-drizzled Banana Cupcakes with  Creamy Peanut Butter Frosting

Three all-American flavors that sing in harmony in any combination: peanut butter, bananas and chocolate. Whether it’s peanut butter and chocolate (think Reese’s peanut butter cups), chocolate-dipped bananas, or my favorite afternoon snack, peanut butter on chocolate, the combinations can’t be beat. So why not combine them all and make a great cupcake?

I must first make a confession: I am a cake snob. I find most American cakes cloyingly sweet, their sugary frosting lacking in richness and creaminess. This snobbery especially carries over to cupcakes, even vegan ones, piled high with some variation of whipped vegan margarine and powdered sugar. To call this “buttercream,” I find almost sacrilegious. So when my teen daughters announced that they would like cupcakes for a party they were hosting for several French exchange students (and lots of their American friends), I wondered how my not overly-sweet, not-quite-the norm cupcakes would go over.

Well, they went over big. Real big. “How do you make the icing SO moist and creamy?” “Can I take one home for my mom? I want her to make these.” “These are incredible!” were some of the comments I heard as the cupcakes quickly disappeared. And most of the teens didn’t even know that they were vegan!

These cupcakes are a cinch to make. The banana cake is light with a tender crumb. The frosting is fluffy, light, creamy and yet rich (it will double in volume when whipped). The chocolate ganache drizzle takes it over the top. And best of all, there’s no palm oil shortening or palm oil margarine in this at all.

So…here’s the recipe!

Banana Cupcakes
Makes 24
Light and fluffy. Decorate with Peanut Butter Frosting and drizzle chocolate (ganache).
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 cup coconut palm sugar
½ cup canola oil
½ cup plain or vanilla coconut yogurt (or soy yogurt)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup hot water
2 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour and baking soda. Mix the bananas, sugar, oil, yogurt, vanilla and vinegar. Mix in the hot water. Mix in the flour mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting with Peanut Butter Frosting.
Peanut Butter Frosting
1 cup smooth peanut butter
8 ounces tofu
½ cup coconut sugar
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup non-dairy milk
4 ounces cocoa butter, melted (melt in a microwave or in a double boiler)
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until creamy.Transfer to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Whip with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Frost banana cupcakes with this, then dip in or drizzle with melted chocolate or ganache (just melt some chocolate and thin it out with a little soymilk or coconut milk).  Make sure that the melted chocolate is cool to the touch before drizzling, or it will melt the frosting. If it does, place the cupcakes in the refrigerator for a few minutes to chill. Enjoy!


  1. These cupcakes look incredible! Thanks for sharing =]

  2. I’ll have to try these, if for no other reason than to try the frosting!

    Even though I use it all the time, I’m not a huge fan of the overly-sweet ‘buttercream’ frosting, either. I’m just not a good enough experimenter to ever come up with anything else :P. So thanks for this recipe!

  3. As crazy as this sounds, I had a dream about this frosting last night, so I think I’ll have to make this today! It looks (and sounds) amazings.

  4. Stephanie says:

    What kind of tofu do I need to use? Silken or regular, what firmness?

    Thanks, I can’t wait to make this recipe!

  5. Can I use oat flour and flax meal for the regular wheat flour, or will I need to use something finer to make these cupcakes light?

    • You can definitely try. I use oat flour a lot as a substitute, and it works great in things like cupcakes and muffins. You might want to increase the baking powder by a half-teaspoon or so.