It has been a really good week in our house, and I’m about to tell you all about it with unrelenting perkiness. I apologize in advance for all the exuberance so early on a Monday morning. Sometimes, it’s just necessary and can’t be contained! First of all the first snow of the year fell!
Also my husband and I finally saved enough to book the family vacation to Disney world we’ve been talking about for the last 3 years. The last time we went on vacation, Trey was a baby and doesn’t even remember it, which was about five years ago. So, you can imagine how excited everyone is! We’re counting down the days and in exactly three weeks from this moment, myself and the family will be preparing for landing, with seat belts fastened. The kids are very excited, as are we.
We’ll be going for Valentine’s Day too, which is also just a week away from our wedding anniversary and I hear it’s not crowded at all this time of year, so we couldn’t be more thrilled, honestly.
Speaking of anniversaries, did I mention, also that the one year anniversary for “Kate from Scratch” is on Friday?! Yes, it’s true, I have been doing this for roughly one year, though with all of the site moving and post moving and editing, most of my early posts were left in the dust, which when looking back, might might have been a wise decision. It’s amazing how much improvement and learning (and equipment upgrades), can be done in one year. Thanks to all of you who met me early in the game and have stuck around long enough for me to get better at what I do. Also, a reader recently informed me that one of my recipes will be a tier at her wedding! Yes, my cherry vanilla cupcakes made it to the big leagues. I’m so honored and I wish her and her love a lifetime of happiness together.
This got me thinking about that recipe and how I really liked that one, and so maybe I should try it with some orange and maybe some banana in honor of all the good things happening right now. In addition to the aforementioned lovely good news, Max is talking more and more every day and Trey is doing really well in school and reading now…they like cupcakes too.
See how it all ties together? Life is good and with the snow on the ground and the trip to sunny Florida in our near future in addition to my love for tiny cakes baked in cups, it all emulsifies into this little creation, a simply glazed orange banana cake full of sunshine and happiness.
Orange Banana Cupcakes
- one brown spotted banana
- one medium orange
- 2 cups cake flour + 3 cups cake flour
- 1 cup sugar + 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 24 cupcake cups with paper liner, or grease or spray the cupcake pans. Peel and chop banana into quarters lengthwise and then slice the quartered banana into slices about 1/4 of an inch thick until you have many small pieces. Zest the orange into a small bowl. Set bowl aside and then (discard remaining peel) and segment the orange. Chop orange segments into small pieces approximately the same size as the banana pieces or only slightly larger. Sift 2 cups cake flour and one cup of sugar together in a medium bowl and drop chopped fruit into the bowl and toss to coat evenly. Set aside.
Sift together remaining 3 cups of flour and the baking powder in a mixing bowl, stir in the salt and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and remaining two and a half cups of sugar at medium speed, then increase to medium high-speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add half the orange zest, reserving the other half for the glaze, and then add one egg at a time to butter and sugar, mixing for one minute after each egg is added. Stop mixing when mixture is pale and thick, which is about 5 minutes, total. Reduce speed back to medium and add orange extract and vanilla extract and then one-third of the dry ingredients.
Add half the milk and another third of the dry ingredients. Add the last half of the milk and the last third of the dry ingredients. Turn off mixer and pick up oranges and bananas from flour/sugar mixture using a mesh strainer. Shake off excess by tapping the side of the sifter gently over the dry ingredients bowl and then gently fold prepared oranges and bananas into the batter.
Swiftly divide batter evenly among prepared pans using a level 1/3 cup dry measure of batter in each prepared cupcake cup. Bake in preheated oven until cake springs back to the touch, about 18 minutes.
Note: You may have excess batter (enough for 1-2 additional cupcakes) depending on the size of the fruit you use.
Makes 24-26 cupcakes
- one stick of butter at room temperature
- orange zest (from half a medium orange)
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- orange juice
With an electric mixer on high, beat butter and orange zest for five minutes, then reduce speed to medium and add sugar in 3 additions beating for a few moments (long enough so the sugar doesn’t fly everywhere) after each addition. Slowly add orange juice until desired consistency is achieved. Spread over slightly warm cupcakes and then keep refrigerated.
Cupcakes: adapted from “white cupcakes” by Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc At Home.