Daylight Savings Cakes

I love saving daylight. I will gladly give up one random hour of a Sunday night if it means more sunshine at the end of the day. So to welcome DST and Spring, which is bound to be here sometime, I made some bright and sunny banana cupcakes topped with chocolate whipped cream (recipe at the bottom).

My banana cake batter actually started as a plain old boxed yellow cake mix. I made some modifications including, of course, bananas, and came out with the moistest cake I have ever tasted.

I also made a few flower-shaped cakes, which seemed appropriately spring-y.

While the cakes were cooling, I whipped up the frosting. I don't like sugary toppings, and thus don't really enjoy most traditional icings. So for these I made a slightly sweet chocolate whipped cream and I almost ate it all before it made it onto the cupcakes.

Ummm, here is a really blurry flower cake. Turns out the flowers were a bit too small and fragile to look very good once frosted. Oh well. The flower sprinkles and mini Cadbury chocolate egg helped fancy it up.

The cupcakes turned out much better. I piped on the whipped cream with a pastry bag and wide circular tip (which I should've just done with the flower cakes), and topped with assorted Spring sprinkles (left to right: wild flowers, daisies, and butterflies) and a Cadbury egg. I made sure to stiffen the whipped cream to it wouldn't droop immediately (see recipe below).

So perhaps they look more like Easter cupcakes than Daylight Savings Cupcakes. Oh well. They tasted delicious, like an extremely moist, fluffy banana bread topped with dark chocolately whipped cream.

Ready to eat:

And eaten:

Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Modified Cake Mix Cupcakes:

1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup water
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 ripe bananas
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350.

Per cake mix instructions, combine cake mix, water, oil, and eggs until smooth. Add sour cream and cinnamon.

In a food processor, blend bananas and baking soda until smooth.

Add banana mixture to cake batter and mix until incorporated.

Pour into cupcake liners (2/3 full) and bake about 18 minutes (they should be lightly browned and a toothpick should come out clean).

Let the cupcakes cool thoroughly before messing with them. They will be extremely airy and moist, so they'll fall apart when still warm.

Dark Chocolate Whipped Cream:

2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 tablespoons powdered sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa powder (natural or Dutch process will work)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon powdered milk

Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. While mixer is on, add all other ingredients. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Add more cocoa or powdered sugar to taste.

Using powdered sugar instead of granular sugar gives the whipped cream a creamier texture, and it contains corn starch which keeps the cream stiffer. The powdered milk is added as a stabilizer, as it helps keep the whipped cream from separating and being absorbed into the cake.

If, like me, you are only able to find gigantic boxes of powdered milk, you will be able to make quite a bit of stabilized whipped cream in your future.


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