Banana Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Incredibly moist, perfectly spiced, and dense-yet-still-soft homemade banana cupcakes are topped with decadent cinnamon cream cheese frosting. We use power ingredients like sour cream, buttermilk, and three ripe bananas to achieve banana cupcake perfection.

Super-moist and flavorful banana cupcakes with creamy CINNAMON cream cheese frosting on top! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Judging by the response to my favorite banana cake, I’m thinking most of you are bananas for… bananas. (Couldn’t resist!) I also shared a layered version of the cake and topped it with brown butter cream cheese frosting. HOLY HECK that frosting is outrageous. All this banana razzmatazz put me in the mood to test out more frostings. Turns out, quite a lot can pair with banana! And rather than post 7534583 banana cakes, I decided cupcakes are the best option.

Today’s banana cupcake recipe is a mix of these banana cupcakes and my banana cake— all very similar recipes. We have that super-moist texture, plenty of cinnamon spice flavor, dense crumb (but still on the softer side too!), mega banana flavor, brown sugar, and lots of buttery goodness. This cupcake recipe is basically 2/3 of the banana cake recipe, only with the same amount of banana. I wanted to pack as much banana into the cupcake as I could and we can totally get away with 3 bananas here. I also took a look at my original banana cupcake recipe, dropped out 1 egg and replaced with sour cream. I found the crumb in today’s version to be a little tighter– and they’re even moister.

This is your dream banana cupcake.

Super-moist and flavorful banana cupcakes with creamy CINNAMON cream cheese frosting on top! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You Either Love or Loathe Bananas

Banana– both the flavor and the fruit– is on both ends of the spectrum. You either love love love banana or loathe loathe loathe banana. My sisters are anti-banana, while my parents and I can’t get enough. Banana bread? The more bananas packed inside, the better. Banana cake? Pass me another slice. If you’re on the love side, sit back and stay awhile. If you’d rather pass, may I interest you in some equally as festive APPLE spice cupcakes instead?!

How to mash bananas for banana cupcakes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

My Mashing Bananas Trick

Here’s my favorite tip when making banana cake, bread, muffins, cupcakes, etc:

Mash the bananas in the mixer!

Using the paddle or whisk attachment, simply place your super ripe bananas inside the bowl and turn it on to medium-high speed. Mash ’em up! I used to mash bananas with my blender, food processor, or with a fork (which takes some arm muscle) but this way is much easier and quicker.

Then transfer the mashed bananas to a separate bowl– don’t even wash the mixer bowl. Just place the butter/sugar inside and begin creaming as the recipe instructs. Super simple!

How to make banana cupcakes on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Ingredients in Banana Cupcakes

Here’s what you need for these banana cupcakes– you’ll notice a few power ingredients which make today’s cupcakes extra moist:

  • Flour: 2 cups of all-purpose flour serve as the base of these cupcakes. It’s sturdy enough to hold up the thick, creamy batter.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda helps the cupcakes rise.
  • Salt + Cinnamon: Salt and cinnamon add flavor. 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon adds that something extra but isn’t too overpowering.
  • Bananas: You need 1 and 1/2 cups of mashed banana (about 3 large bananas). Make sure they’re nice and spotty– more brown spots = sweeter, more banana flavor.
  • Butter: When creamed with sugar, butter adds flavor, moisture, and structure.
  • Sugar: I love the mix of both brown sugar and granulated sugar in these cupcakes. Brown sugar and banana pair wonderfully together and the brown sugar leaves the cake even more moist. Plus, a little brown sugar flavor is never a bad thing!
  • Eggs: Eggs bind everything together and add moisture.
  • Sour Cream: Sour cream creates a wonderfully moist, dense crumb.
  • Vanilla Extract: A splash of pure vanilla extract is a must. Try using homemade vanilla extract instead.
  • Buttermilk: For best taste, texture, and to ensure proper rising– make sure you’re using buttermilk in this recipe. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, check out my DIY sour milk option in the notes.

CREAMY cinnamon cream cheese frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to Make Banana Cupcakes

I love making cupcakes because they come together quickly and easily. Let’s review:

  1. Mix dry ingredients together.
  2. Mix all wet ingredients except for buttermilk together.
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  4. Add buttermilk and mix until just combined.
  5. Bake.
  6. Make the frosting.
  7. Frost cooled cupcakes.
  8. Enjoy!

