Maeve’s First Birthday | Banana Cupcakes + Cream Cheese Frosting

best banana cupcake recipe

I moved into my house several years ago now. Was it 6 years? Maybe it 7 years ago? I can’t recall. What I do remember is the feeling I had the first night I stayed here. It was hours after my lovely friends who lent me their strength and baked celebratory brownies were gone. The place was terribly quiet. There was an absolute sea of brown boxes overflowing with the things I’d collected through many years in various homes and apartments.

I padded about the house sinking my toes into the dark green thick pile rug. I looked at the blank walls, which were painted a sallow color reminiscent of the peach toned crayon. I checked all the faucets for water pressure. I repeatedly looked out the window and opened all the doors to get a sense of my new landscape. I remember feeling a bit scared, but simultaneously exhilerated. I was alone. I was home. It was all mine and there were a million things I could do to make the house the way I wanted it to be. I was newly single and felt breathlessly free.

And, for several years, I continued to feel liberated and weightless each time I opened my front door. It was a good arrangement. I loved my little house and it treated me well in return. I worked long hours every day and came home alone, but I never felt lonely.  Quite honestly, during those years it never once crossed my mind this place might one day house my little girl. I never once dreamed of the pitter patter of bare baby feet or the gibber gabber of a wee one waking up in the morning contented to converse quietly with her stuffed animals until the rest of the house was ready to join her in wonder.

It’s strange to think about all this now. I still look back on those first years of living here so fondly. Those were good times. Life was interesting and I loved every minute of transforming this house into a home. But, in the year before Maeve came, the house felt more like a shell waiting for her arrival. It wasn’t the same fresh new home of the early years. K really put it best. It was Christmas week last year and I was enormously pregnant. We were seated side by side on the couch when he turned to me, “I feel like we’re not complete until she gets here.”

Truer words were never spoken.

banana cupcake recipe

Today, my life is so altered I barely recognize it. And, the house? It’s so very different. It feels even more like home– a house full of love and laughter.  I wouldn’t trade it for all the riches in the world.

banana cupcake recipe

Last week, Maeve turned 1 year old.

To celebrate, I made her a sweet party hat and some banana cupcakes to share. The cupcakes are very much like the ones my mother always made for me on my birthdays. It just seemed right to continue the tradition.

banana cupcake recipe

Of course, Maeve loved her first taste of sugar. She was dazzled, in particular, by the multi-colored sprinkles.

easy banana cupcake recipe

I enjoyed this recipe a great deal and thought I’d share it with you. If you are a banana person, like me, you might have some reservations about banana recipes. As we banana people know, some banana recipes are quite greasy and leave you with a soggy cocktail napkin with an oily imprint. On the other hand, some banana recipes are sort of dry and gritty tending more toward something you might uncover in the health food section of a hippie supermarket. This recipe falls squarely in the middle, which, in my opinion, is just right. The banana flavor is subtle with just the ideal amount of sweetness. The cupcakes are light and fluffier than most cakes. There is no grit nor grease. It’s a perfect little introduction to cake for the wee one.

Maeve loved them and the house was filled to the brim with the scent of freshly baked cupcakes for hours.

It never felt more like home.

Banana Cupcakes

Batter:
1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large ripe bananas, peeled, and mashed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 1 (12-cup) muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add the butter and the sugar. Beat with a hand-held mixer until combined. Add the sour cream and the vanilla extract. Slowly beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Incorporate the dry mixture and wet mixtures together until thoroughly combined. Add the bananas and walnuts, being careful not to over mix. Using an ice cream scoop fill each cupcake liner 3/4 way full.

Bake in the preheated oven until the tops turn golden-brown and when a toothpick, inserted in the middle of the cupcake, comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the oven to a wire rack and let cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Recipe Source:  The Food Network

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28 Comments

  • December 29, 2011 - | Permalink

    Maeve’s First Birthday | Banana Cupcakes + Cream Cheese Frosting http://t.co/hnkueoeA

  • December 29, 2011 - | Permalink

    These cupcakes look lovely. I love the addition of cream cheese frosting! And happy birthday to Maeve – what a sweet little thing she is. :)

  • December 29, 2011 - | Permalink

    Oh god!, first of all, happy birthday to Maeve!!!, she looks lovely in her dress and hat, she´s so chubby and eatable I was remembering my own children, my god, can´t believe 24 years have passed since my baby girl Maialen celebrated her 1st year, she was a lovely girl too, and then,4 years later, her brother Carlos arrived and the house for us was completed but I read your post slowly remembering each of the words you wrote as if they were coming out from my thoughts. Thanks for sharing, thanks for letting me enjoy again what I already enjoyed so many years ago. Your house will never be empty again, I guarantee this to you. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND THE ONES LIVING IN THAT HOUSE!
    Love
    Marialuisa

  • December 29, 2011 - | Permalink

    Easy Banana Cupcake Recipe | A Chow Life | Foodie recipes and … http://t.co/iusnAPT8

  • December 29, 2011 - | Permalink

    This is so sweet, Robin! I remember last Christmas waiting for the tweet that your little girl was here. I think I saw Maeve’s little dress at Gap kids over the holidays. I was shopping for my pregnant friends and fell in love with those silver polka dots. It’s so lovely to see it on a sweet little girl. Those cupcakes look like the perfect birthday treat!

