The Best Banana Cupcakes + Maple Buttercream

February 18, 2020

These Best Banana Cupcakes + Maple Buttercream are a classic flavors that never get old, but together they are even more PERFECT! Made with a soft, fluffy, + moist vegan base, these cupcakes are filled with bold banana flavor, spices, and a bit of crunch from the walnuts, in every bite. Paired with a creamy maple buttercream, these cupcake are must during any season. Fully Vegan + Gluten-free options available.

The Best Banana Cupcakes + Maple Buttercream

Whether you’re a lover of bananas or not, this recipe is a must try.

Honestly, eating these cupcakes were the best part after making them. Haha.

I know that many people LOVE cupcakes. I actually think that they are highly consumed as much as cookies and cake, if I’m guessing right.

BUT these cupcakes are definitely a crowd-pleaser and they are truly a reflection of my Southern roots.

Don’t believe me? Have you seen my ultimate childhood fave — Classic Southern Banana Pudding just yet?

Of course, I have since made a newer version of this coveted banana pudding by pairing it with my other first love—peanut butter and created the ultimate sweet treat…….Delicious PB Banana Pudding

The Best Banana Cupcakes + Maple Buttercream

Since 2020 has begun, I’ve been EXTRA intentional with putting together flavors and have even chosen bold ways to express my love for food.

Hands down, this Vegan Banana Cake + Cinnamon Browned Butter Buttercream is the best you’ll ever have! 

Let’s not forget our newest fan favorite — Easy Peanut Butter Banana Oats Smoothie. A delicious and simple way to enjoy a quick, easy breakfast while gaining awesome health benefits from the simple ingredients that marry so well together, creating a powerful kick of flavor.

Of course, when you type for the word ‘banana’ on our site’s search, you’ll find an array of recipes!

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post on The Best Healthy Sugar Alternatives + Substitutes, bananas are a great source of natural sweetness without the need for added sugar.

Now, back to cupcakes.

NEED CUPCAKE IDEAS? TRY THESE RECIPES.

These Valentine’s Day Lemon Cupcakes are melt in your mouth cupcakes that will be the perfect surprise sweet treat for your loved one(s) for any occasion.

These Easy Caramel Coconut Cupcakes are melt in your mouth coconut cupcakes that come popular by demand. 

These Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes + Oreo Buttercream are what we call absolutely delicious! Not only are these cupcakes completely fluffy and moist, but they come fully decadent.

These Vanilla Cupcakes with Sprinkles are the best + most favorite cupcakes I’ve made. Soft, fluffy, + extra moist, these cupcakes are bursting with bold vanilla flavor in every bite.

The Best Banana Cupcakes + Maple Buttercream

TIPS TO MAKING PERFECT CUPCAKES:

THE TYPE OF FLOUR MATTERS!

To come out with a soft, moist cupcake, I’ve noticed that mixing All-Purpose Flour + Cake Flour, really does justice!

DON’T OVER FILL!

Yes! This has been my trial and error moment when it comes to baking! I tend to fill my batter with most recipes to the brim, but I’ve recently gotten into the habit of pacing myself! Over-filling makes a huge mess later and doesn’t allow your baked goods to come put perfectly, especially with cupcakes. So, filling it 3/4ths of the way is key!

START HIGH, THEN END LOW!

One other pet peeve of mine when baking is when you’re ultra confident at the amazingness of your batter (the taste and aroma is there), yet after it bakes—-it becomes flat or sunk in once it touches air. The solution? Start by baking the cupcakes at a higher temp for the first 5 mins (maybe 400 degrees Fahrenheit) then lowering it to the standard 350 degrees Fahrenheit temp for the rest of the time. Then once they are done, turn off your oven, BUT leave them in for about 5 minutes with the oven door slightly open so that they don’t sink right away (this is especially a good rule of thumb for cheesecake bites!).

ALWAYS KEEP THINGS FRESH!

I know that this is a common mistake, especially for those of us who aren’t daily bakers. Ensure that your ingredients (flours, etc.) are fresh and haven’t been sitting there for months improperly sealed, etc. Also, ensure that your leaveners (baking power + baking soda) are fresh. This is super important and often is the culprit in flatter baked goods.

DOUBLE PROTECTION IS BETTER THAN ONE!

While using cupcake liners are a huge lifesaver when making it easier to remove your cupcakes after they are ready, ensuring that you not only use high quality liners, but that you also lightly spray the inside of your liners with a cooking spray HELPS A TON! Don’t you just hate when your cupcake inevitably gets stuck on one of those cupcake liners?

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post on The Best Healthy Sugar Alternatives + Substitutes, bananas are a great source of natural sweetness without the need for added sugar.

BENEFITS OF BANANA?! Yup.

Whelp, did you know that Bananas are the most consumed fruit in the world? Yup. That’s right. We all eat them. And we eat them A LOT!

But, the most important part of it all is that Bananas come with great health benefits.

They are high in Potassium and Fiber.

They help to prevent against asthma, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and more.

When it comes to digestive issues, bananas, like apple sauce are often the go-to for treating certain upsets, including diarrhea. It’s actually apart of the BRAT diet.

Lastly, Bananas actually contain a type of amino acid that that plays a role in preserving memory and boosting your mood, according to specific studies. That’s right. Bananas are well rounded in their benefits for our health.

