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Banana Walnut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Delicious and irresistible banana walnut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting are a wonderful twist on the classic banana bread. Transform those brown bananas into something magical – moist, fluffy banana cupcakes topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting

Banana walnut cupcakes on a cooling rack.

​What You’ll Love About This Recipe

  • Perfect Banana Flavor: These cupcakes capture the essence of banana bread, a great recipe we all love. Using ripe, mashed bananas fills each bite with that classic, comforting banana taste. It’s like a cozy hug in cupcake form, perfect for those who cherish the nostalgic flavors of homemade banana bread.
  • Moist and Fluffy Texture: One of the key delights of this recipe is the texture. Combining ingredients and carefully mixing helps ensure that each cupcake is wonderfully moist.
  • Versatility and Customization: Whether it’s playing with different types of flour, experimenting with additional mix-ins like nuts or chocolate chips, or tweaking the spices, there’s room for personalization. This flexibility makes the recipe appealing to a wide range of tastes and preferences, perfect for those who love to add their own twist to recipes.

Ingredients

Banana Cupcakes

  • Ripe bananas
  • Cake flour
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves
  • White granulated sugar
  • Milk (dairy or plant-based)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Melted butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Chopped walnuts

Homemade Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Room temperature butter
  • Full-fat cream cheese softened.
  • Maple extract
  • Maple syrup
  • Powdered sugar

Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.

A cupcake with a bite taken out.

Steps for Making the Cupcakes

Ingredients for banana cupcakes on a wooden counter.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare a 12-muffin tin by adding paper liners and non-stick spray.

Steps for making cupcakes.
  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, add the milk and apple cider vinegar. Mix it well, then set aside for approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together to combine.
  3. Add the milk and apple cider vinegar mixture, melted butter, mashed bananas, sugar, and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Mix everything together with an electric mixer until combined. Do not overmix, or the cupcakes will be tough.
  4. Fold the walnuts into the batter.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners by filling each approximately ¾ full.
  6. Bake the cupcakes at 400° degrees for the first five minutes.
  7. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 350° degrees and continue to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean without batter.
  8. Remove the cupcakes to a rack to cool completely before frosting.
  9. Let them cool COMPLETELY before frosting.

TIP

Times may vary depending on your oven, so watch the cupcakes carefully and check often, starting at the 14-minute mark.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Frosting steps
  1. Add the cream cheese and butter to a small mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
  2. Next, add the maple extract and salt to the bowl and combine. 
  3. After the cupcakes have cooled, spoon the frosting into a piping bag, pipe it onto the cupcakes, and sprinkle a few chopped walnuts on top. Drizzle the maple syrup on top.
Moist banana Cupcakes on a pinkish towel.

Variations

  • Try adding chocolate chips or pecan pieces for a crunchy twist.
  • Swap out the spices for a different flavor profile.
  • Add some cinnamon to the frosting and make it cinnamon cream cheese frosting. 
  • Brown some butter and add a teaspoon to your frosting for brown butter frosting.

Tips

  • Always use overripe bananas for the best flavor.
  • Avoid over-mixing the batter to keep the cupcakes light and fluffy.
  • Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting to prevent melting.
  • If you are serving the cupcakes immediately, you can add a fresh banana slice to the top of the frosting.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Swap out white sugar for brown sugar for a deeper flavor.
  • Replace apple cider vinegar with lemon juice if needed.
  • Use almond milk or soy milk as a dairy-free alternative.

Storage Instructions

  • Store unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
  • Keep frosted cupcakes in the fridge, but let them come to room temperature before serving.

More Banana Desserts

And be sure to check out the homemade strawberry ice cream recipe if you’re looking for more fruity desserts.

Did you know that the popularity of banana bread surged during the pandemic, with many turning to baking as a comfort activity? This trend led to an increased interest in variations like banana cupcakes. Moreover, incorporating overripe bananas into baked goods is not only a tasty choice but a sustainable one, reducing food waste.

According to Verywellfit.com, bananas are an excellent source of potassium, with one medium banana having 422 mg.

Banana walnut cupcakes on a green plate.

So, there you have it – a journey from simple bananas to perfect banana cupcakes, complete with cream cheese frosting. Whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned pro, there’s always room to experiment and enjoy. Ready to give this recipe a go and make your afternoons a little sweeter?

If you love this dessert, give caramel pear galette a try.

What’s your favorite twist on classic banana bread? Let me know in the comments below! I will respond in a timely manner.

Banana walnut cupcakes on a white plate.
Print Recipe
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Irresistible Banana Walnut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Cooling Time45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Calories: 308kcal

Ingredients

Cupcakes

  • 2 very ripe bananas peeled and mashed well with a fork.
  • 1 ½ cups cake flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoon cloves
  • 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter.
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ½ stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 8 ounces of full-fat cream cheese softened
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup for drizzling (optional)

Instructions

Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 400° degrees and prepare a 12 cupcake pan by adding liners. Add a spritz of nonstick cooking spray to the liners.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Whisk together to combine.
  • Add the buttermilk, melted butter, mashed bananas, sugar and vanilla to the dry ingredient mixture. Mix everything together until combined. Do not over mix.
  • Add the walnuts and fold into the batter.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners filling each approximately ¾ full.
  • Bake the cupcakes at 400° degrees for the first five minutes.
  • Then reduce the oven temperature to 350° degrees and continue to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean without batter.
  • Times may vary depending on your oven, so watch the cupcakes carefully and check often starting at the 14-minute mark.
  • Remove the cupcakes to a rack to cool completely before frosting.
  • Let them cool COMPLETELY before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Add the butter and cream cheese to a bowl. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the Maple extract and salt and combine.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and mix until smooth and fully incorporated.
  • Add the cream cheese frosting to a piping bag and pipe over the cupcakes.
  • Top with a few chopped walnuts.
  • OPTIONAL: Drizzle with a little bit of maple syrup on top.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 246mg | Potassium: 77mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating