My boyfriend’s birthday happens to fall around the same time as our dating anniversary and Valentine’s Day. I usually feel the need to make something over the top and special for this span of special events. I thought a really long time about what cupcake I would make him for his birthday. In the past I have made our favorite vanilla on vanilla cupcake so I wanted to try something new. His favorite type of ice cream is Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. I searched and searched for an existing Chunky Monkey cupcakes recipe, but I couldn’t find one. So, I thought it would be the perfect time to create one. I had several stipulations that I wanted to follow:
1. No banana extract because that just sounds gross to me
2. Use a basic vanilla frosting, not a chocolate or banana frosting so I could use toppings
3. I wanted it to be a banana chocolate chip cupcake, not muffin.
4. I didn’t want to put the actual ice cream in the cupcake. Yeah, I found a recipe that had the melted ice cream in them…gag!
I found a recipe for roasted banana cupcakes in my Martha Stewart Cupcake cookbook to start off the recipe. I added mini chocolate chips and toasted walnuts to this recipe. When they came out of the oven, I couldn’t wait to rip into one to see what it tasted like. At first I was a little disappointed because I didn’t think it would all come together to taste like the ice cream.
I let the cupcakes cool and started to make the frosting. I frosted the cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream frosting with an open circle tip. I then used a small offset spatial to scoop out a well in the top of the frosting. Then, I let the frosting set for a bit while I prepared the ganache, candied walnuts, and chopped banana chips. Once these were ready, I took the homemade chocolate ganache and drizzled the chocolate on top of the cupcakes. It was an amazing chocolate-y mess. I then filled the wells in the frosting with a pinch of candied walnuts and a pinch of chopped banana chips.
I couldn’t wait to try them so I grabbed my boyfriend and made him try one with me at the same time. The results?? We both shouted with a mouthful of cupcakes, “oh my god- they taste just like the ice cream!” It seriously couldn’t get any closer to the taste of the ice cream. I have to say it was one of my most triumphant baking moments. I am extremely excited to share this recipe for Chunky Monkey Cupcakes with you today.
- 3 ripe bananas
- 2 cups cake flour
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¾ tsp. salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, separated
- ½ sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- ¼ cup toasted chopped walnuts.
- 1 tsp. cake flour
- ½ cup butter (1 stick)
- 3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate , chopped
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. butter
- ½ cup banana chips, topped
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place three whole unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Roast bananas for 15 minutes. The peels will turn brownish/black.
- While bananas are roasting sift together cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl.
- Line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
- Once bananas are roasted, let cool before peeling. Turn oven down to 350 degrees.
- In the bowl on a mixer, cream butter on medium-high until fluffy. Add in egg yolks, one at a time until mixed in. Scraping sides of bowl down in-between eggs.
- Add roasted bananas into the mixer.
- Mix in dry ingredients in three parts alternating between sour cream (1/4 cup twice).
- Beat in vanilla extract.
- In a small bowl mix together mini chocolate chips, roasted chopped walnuts and 2 tsp. of cake flour.
- Move batter to a large bowl, and clean mixer bowl (If you are not using a stand mixer, just get out another bowl and you don’t need to transfer batter). Add on whisk attachment to mixer. In clean bowl, add in egg whites and whisk until soft peaks form
- In the large bowl with batter lightly fold in chocolate chip and walnuts. After the chocolate and nuts are incorporated fold in egg whites in two batches.
- Scoop batter into liners, putting about ¼ cup of batter or a cupcake scoop in each lined tin(it should be about ¾ths full). It should make about 16 cupcakes so make sure to fill the empty muffin tins halfway with water for even cooking. lf you have a 12 muffin pan, cook one pan at a time.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cupcakes cool.
- Cream butter in bowl of mixer, add in 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla on medium speed. Beat until smooth and creamy, making sure to scrape down the sides to incorporate all of the ingredients. Gradually add in remaining confectioners’ sugar until the frosting is a good spreading consistency. Beat on medium high speed until light and fluffy, making sure not to over beat.
- Placed chopped chocolate in small bowl. Place cream in small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Pour cream on chopped chocolate. Let sit for 1-2 minutes. Whisk together until all the chocolate is melted and smooth. Mix in butter stir until incorporated. Let cool slightly so ganache thickens.
- Take chopped walnuts and place in sauce pan over medium heat. Stirring occasionally and watching so they do not burn. Once walnuts are starting to toast up add in a tablespoon of brown sugar. Stir until brown sugar starts to melt and covers the walnuts. Add in a couple drops of water if the brown sugar isn’t sticking. When walnuts are glazed place on a paper towel and let cool.
- Once cupcakes are cooled, prepare a pastry bag with an open circle large tip. Fill with frosting and swirl onto cupcakes. If you don’t have pastry bags or tips, glob a spoonful of frosting in the middle of cupcake and take a knife and smooth around.
- With an offset spatula or butter knife, scoop out a small well on in the middle of the frosting.
- Take a small whisk, dip in ganache and move back and forth over cupcakes to drizzle with chocolate.
- In the well of the frosting add in candied walnuts and chopped banana chips. Enjoy!
Source: Cupcakes adapted from Martha Stewart Cupcakes, frosting and toppings are a 2 Sisters 2 Cities original