The Best Banana Cupcakes + Maple Buttercream

Now, let’s dig right into this recipe shall we?

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and prep your cupcake pan with liners + spray.

In a medium bowl, add the Almond Milk and Apple Cider Vinegar, mixing until well combined and let it sit for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.

Once the milk-vinegar mixture has sat for the allotted time, add in the mashed bananas, oil, vanilla, and maple syrup, whisking together until well combined.

Add the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients, mix together well using a rubber spatula. **NOTE: Do Not Over-mix!**

Fold in chopped walnuts.

Divide the batter evenly into each cupcake cavity and bake for 15-18 minutes or until the centers are fully cooked through once tested with a toothpick.

Remove from the oven and let cool before icing them.

For Maple Buttercream:

Melt 2 Tbsps butter in a small pot on low heat. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon and stir frequently. Once melted together, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until fluffy and light.

Reduce the speed to low-speed and add in the cooled maple mixture and mix until well combined, scraping the bottom and sides if needed.

Now, add in the powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) and mix until fully incorporated and frosting is smooth. **NOTE: Add more powdered sugar or heavy cream (if too thick) until desired consistency is met if needed, 1 Tbsp at a time.**

Add buttercream frosting to fully cooled cupcakes, using a piping bag and topping them with freshly sliced bananas, if desired. Repeat until all cupcakes are decorated.

Bon Appetit!

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you choose to make these Banana Cupcakes + Maple Buttercream or any other recipe from us, be sure to tag us on Instagram at #Orchidsandsweettea so that we can share the love!

The Best Banana Cupcakes + Maple Buttercream
The Best Banana Cupcakes + Maple Buttercream

The Best Banana Cupcakes + Maple Buttercream

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 18 mins
Total Time: 28 mins
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Ingredients

Vegan Banana Cupcakes:

  • 3 Medium Ripe Bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup Organic All-Purpose Flour  (I use Bob's Red Mill; See Notes for GF option!)
  • 1 cup Organic Cake Flour  (I use Bob's Red Mill; See Notes for GF option!)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (I use The Coombs Family Farm)
  • 1/2 cup Almond milk (I use Califia Farms; You can use your fave Plant-based Milk)
  • 1 tsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsps vegetable oil (See Notes!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Maple Buttercream:

  • 4-5 cups organic powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter + 2 Tbsps, softened at room temp. (I use Land O'Lakes; See Notes for Vegan option!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I use The Coombs Family Farm)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and prep your cupcake pan with liners + spray.
  • In a medium bowl, add the Almond Milk and Apple Cider Vinegar, mixing until well combined and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt.
  • Once the milk-vinegar mixture has sat for the allotted time, add in the mashed bananas, oil, vanilla, and maple syrup, whisking together until well combined.
  • Add the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients, mix together well using a rubber spatula. **NOTE: Do Not Over-mix!**
  • Fold in chopped walnuts.
  • Divide the batter evenly into each cupcake cavity and bake for 15-18 minutes or until the centers are fully cooked through once tested with a toothpick.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool before icing them.

For Maple Buttercream:

  • Melt 2 Tbsps butter in a small pot on low heat. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon and stir frequently. Once melted together, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until fluffy and light.
  • Reduce the speed to low-speed and add in the cooled maple mixture and mix until well combined, scraping the bottom and sides if needed.
  • Now, add in the powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) and mix until fully incorporated and frosting is smooth. **NOTE: Add more powdered sugar or heavy cream (if too thick) until desired consistency is met if needed, 1 Tbsp at a time.**
  • Add buttercream frosting to fully cooled cupcakes, using a piping bag and topping them with freshly sliced bananas, if desired. Repeat until all cupcakes are decorated.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

FLOUR: If you don’t have cake flour, you can always just use all-purpose flour entirely instead. 
GLUTEN-FREE VERSION: To make these cupcakes GF, I recommend using a GF Flour Blend (Bob’s Red Mills has a great version!). **NOTE: If the cupcake mixture is too ‘thin + runny’, simply add additional GF flour, 1/4 cup at a time.**
SWEETENER: If you choose to opt out of pure maple syrup, you can always substitute with Agave as well.
OIL: Instead of vegetable oil, you can also use Coconut oil, if preferred.
VEGAN BUTTERCREAM: To make this buttercream vegan, simply use 1/4 cup organic vegetable shortening + 1/4 cup vegan butter (at room temp.) instead of unsalted butter. Follow remaining steps.
STORAGE: Best kept if stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days (unfrosted) and 3-4 days when frosted. Also, can be frozen for up to 6 months when unfrosted and thawed.
 

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The Best Banana Cupcakes + Maple Buttercream.

ORCHIDS + SWEET TEA

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  1. These look absolutely delicious, I’ve never tried banana with maple before I can only imagine how amazing they are combined! You take such beautiful photos xo

    • Hi Gemma! Thanks so much! Banana and Maple is such an amazing combo! I do hope that you get a chance to give these a try! 🙂

  2. There are so many recipes of banana cupcakes, but yours is the best. Made cupcakes tonight. Cannot stop going to the kitchen to grab one after another. TASTY AND DELICIOUS!