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Banana Cupcakes With Chocolate Frosting

Banana Cupcakes With Chocolate Frosting
Eve Turow for NPR

This is a low-fat banana cake topped with a slightly more indulgent chocolate frosting. The banana adds vitamins, fiber and potassium among several other health benefits. The dark chocolate provides antioxidants, and the applesauce adds a bit of extra fiber and antioxidants as well as vitamin C. The cake recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine (August 1997).

Yields 2 dozen cupcakes

For Cake

3 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups smashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)

1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk

4 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

For Frosting

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk, plus more if needed*

1/2 cup dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent cocoa), finely chopped, or dark chocolate chips

*Available at most supermarkets and specialty stores. It is fine to use nonfat milk as a substitute.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in large bowl until thick and light, about 5 minutes. Mix in smashed bananas, buttermilk, applesauce and vanilla. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt over mixture; beat until just blended. Transfer batter to prepared pan, sprayed or with cupcake holders, filling to 3/4 full.  

Bake cupcakes until golden brown on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Place cakes onto a rack and cool.

To prepare the frosting, add sugar and milk to a small saucepan over low heat and mix until sugar is dissolved into the milk. Slowly stir in chocolate and mix constantly until fully melted. Finally, take cooled cupcakes and dip tops into icing, twisting. Let icing harden completely, about 10 minutes. May add one slice of banana on top as garnish if serving immediately.

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