Banana, Sunbutter & Chocolate Cupcakes

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My son had a birthday party to go to this weekend, and for a food allergic child parties can be tough. I always make sure to bring him plenty of dairy free snacks, and ESPECIALLY a special dairy free cake or cupcake for him. This time around I decided to whip up some banana cupcakes for him, since the little monkey LOVES his ‘nanas. He also loves Sunbutter, so I though “why not go with a chunky monkey type cupcake?”. Let me tell you, this cupcake did not disappoint (my very rushed photo does it NO justice). The cupcake was moist and flavorful, the chocolate frosting was to die for, and the Sunbutter filling was an amazing addition. I’d prefer peanut butter, but Sunbutter was a perfect substitute to accommodate his nut restriction. I sent my little milk free monkey off with his treat, and froze the rest of the cupcakes (unfrosted) so I’d have some on hand when needed. I should mention that there were only about 6 left to freeze, these were THAT good!

Makes one dozen irresistible, vegan and allergy friendly cupcakes!

1 very ripe banana, mashed well with no lumps
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup oil (vegetable or canola will work)
2/3 cup rice milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line your muffin tin with cupcake liners, and set aside. Make SURE your bananas have no lumps. I put mine in the blender to get it nice and smooth.

Sift together your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl and mix it up with a fork. In a separate bowl, whisk together your oil, rice milk, vanilla extract and the banana. Create a well in the dry ingredients and fold in the wet stuff. Mix it only until it’s combined well, trying not to over mix.

Fill the liners 2/3 full, and bake for 20-22 minutes., until cake tester comes out clean. Rotate the tin halfway through for even cooking.

Let the cupcakes cook for 5 minutes in the rack, then remove them from the tray and cool them completely on a wire rack. If you don’t let them cool completely, you’ll have a hard time frosting them.

for the Sunbutter filling:

1/4 cup dairy free butter
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/3 cup Sunbutter
1 tablespoon molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1 to 2 tablespoons rice milk

Cream together the butter and shortening until smooth. Add the Sunbutter, molasses, and vanilla and beat until very smooth. Beat in the sugar. The mixture should be pretty stiff at this point. Dribble in the milk a tiny bit at a time, beating until it’s fluffy.

Put your Sunbutter filling into a pastry bag with a tip. Stick the tip into the center of a cupcake, being very sure not to go in too deep, and fill ‘er up!

sunbutter frosting filled cupcake

For the chocolate frosting:

1/4 cup dairy free chocolate
1/4 cup vegetable shortening (I made the mistake of leaving this out, and it was a big mistake)
1/2 cup unsweetened, dairy free cocoa powder (We like Ghirardelli)
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2-3 tablespoons rice milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream together the butter and shortening. Add the cocoa powder mix well. Add the sugar about 1/2 cup at a time, and mix well. Add the vanilla and beat well, then slowly add milk until it’s nice and fluffy! Frost or decorate your cupcakes, and eat ’em up!

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