    • redmenace
      December 30, 2011 - | Permalink

      Nicole, Thanks so much for your sweet comment! My husband brought home that dress for Maeve. It’s so funny. He loves to see her sparkle! Happy New Year! xo Robin

  • December 29, 2011 - | Permalink

    A beautiful post! Happy belated Birthday to Maeve. She is a sweet baby girl. I love her red hair and perfect complexion.

    Best wishes for 2012!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  • December 29, 2011 - | Permalink

    What a joy, the act of reminiscing. One of my favorite pastimes. To creating more memories in 2012, her second year, to look back on at a later date!

    Cheers,

    *Heather*

  • December 29, 2011 - | Permalink

    Sounds like an absolutely lovely recipe! My all time favorite banana cupcake comes from Billy’s in NYC and I have been trying to recreate it for some time – looking forward to trying this version! Maeve looks absolutely adorable – Happy birthday!!

  • December 29, 2011 - | Permalink

    A year!!! Oh, a wild, huge happy birthday! A changed life, indeed. And in such, such sweet ways.

    Happy birthday to the three of you, for a family was born.

    xo,
    M

  • December 29, 2011 - | Permalink

    Awe my goodness! You have successfully made me teary-eyed! Happy belated to the lovely little Maeve…what a wonderful story. All I can say is that with what little I know about you, that little girl is going to have such a sweet childhood in what I’m sure is a beautiful home. Thanks for sharing your life with us and your wonderful recipes! I too am a banana person so I will definitely give these a try! ;)

  • December 30, 2011 - | Permalink

    Oh mama, I can’t believe she’s one already! How beautiful she looks. Congratulations on making it to that one year mark. You write so beautifully, xo

  • December 30, 2011 - | Permalink

    Happy Birthday to a very beautiful girl and also I should congratulate you for doing such a great job with her and for giving birth.
    Will bookmark this recipe to try this weekend because my recipes come out soggy and greasy as you said.
    Happy New Year! Who knows whatelse is waiting for you:)

  • December 30, 2011 - | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this post. It was beautiful. Happy 1st birthday to Maeve. She looks like such a sweetheart.

  • December 30, 2011 - | Permalink

    A very sweet post, Robin. Happy, happy birthday to Maeve!! She is lovely.

  • December 30, 2011 - | Permalink

    Happy birthday to sweet, little Maeve.
    Beautiful post and you both are gorgeous.

  • December 30, 2011 - | Permalink

    I love her little party hat! And I totally agree with life being totally unrecognizable but better than ever with a babe!

  • December 30, 2011 - | Permalink

    It’s funny to think about where life takes us. Seven years ago, when I moved into my apartment, I had no idea I’d meet my husband, he and I would get married, and he’d move into my place…which became more of a home than it ever had before. I guess next step would be baby! Happy 2012, my friend. xo

    • redmenace
      December 30, 2011 - | Permalink

      Kasey,
      Life is strange, isn’t it? I wish you the best in 2012. You’ve certainly had a great year. Maybe, it’s the year of the baby for you?! xoxo Robin

  • Amy
    January 1, 2012 - | Permalink

    That little birthday hat is so cute! We got Zel a birthday hat but he screamed if I tried to put it on him, although he had a lot of fun trying to put it on me. Enjoy having a one-year-old, it is lots of fun :)

  • January 3, 2012 - | Permalink

    Happy birthday Maeve!! You are so adorable! I love banana cakes too :)

    I understand your sentiments…life has change so much, in so many wonderful ways since the wee one has come :)

  • January 3, 2012 - | Permalink

    Happy Birthday beautiful Maeve!

  • January 4, 2012 - | Permalink

    I’m a little late, but happy birthday to sweet little Maeve! Funny, my husband and I had this very conversation last night. We were married for 4 years before our Little Tot came along. And while those 4 years were lots of fun, I wouldn’t want to go back. Life is so much more richer that I could have ever imagined with him in it.

  • Kristi
    January 30, 2012 - | Permalink

    What a touching & well-written story, as always. So happy for you & your adorable little family. xoxo

  • Julia
    August 12, 2012 - | Permalink

    Just used this for our little frog’s 1st bday! Used Bob’s RM ww pastry flour and 1/4 cup of maple syrup instead of the sugar and they turned out fab! Very moist! Used whipped cream with maple syrup to sweeten and a touch a spinach to get a nice green for the froggy theme! Even the adults were eating them!

    • redmenace
      August 12, 2012 - | Permalink

      Hi Julia,
      Thanks so much for your comment. I’m delighted you liked the cake. Happy 1st Birthday to your new toddler. How exciting for all of you! xo Robin

  • Kristin
    August 15, 2012 - | Permalink

    Ha-
    I was just searching for a banana cupcake recipe for my daughter Maeve’s first birthday. Of course I’ll be making these. Thanks so much!
    Yay for cute Maeves!

    • redmenace
      August 16, 2012 - | Permalink

      Kristin,
      Hooray for cute Maeves, indeed! That is wonderful. Happy 1st Birthday! I hope you enjoy the cupcakes!
      xo
      Robin

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