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Baked’s Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Pastry Cream

May 17, 2010
When the opportunity came for me to bake something special for my family, I was quite excited because that gave me the chance to use a recipe from the Baked cookbook which I had gotten recently. But making the choice of what to bake was hard because, have you seen the pictures in the book? I wanted to bake everything! Ironically, the recipe I chose in the end did not come with an accompanying picture. Instead it came with a promise of “homey taste and upscale finish” and a pastry cream that was “rich, sexy and silky”.

Now who could say no to that?



I decided to make the pastry cream first since it was the harder part of the recipe and also because it had to be chilled for at least an hour before using.


Vanilla Pastry Cream
3 cups half and half
6 large egg yolks
½ cup castor sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla



-in a medium saucepan, bring the half and half to a simmer and keep warm
-in a medium bowl, whisk the rest of the ingredients (except for the vanilla) until pale, about 1 minute
-pour half of the half and half mixture into the egg yolk mixture and whisk, before pouring everything back into the saucepan
-cook over medium heat and whisk constantly until thickened, about 6 minutes
-turn off the heat and whisk in the vanilla
-strain the cream through a sieve and press a piece of clingwrap onto the surface of the cream
-refrigerate for an hour, or until chilled.

I was crossing my fingers (and toes) throughout the whole process of making this because a) It was my first time making it and b) I am a natural born killerklutz. The prospect of this burning and me ending up with sweetened scrambled eggs was pretty scary. But somehow I managed to not screw it up! Gobbled a few spoonfuls before transferring it to the fridge (YUM).


Onward with the cupcakes!

Banana Cupcakes
2¾ cups AP flour
1¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
1¾ cups castor sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1½ cups mashed bananas (about 4 very ripe bananas)
½ cup buttermilk



-preheat oven to 325°F/165°C
-sift the all the dry ingredients into a bowl and set aside
-beat the butter and cream until creamy, before adding the sugar and vanilla
-scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, beat until just combined
-scrape down the bowl and add the bananas, beat until just combined
-turning the mixer on to low and add the sifted dry ingredients and buttermilk in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients
-mix on low speed till combined
-fill the cupcake liners ¾ full and bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway.


At one point, I was close to freaking out because when I tasted the batter, there was this weird aftertaste and it took me a few minutes to figure out that it was the shortening. I’ve used shortening in cookies but never in muffins or cupcakes so I was trying to decide it this weird aftertaste was normal.

So I popped them into the oven and again crossed my fingers (and toes) and prayed they would come out… edible.


20 minutes later, I got these.

I tried out one to make sure the shortening “flavour” was gone and thank god, it was!


Because pastry cream is essentially glorified pudding, they are best served cold, so the book recommends to only frost the cupcakes right before serving.

Trying to prettify the cupcakes. Man, I need new piping tips!


These are the softest cupcakes I’ve ever baked! Most cupcakes and cakes tend to be moist and dense but these were soft yet not dry at all. Plus, pastry cream and bananas are a really awesome combo. Like steak and potatoes, butter and popcorn, pancakes and maple syrup.

Or Bonnie and Clyde.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2011 9:45 PM

    Hi, these look gorgeous… How many does the recipe make? Thanks, Poppy :)

    • rebelwithoutasauce permalink*
      May 2, 2011 7:59 PM

      hi poppy :) i can’t remember how much i got but i just checked the book and it says this recipe yields 24 cupcakes!

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