Banana Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

We top these moist, spiced, and dense-yet-still-soft homemade banana cupcakes with decadent cinnamon cream cheese frosting. For cupcake perfection, use power ingredients like sour cream, buttermilk, and three ripe bananas.

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 recipe for banana layer cake topped with brown butter cream cheese frosting. 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, which are very similar recipes. We have a super-moist texture, plenty of cinnamon spice flavor, a 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.

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. 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, banana bread, banana 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. 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.

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

  • 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 overpowering.
  • Bananas: You need 1 and 1/2 cups of mashed banana (about 3 large bananas). Make sure they’re nice and spotty because more brown spots = sweeter 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 cupcakes even more moist.
  • 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.
  • Buttermilk: For best taste and to ensure proper rising, use buttermilk. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, check out my DIY sour milk option in the recipe notes.

CREAMY cinnamon cream cheese frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

My #1 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!? Bonus: 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

And finally, 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. 😉

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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 (affiliate links): 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: Buttermilk is required for this recipe. You can make your own DIY version of buttermilk if needed. Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1/2 cup. (In a pinch, lower fat or nondairy milks work for this soured milk, but the cupcakes won’t taste as moist or rich.) Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.

Keywords: bananas, cream cheese frosting, cupcakes

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

137 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Bizzell says:

    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

    1. So glad you tried them! Stay safe 🙂
      And thank you for the advice!

  2. I want to make this as a cake. Does any of the ingredients need to be different? It’s my dad birthday on Thursday!

    1. Hi Laura! These cupcakes as a 9×13 banana cake: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2016/08/10/best-banana-cake/
      and as a banana layer cake: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2017/08/21/banana-cake-with-brown-butter-cream-cheese-frosting/

  3. 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!

    1. There isn’t as much batter, so the baking soda is sufficient for this amount of lift.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    1. This frosting is my favorite part – it is so good on spice cupcakes too!

  7. 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. I wouldn’t kno without testing it myself. I have a chocolate banana muffin if you are ever interested in trying that.

  8. Absolutely!

  9. 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. Cinnamon buns were a success. I suggest making this frosting just for that purpose

  10. Hi! Just tried this recipe and o.m.g. it’s great! It makes me happy (que happy dance). Yum!! 

  11. Have to try these. Just printed the recipe… all 18 pages of it…

    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!

  12. I love all your recipes – you are my go to!!

    Can you substitute cake flour for AP flour in this recipe?

    1. Hi Jessica! You sure can. The texture of these banana cupcakes will be a little lighter with cake flour.

  13. 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!

    1. HAHA – I’ve definitely had the same thing happen in my house! 🙂

  14. 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. YAY! Such a sweet treat for Grandparents!

  15. I dont have butter milk… Can I use the regular milk or skip it??

    1. Hi Rubab! See my recipe note.

  16. Can’t wait to try this recipe! How did you make the banana chip garnish?

    1. Hi Janne! Just store-bought banana chips.

  17. Hi what frosting can I use I don’t eat cream cheese so I wondering what I should use instead. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Lo! These cupcakes would be delicious with a simple vanilla buttercream or even chocolate buttercream.
      Here are all of my frosting recipes if you’re interested: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/category/frostings/

    2. 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…

  18. Should I sift the confectioners sugar for frosting???

    1. It’s not necessary, but you can if the sugar looks a little lumpy.

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

  20. Marion Lehman says:

    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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

    1. So nice to read this! Thank you so much for trusting my recipes and taking the time to share, Courtney!

  23. 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.

  24. 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?

    1. Hi Sue, Yes the three layers will take about 18-21 minutes at 350°F. Enjoy!

  25. Hey Sally! This looks so yummy and I want to try to make it so bad! Do you think this would work as a 3 layer, 6 inch cake? And would the amount of frosting listed in the recipe be enough for that?
    Thank you!!

    1. Hi Rawan, I wrote a post on 6 inch cakes that you might find helpful! The general rule is that cupcake batter that produces about 12-15 cupcakes is the perfect amount for a 3 layer 6 inch cake. This banana recipe makes 18 cupcakes so you will have a little bit extra batter, but you can always just make a few cupcakes to enjoy or freeze for later!

  26. Great recipe. Everyone loved them, so making them again. Didn’t use cinnamon in the cream cheese frosting last time, and they were wonderful. But, think I’m going to give it a shot this time around. Thanks for many good recipes.

  27. Would using overripe bananas that had been previously frozen and thawed work or would it change the consistency of the batter?

    1. You can use frozen bananas, just be sure to drain off the excess liquid when they thaw.

  28. Excellent, excellent recipe! Of course, it’s Sally; I don’t expect anything but great. I do have a qualm though, dear Sally. I am forced to double these recipes because a standard US classroom size is always more than 18! About 26, including teachers! Help us parents out!

  29. Best banana cupcakes EVER… but what put them over the top was the cinnamon cream cheese frosting – so amazing, it’s the only cream cheese frosting I’ll use from now on. My entire family loved them. Even my husband, who is not a big cupcake fan, ate 3 of these yesterday!

  30. These are soooo good! My recipe made 24; not sure why but I’m happy about that. The cream cheese cinnamon frosting is amazing. The banana cupcakes were really light and delicious. I would make these again! Can’t wait to share them with the family.

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