• Sarah Cohan

Banana Cupcakes, Bourbon Butterscotch, Peanut Butter Frosting

You know those kinds of desserts where you have your portion, and then you have a little bit more for seconds, and just feel like you could have plate upon plate until you exploded because it's THAT GOOD? These cupcakes are that kind of dessert.

They have three punch-you-in-the-face flavor-packed components that all manage to stand strong on their own but blend beautifully into a sweet masterpiece. I'm not trying to be fancy or verbose here, it's just the truth of the matter. What's also great about this recipe is that you can use each - the cupcake, the butterscotch, the frosting - in a totally different recipe if you want! Throw the PB Frosting on these deeply chocolate malted cupcakes. Double the cupcake recipe and make a two 9" cake layers for a delicious banana cake. Pour the bourbon butterscotch over fresh-out-the-oven Apple Crisp.

This is absolutely one of my favorite showstopper cupcake recipes, and if you make oversized cupcakes like I did they're essentially equivalent to a pretty big piece of cake (and may well be best eaten with a fork!)

Happy Baking!

Adapted from Bakers Royale & Brown Eyed Baker

Makes 16 large cupcakes (with liners taller than the wells in the pan), or probably 18-20 regular-sized


Banana Cupcakes

  • 2.5 cups AP Flour (300g)

  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder

  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3/4 cup sugar (150g)

  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (150g)

  • 2 eggs, room temperature

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  • 1/3 cup vegetable or grapeseed oil

  • 13 ounces pureed bananas (3-4 bananas)

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • kitchen scale and/or measuring cups & spoons

  • medium mixing bowl

  • hand whisk

  • stand mixer

  • spatula

  • cupcake trays

  • cupcake liners (tall ones if you want to make large cupcakes like I did)

  • medium cookie scoop (optional)

  • cupcake corer (optional - but they work really well and cut down on lots of time!)

Bourbon Butterscotch

  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter (6 Tablespoons)

  • 1.5 cups dark brown sugar (310g)

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup bourbon

  • heavy bottom saucepan

  • hand whisk

(you might have leftover butterscotch, but since when is that a problem?)

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 1.5 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter (not all-natural style)

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • stand mixer

  • spatula

  • Piping bag & decorative tip(s) for frosting


Start by making the butterscotch, as it will take a while to cool. You can make it up to one week in advance and just keep it in the fridge.

  1. Melt 6TB unsalted butter and 310g dark brown sugar (1.5c) in a saucepan over medium heat until it liquifies and combines and you whisk it.

  2. Add 3/4c heavy cream and 3/4tsp kosher salt and whisk together.

  3. Boil the mixture for 4-5 minutes as you stir constantly.

  4. Remove from heat, add 1/2c bourbon, stir to combine and then set aside to cool.

Next up - the cupcakes!

  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake trays with liners.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients: 300g AP Flour (2.5c), 1tsp baking powder, 1tsp baking soda, and 3/4tsp kosher salt. Set aside.

  3. In your stand mixer, beat 2 eggs, 150g sugar (3/4c), and 150g light brown sugar (3/4c packed) on medium high until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

  4. Mix in the rest of the wet ingredients in the following order, mixing on medium high in between each until fully combined:

  • 1/3 cup vegetable or grapeseed oil

  • 13 ounces pureed bananas (3-4 bananas) & 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon & 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  1. Add your dry ingredients and mix on low, then medium until just combined with no traces of dry ingredients left. Don't over mix - you can always do a few more folds with your spatula once you remove the bowl from the mixer.

  2. If you are making large cupcakes with tall liners, use a medium cookie scoop and fill each liner with three scoops of batter, making about 16 cupcakes. If you are making regular sized cupcakes fill the liners 1/2 way.

  3. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, until the tops are golden and the cupcake springs back when you press it gently with your finger on top. If you're using a tester it should come up with a few moist crumbs attached or clean. Cool completely before filling and frosting.

Last but not least - the frosting:

  1. In your stand mixer on high, cream 1.5 sticks unsalted room temperature butter about 4 minutes.

  2. Add 2 cups creamy peanut butter and 1tsp vanilla, and mix on medium high until completely combined with the butter. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with your spatula, and then mix another minute.

  3. 1 cup at a time, add 2 cups of powdered sugar mixing to thoroughly combine after each. Make sure to start your mixer on low, or even pulse it on and off until most of the sugar is incorporated to the point that it won't splash out of the mixer at you when you turn the speed up. Once at that point, mix on medium-high for 2-3 minutes for each addition.

  4. With your mixer on low, stream in 1/2 cup heavy cream. Once all in and combined enough that it won't splash, turn your mixer up to medium-high and mix for 2-3 more minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Putting it all together -

  1. "Core" your cooled cupcakes using one of these neat doohickeys.

  2. Fill the wells with bourbon butterscotch, and then let your cupcakes sit for at least 30 minutes, or up to a few hours. Some of the butterscotch will get soaked up by the cake, as you can see in the picture above.

  3. Top off each cupcake with butterscotch filled almost to the top.

  4. Frost away!

These will keep covered at room temperature for up to 24 hours, or refrigerated for up to 3 days. Most cupcakes freeze well and I imagine these might be no exception given that the butterscotch has quite a bit of alcohol that will prevent it from freezing solid. Make sure you wrap whatever container you're freezing them in in at least 3 layers of plastic wrap, and that you let them defrost at room temperature and not in the fridge before eating.

custom desserts

boston, massachusetts

© 2014 by Sarah Cohan