My tip: Fill cupcake liners only 2/3 full to avoid spilling over the sides.

Homemade salted caramel on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

The best part about this entire recipe? Cinnamon cream cheese frosting! It blows my mind that 1 tiny addition to my regular cream cheese frosting makes such a big difference. And now I wonder why I waited so long to add cinnamon to cream cheese frosting! It pipes beautifully– I used an Ateco 808 large piping tip for these cupcakes.

If you really want to indulge, make my brown butter cream cheese frosting and add cinnamon. WOW!!

Super-moist and flavorful banana cupcakes with creamy CINNAMON cream cheese frosting on top! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Besides brown butter, what flavor pairs well with banana, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon? Salted caramel, of course. Pretty sure salted caramel pairs with everything. I’d probably eat an entire plate of steamed broccoli if salted caramel was poured on top. But let’s stick with banana cupcakes for now. 😉

Print

Banana Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes
  • Yield: 18 cupcakes
  • Category: Cupcakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Super-moist and flavorful banana cupcakes with creamy cinnamon cream cheese frosting on top!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups mashed banana (about 3 large very ripe bananas)
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature*
  • 1/4 cup (60g) sour cream or plain yogurt, at room temperature*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk, at room temperature*

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar, plus an extra 1/4 cup if needed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • optional: salted caramel and/or banana chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 6 liners as this recipe yields about 18 cupcakes.
  2. Make the cupcakes: Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.
  3. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter and both sugars together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla, then beat on medium-high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. Beat in the mashed banana. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the buttermilk until combined. Do not overmix. You may need to whisk it all by hand to make sure there are no flour pockets at the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Pour/spoon the batter into the liners – fill only 2/3 full to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For around 30 mini cupcakes, bake for about 11-13 minutes, same oven temperature. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
  5. Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add 3 confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. If you want the frosting a little thicker, add the extra 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar (I add it).
  6. Frost cooled cupcakes however you’d like. I used an Ateco 808 large round piping tip for these pictured cupcakes. Top with salted caramel and/or a banana chip, if desired. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Leftover cupcakes keep well covered tightly in the refrigerator for 3 days. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Cupcake Pan, Cupcake Liners, Piping Bags, and Ateco #808 Tip
  3. Room Temperature: All refrigerated items should be at room temperature so the batter mixes together easily and evenly. Read here for more information.
  4. Buttermilk: If needed, you can use whole milk mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice instead of buttermilk.

Super-moist and flavorful banana cupcakes with creamy CINNAMON cream cheese frosting on top! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Super-moist and flavorful banana cupcakes with creamy CINNAMON cream cheese frosting on top! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Super-moist and flavorful banana cupcakes with creamy CINNAMON cream cheese frosting on top! Easy recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

92 Comments

  1. Tried these tonight as we are hunkered down in Hurricane mode. I followed the recipe exactly and they were absolutely perfect! The banana flavor is amazing. And the cinnamon in the cream cheese icing is divine!! I just need to work on my piping skills next! Thanks for a great recipe! I hope you have the birth and delivery experience that you desire! My unsolicited advice: surrender to the process! That goes for new baby life too

  2. Making these now… I turned the banana cake into cupcakes recently and they were great. I’m wondering why there is baking powder in the cake but not in the cupcakes? Thanks!

  3. Sally, these cupcakes are AMAZING!! So moist, great banana flavour, and the cinnamon cream cheese frosting…..it’s perfection. I made them tonight for a family friends birthday, and everyone just loved them. Thanks again for yet another fantiastic recipe. 
    Hope you’re enjoying your newborn snuggles! 

    1. Lots of newborn snuggles 🙂
      And I’m so glad you enjoyed these banana cupcakes. Thank you for reporting back about them!

  4. Hi Sally,

    I can’t wait to make these!!! *drooling* What is your opinion on freezing cake/cupcake batter? I’ve never done it so I’m not sure how the texture would change. Thanks!

    1. Hi Stephanie! As long as the recipe doesn’t call for baking powder (which initially activates in the batter once wet) you can prep the batter ahead of time.

