Banana Pecan Cupcakes

The Banana Pecan Cupcakes - Baking a batch of these ultra-moist cupcakes is a great way to use overripe bananas; keep a bunch in your freezer (unpeeled) and thaw when you’re ready to use. You can substitute walnuts for pecans, or leave the nuts out entirely. Caramel buttercream makes a satisfyingly sweet topping; cream-cheese frosting and chocolate–sour cream frosting are also good choices. Left unfrosted, the cupcakes can be enjoyed any time of day.

3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 very ripe large bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
¾ cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups packed light-brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup pecans (about 4 ounces), toasted and coarsely chopped
Caramel Buttercream

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla.

2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

3. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with banana mixture, and beating until just combined after each. Stir in pecans by hand.

4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

5. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

6. To finish, use a small offset spatula to spread cupcakes with buttercream. Refrigerate up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature before serving.

Banana Pecan Cupcakes Recipe
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