Cupcakes for breakfast: the American dream of childhood. And adulthood. And probably senior citizen-hood too, but with a side of vodka on the rocks. Lucky for children (and adults, and senior citizens) – these fluffy little banana cupcakes topped with light and creamy peanut butter frosting and sprinkled with crispy bacon crumbles are breakfast heaven, and have just enough nutrition to pass as a “real meal.” Vodka sold separately.
When I was a kid, even without this recipe, I lived the dream. Under my mother’s supervision, eating cupcakes for breakfast was perfectly acceptable. Encouraged, even.
You may be slightly horrified, but the woman can’t be blamed. She grew up in an interesting family where her father worked all the time, leaving her mom to take care of the kids. My grandmother, however, would occasionally forget that she had seven children, and leave them at school. Or in the parking lot of a mall. Or in a hot station wagon while she ran quick errands, like attending funerals. Cracking the windows, of course.
Needless to say, my mom didn’t have much parental guidance on what constitutes a healthy breakfast. So in high school, she formed a dieting system where she made up her own rules of health, including:
“Cream filled donuts are fewer calories if you only eat the cream.”
“Skipping breakfast is good, because then you can eat a twinkie for lunch.”
“Sugar gives you energy, so you should eat it every time you’re tired.”
Living by these principles, my childhood was strange. I was a tiny ball of never-ending energy, and every Kindergarten teacher’s nightmare. People often wondered why I was so hyper all the time. In truth, it was a combination of both the sugar and the steroids. But that’s a story for another time. The important thing is that I learned to incorporate protein and fruit into cupcakes, and eventually grew to a respectable height in spite of drugs.
To make your own breakfast dream (or lunch, or dinner, or dessert), follow these instructions. Recipe makes 24 cupcakes.
Banana Cupcakes, from Martha Stewart:
- 3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 4 very ripe large bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners or spray with baking spray. Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cream butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Reduce speed to low. Mix remaining wet ingredients (banana, buttermilk, vanilla) in a bowl. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with wet ingredients and ending with dry. Scrape sides of bowl. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each full.
Bake cupcakes until testers inserted into centers come out clean, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth. Frost cupcakes with a pastry bag, or ziplock bag with the tip cut off.
Pan fry 1/2 lb of bacon until very crisp. Crumble and sprinkle on frosted cupcakes. You can also drizzle agave nectar or honey on top for more drama.