  5. Hello Sally!!

    I have gotten your recipe book from the library dozens of times!! I love it! I have made your Sunshine lemon cupcakes and they were AMAZING!! I think everyone should try them

    As for this recipe, I made only the frosting, to top my spice cupcakes, and it was a huge hit!! I ma twelve and have a cupcake business, so I love finding new yummy recipes!

    You’re doing a fabulous job!!

    Luv ya,

    K

  6. How can I adjust the recipe to make these chocolate banana cupcakes? I was thinking about replacing 1/2 cup of flour with cocoa, will that work?

    1. Can I replace the sugar with nonrefined sweetener such as honey/maple syrup/date honey ? Is so what would be the conversion? Thanks!!

  7. Made these for a party this weekend and they were great! However, maybe I’m a crazy person but even when I feel like I am being liberal with frosting I have a ton left over :/ Oh well, looks like I need to make cinnamon buns now!

    1. Did you select the Print button or did you print the webpage? Next time, try the print button which is located in the recipe card. You’ll only get the recipe that way 🙂 Enjoy the cupcakes!

  8. Omg Sally, these cupcakes are So. Good. SO GOOD, in fact, that before I even frosted them I left them on wire racks to cool while I put my daughter to bed and when I came back to make the frosting & top them I noticed my wire racks were looking a little sparse.. I asked my husband “how many cupcakes did you eat?” And he said “I dunno like 4 or 5” lol. But I did make the cinnamon cream cheese frosting and they were so delicious! You’re right, a little bit of cinnamon makes a big difference!
    But honestly, the cupcakes are so moist and yummy on their own they don’t even need frosting!

  9. These cupcakes are amazing beyond words! I made these for my Dad and Mom for “Grandparents Day” yesterday and when my Mom took her first bite she said ” This is the best thing I have ever ate.” So yes…these little babies are may new favorite cupcake! Sally you NEVER disappoint!

    1. Hi Lo. I know Sally already answered your question but I wanted to suggest one to you too. If you’re a fan of marshmallows use her marshmallow frosting. I happen to love cream cheese but my husband doesn’t so when I make a recipe that calls for cream cheese frosting I actually do both. Yes, even with cakes, lol. I frost it half and half. Don’t know if you tried Sally’s strawberry cake recipe or not. If you haven’t (it does call for cream cheese frosting) it’s a must!! Using the freeze dried strawberries in her marshmallow frosting taste just as good as the cream cheese frosting. To hubs and me, it tastes like a strawberry shake, no joke! Happy baking…

  10. I made these last night , didn’t frost until this am. I ate 3…just with the frosting. I plan on a drizzle of caramel on top. I also made the fudgey chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting and the easy vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting. I don’t know which I love more. Going to a cook out & desserts are on me. Wanted something easy to get & grab. For the “older folks” I made the lemon blueberry ice box cake. First time I made the ice box cake, no one else had any as I it all mysef, not ashamed to admit, it was just so addictive & smooth.

  11. These are the BEST banana cupcakes ever! I can’t get enough of them. They are perfectly moist and have a great texture. I made them with cinnamon buttercream and loved them.

  12. Sally, I’ve been following you since 2014. I’ve never made anything less than amazing from your blog. These are perfect from the texture, the taste, and the moisture! Once again, perfect!

  13. OMG –I made these and they turned out AWESOME! (very pleased with myself, lol since I’m not an experienced baker.) I followed the directions exactly. I use full fat everything- the sour cream, buttermilk, and cream cheese. I had read somewhere before that “room temperature” meant leaving out for half an hour (I don’t think that’s enough sometimes)…I left mine out for full hour- I think that worked better. I let the bananas ripen in a brown paper bag several days and get very spotty (good flavor.) I was very careful to not overmix and used a regular whisk rather than handheld blender for the cake part. These were delicious and moist! I will be making these again just the way it’s written.

  14. Hi Sally, here I am again, asking questions before my husband’s birthday as I’m planning to turn this beauty into a 6 inch cake! Just checking all steps should be the same? Batter should be divided between 3 6inch pans and into the oven for 18-20 minutes on a similar temperature as the cupcakes?

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