Banana Toffee Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream
When you have a freezer full of ripe bananas, the first thing that comes to mind is banana bread. I have this fabulous banana bread recipe but honestly I’ve made it so many times that I’m sick of it. So I thought I would try making banana cupcakes instead. And because I'm not a huge fan of banana muffins, I wanted to make a banana cupcake that would never be confused with a muffin. Featured on Cupcake Wars in 2011, this banana cupcake has delicious bits of chocolate toffee candy mixed throughout and is topped with salted caramel buttercream. No one could ever confuse this cupcake with a muffin. I loved it!
Adapted from Food Network’s Banana Toffee Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes
For the Chocolate Toffee Candy Bar:
- 1-1/2 cups slivered almonds
- 1-1/2 cups butter (3 sticks)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup water
- 1-1/2 to 2 bags chocolate chips (preferably 60% bittersweet chips)
- 1/3 cup almonds
For the Cupcakes:
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 5 ounces light brown sugar
- 4 ounces granulated sugar
- 3-1/2 ounces whole egg
- 12-1/2 ounces ripe banana puree
- 14 ounces cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 7 ounces chocolate toffee candy bar bits
- 4 ounces buttermilk
For the Salted Caramel Buttercream:
- 1-2/3 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1-1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 1 recipe for Italian Meringue Buttercream
Step 1: For the salted caramel: Combine the sugar, 1/3 cup water and the corn syrup in a small saucepan. Stir with a wooden spoon and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer, swirling the pot occasionally, until the mixture is a beautiful amber color (watch closely).
Step 2: Once the desired color is reached, immediately add the butter and stir with a wooden spoon until completely incorporated.
Step 3: Remove from the heat. Add the heavy cream and stir to incorporate. Stir in the coarse salt.
Step 4: Pour the salted caramel into a bowl. Cool completely, stirring occasionally.
Step 5: For the chocolate toffee: Toast 1-1/2 cups slivered almonds for about 10 minutes in a 425 degree oven until lightly browned (watch carefully; it can burn quickly). Place in a bowl.
Step 6: Place the remaining 1/3 cup almonds in a blender and blend/grate to a fine consistency; set aside.
Step 7: In fairly deep soup pot, combine the butter, sugar, salt, and water. Cook, stirring with a long-handled spoon on medium high heat. When temperature reaches 140 degrees C, add toasted almonds. Continue cooking and stirring.
Step 8: When temperature reaches 150-154 degrees C, pour out quickly on to lightly oiled cookie sheets (2 small or 1 very large) and spread thin with the back of the spoon. When cool spread with melted chocolate chips and sprinkle with ground almonds. When cold, break into pieces.
Step 9: For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a two standard size muffin pan with 24 cupcake liners.
Step 10: Combine the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Step 11: Scrape down the bowl and add the egg and banana puree. Cream for an additional 3 minutes.
Step 12: Scrape down the bowl, and then add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix for 30 seconds on low speed.
Step 13: Add the toffee bits and buttermilk. Stir on low speed until combined.
Step 14: Fill the prepared cupcake liners three-quarters full with batter and bake until golden brown and baked through, about 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely.
Step 15: For the marbled salted Caramel Italian Meringue Butter: Stir the 1/2 to 1 cup salted caramel in by hand to create a marbled appearance. Place in a pastry bag fitted with a large round or star tip. Pipe a generous amount of buttercream on top of each cupcake, and garnish with crumbled toffee.