I recently approached my good mate Jessica “Mimsie” George about contributing all things cupcake to the Kraftworkin’ blog, because, well, she makes loads of ’em, and they’re not just the standard chocolate and vanilla variety. Oh no. They involve complex emulsions and flavored frostings and kitschy decorating techniques, like brain wave frosting and mustachioed madness. That being said, Mimsie will be the cupcake girl extraordinaire, quite frankly, because she’s the cupcaking shizzle all the way down in New Zealand. Ms. George and I go way back–to our days as humble overnight d.j.s at Boston University’s radio station–and she’s been a pretty amazing blogger all things indie down under for my other love, Pulp and Circumstance. You can check out all her musical contributions here. What’s more, she’s a pretty decadent street artist in and around Auckland and documents all her loveliness at her flickr account, Go Team Sweet, so holler about it. And if that isn’t enough Jessica for you (because it never is enough for me), then by all means, gobble up her internet radio show “MmmFrosted”.
My first venture into the sickeningly sweet cupcake realm was about two years ago when I offered to bake 150 cupcakes for a music and art event. Since then, you could (and some do) say that I’m addicted to discovering new cupcake recipes and finding slightly strange ways to decorate them. The root of my love is based in sharing with others and perhaps bringing out an unexpected smile in some. This latest batch is made with love and a little sarcasm for my partner’s brother and dad, as they share a birthday this weekend. They both have prominent facial hair, so with much delight, I incorporated this into the decoration of this batch of banana and peanut butter cupcakes. The banana cupcake recipe is taken from Bake & Destroy (http://nataliecakes.wordpress.com/), a blog I would recommend to anyone looking to bake some wicked cupcakes. She had a recipe that included chocolate chips, but I left these out. The peanut butter buttercream I used to ice these cuppies came from me spooning some peanut butter into a simple buttercream frosting. Yum. And without further ado, here is the recipe for your enjoyment:
1 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (I used bananas that I’d frozen because they’d gone brown)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (176 Celsius) and line one muffin pan with paper liners.
Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
In a bigger bowl, whisk together sugar, oil and eggs until smooth.
Add banana and vanilla and beat well.
Add flour mixture and beat until smooth.
Scoop batter into pans and bake 24-28 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched lightly with your finger.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.
Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting
1 stick of butter (about 113 grams) at room temp
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
2 heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter
Mix the butter until it is creamy.
Add powdered sugar into butter and mix until smooth.
Add vanilla and milk and mix.
Add peanut butter and keep on mixin’.
You can play with the consistency of your frosting by adding more powdered sugar to make it thicker or more milk to thin it out a bit. It’s always easier to use an electric mixer, but there were many months where I mixed everything by hand, and although frustrating and tiring at times, I’ve got a great looking right bicep and tricep now.
For the face details, I added some cocoa powder to the frosting and piped it onto the cupcakes accordingly. You’ll notice the little grated chocolate bits in in some of the moustaches, my partner’s dad may not appreciate these all too much, oops! And the little silver cachous (although made illegal in California now, I believe) sit in place as his brothers labret piercing. The “…eh…” cupcakes are for the apathetic noises that are often emitted from either of them. Oh geez, I am either going to be loved or hated for these ones…