Banana Cupcakes + Brown Butter Buttercream

Brown butter buttercream.

I can’t.

This stuff is GOOD. Straight off the beater, eat 18 tablespoons, get-a-bellyache-because-you-ate-too-much…good.

If you’ve never tried brown butter you are missing out an entire world of scrumptious.  A world made only of rainbows and butterflies, unicorns and cute babies, happiness and fluffy clouds- and absolutely no bad news, rainy days, or Grumpy McGrumpersons.  It’s basically heaven without the religious implications.

Too much?

Doubt it.  Once you make this your whole life will change. TRUST me.

{pssst… The cupcakes are vegan!  But the buttercream is not.  I know…oxymoron.  Next time I will try to brown some non-butter butter.}

Vegan Banana Cupcakes

(yield: 12 full cupcakes or 24 minis)


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 overripe bananas, mashed (or about 1 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line your cupcake tin with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk or sift flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer, beat banana, oil, water, vanilla, and vinegar until smooth.  Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low until combined.
  4. Divide batter evenly among liners.  Bake for 25-30 minutes for full-sized cupcakes, or 15-20 for minis.  Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool completely, then frost.
Brown Butter Buttercream
(yield: enough to frost 12 cupcakes)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • pinch of salt
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt your butter.  Allow the butter to bubble, swirling, until lightly browned (if you can’t tell the color of the butter in your skillet, dip in a spoon).  It should smell slightly nutty – don’t let it get too dark!  Remove from heat and whisk in the brown sugar.
  2. Put the brown butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer and beat on high until slightly cooled.  Add shortening; beat until smooth.
  3. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar; beat on medium until combined.  Add vanilla and milk.
  4. Beat frosting on high for 2-3 minutes, or until soft and fluffy.
*The brown sugar gives the buttercream a slightly gritty texture, but adds a LOT of flavor.  You could omit this step if you want it to be smoother.

3 thoughts on “Banana Cupcakes + Brown Butter Buttercream

  1. Pingback: Brown Butter Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies | The Sweet Life

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