Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting



  • ½ cup (1 stick or 115 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 and ½ cups mashed banana (about 3 large very ripe bananas)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk (see tip)
  • 1 cup (180 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces strawberry cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoons salt, or as needed
  • strawberry slices and additional chocolate chips to sprinkle on top, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.  Line two 12-count muffin pans with 18 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. Make the cupcakes. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together in a large bowl on medium speed until creamed. About 2-3 minutes. With the mixer running on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla, beating on low speed for about 1 minute.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium bowl. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 additions, stirring by hand after each addition.  Add the milk and stir until combined.  The batter will be lumpy.  Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon the batter evenly into 18 cupcake liners. Fill the unused cups one-third full with water to prevent warping. Bake each batch for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Make the frosting.  In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed for 1 minute.  Switch the mixer to low speed and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar. Switch to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes until combined and creamy. Taste the frosting and add salt if too sweet. Frost the cupcakes with a knife and decorate with strawberries and chocolate chips, if desired. Serve cupcakes chilled. Cupcakes remain fresh stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Recipe Notes:

*Don't leave out that buttermilk - it is required for this recipe - the lactic acid present is what will allow the baking soda to react and leaven the cupcakes. Don’t have buttermilk? You can make your own. Measure 2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup. Then, add enough milk (1%, 2%, or whole) to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1/2 cup. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in your recipe.

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