My banana cupcake recipe yields super flavorful, soft, and moist cupcakes that can be made easily in under an hour! Frost them with my brown butter frosting for an incredible flavor pairing! Recipe includes a how-to video.
Homemade Banana Cupcakes
Soft, fluffy, and richly flavored with sweet, ripe bananas… Maybe you caught a sneak peek of these banana cupcakes when I shared my brown butter frosting recipe last week (did you catch the video?)? That frosting is the perfect complement to these slightly tropical desserts and I hope you’ll try the two together (and maybe bring them for Easter dessert!).
While the flavor profile may seem a bit complex, even the most basic beginner baker will have perfectly soft, moist, and fluffy cupcakes if they just follow my tips and steps.
Let’s get started!
What You Need
This recipe was closely modeled after my popular banana muffin recipe (which has hundreds of five star ratings!). It’s slightly sweeter and makes a better cupcake than muffin, but it’s just as easy. Here’s what you need:
- Bananas. The riper the better (and the more flavorful your banana cupcakes will be). Bananas get sweeter as they ripen. Ideally, yours would be even browner than the ones in the photo above.
- Sugar. I use a blend of granulated sugar and light brown sugar for the best flavor. If you happen to not have brown sugar on hand, see my post on how to make brown sugar. This is made with molasses, which adds moisture and imparts additional flavor in the cupcakes.
- Butter & Oil. As in many of my cake recipes (like my chocolate cake and vanilla cake) I like to use a blend of both butter and oil for best results. The butter adds a beautiful flavor, while the oil keeps the cake moist.
- Eggs. Eggs bind the cupcake batter together, without it the cupcakes wouldn’t hold together. Because of this I am not certain of an egg substitute that would work well.
- Buttermilk. Another key ingredient that makes the cupcakes moist and flavorful.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Banana Cupcakes
- Mash the bananas very well. Try to get all of the lumps (it’s not possible, but mash ’em really well). The mixture will be rather liquidy when you’re finished.
- Combine all of the wet ingredients (including sugar, which many people don’t think of but is technically a wet ingredient). An electric mixer isn’t necessary, but I like to use one because it ensures my ingredients are thoroughly combined and it helps to break down the bananas even further.
- Whisk dry ingredients separately, then fold them into the wet ingredients. If you were using an electric mixer, switch to a spatula now as it’s very easy to over-mix this batter (and that will leave you with dense, dry banana cupcakes).
- Fill cupcake liners ¾ of the way full with batter. If you have excess batter, discard it or make additional cupcakes.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. I always recommend shooting for a few moist crumbs; the cupcakes will continue to bake as they cool and if the toothpick comes out clean you run the risk of having cupcakes that are a bit too dry rather than moist.
- Always allow banana cupcakes to cool completely before covering with frosting (otherwise your frosting will melt!).
Frequently Asked Questions
Over-mixing the batter is the most likely culprit. You must carefully fold together the wet and dry ingredients until completely combined, but also until just combined. Use a light hand.
Other reasons include accidentally over-measuring your flour (why I always recommend using a kitchen scale), expired baking powder or baking soda, or baking too long. Bake the cupcakes on the middle shelf of your oven and use an oven thermometer to make sure the temperature is accurate, as many ovens run much hotter (or sometimes colder) than they indicate.
This is may be another consequence of over mixing the batter. Over mixing puts extra air into the batter, and when the air collapses the cupcakes do too. Ironically, under-mixing can also cause this, as can under-baking or opening the oven door too frequently while the cupcakes bake.
While you could, I would recommend you check out my banana cake recipe instead. That recipe has been specifically engineered to work as a cake.
More Recipes You Might Like
Let’s bake together! Make sure to check out the how-to VIDEO in the recipe card!
Banana Cupcake Recipe
- 1 ½ cups (350 g) well-mashed very ripe bananas (this is typically 3 bananas for me)
- ¼ cup (60 g) unsalted butter melted and cooled at least 5 minutes
- ¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil may substitute canola or other neutral cooking oil
- ⅔ cup (133 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar firmly packed
- 2 large eggs room temperature preferred
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (60 ml) buttermilk room temperature preferred (click the link to make a buttermilk substitute if needed)
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 batch brown butter frosting or your favorite frosting see notes for some of my other recommendations
- Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and line a 12-count cupcake tin with paper liners. Set aside.
- Make sure bananas are very well mashed (I often start with a fork or potato masher and then switch over to my mixer) then add melted butter, oil, and sugars and stir very well to combine.1 ½ cups (350 g) well-mashed, ¼ cup (60 g) unsalted butter melted and cooled at least 5 minutes, ¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil, ⅔ cup (133 g) granulated sugar, ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar
- Add eggs and vanilla extract and stir well, then stir in buttermilk.2 large eggs, 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract, ¼ cup (60 ml) buttermilk
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- Add dry ingredients to batter and use a spatula to gently fold together until combined. Batter should be completely combined, but don’t over-mix or your cupcakes may be dense and dry!
- Portion batter into cupcake liners, filling each ¾ full. If you have extra batter, discard or make additional cupcakes.
- Transfer to 350F (175C) oven and bake for 17-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool completely before frosting with my brown butter frosting (or see other options in my notes).1 batch brown butter frosting or your favorite frosting
FROSTINGOther great frosting choices include:
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
- Buttercream frosting
- Swiss Meringue buttercream
- Chocolate Frosting
- Peanut Butter frosting
StoringStore cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. Cupcakes may also be frozen for several months.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.