Banana Split Birthday Cupcakes

This weekend was my dad's birthday.  He's more of a pie fan than cake fan, but I decided to try out a new cupcake recipe for his birthday dinner.  He's a big fan of banana splits, so I thought that sounded like a good idea.  After looking around online, I found a great recipe on Paula Deen's website.  The recipe is taken from one of my favorite blogs, Cupcake Project.  The blog has so many great and unique cupcake ideas!

The cupcakes tasted very similar to a banana bread with the additional taste of chocolate.  The pineapple and strawberry tastes were pretty subtle, but helped add depth to the cupcake.  The only change I made was leaving the walnuts out of the cupcake and garnishing.  

Cupcake Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup strawberry yogurt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 bananas)
½ cup macerated strawberries
½ cup dried pineapple, loosely chopped
½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup walnuts, loosely chopped

Cupcake Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Mix in eggs, yogurt, flour, and baking soda.
  4. Stir in bananas, strawberries, pineapple, chocolate chips, and walnuts.
  5. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full.
  6. Bake for twenty-five minutes or until the tops bounce back when lightly touched.
Here's a picture of the cupcakes once baked:

The cupcakes tasted well on their own, but a banana whipped topping is used to create a sweeter treat.  Then the cupcakes can be garnished with chocolate syrup, walnuts, fresh banana slices, and a cherry. 

Banana Whipped Topping and Garnishing Ingredients:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 over-ripe banana, mashed*
Chocolate syrup, to taste
½ cup walnuts, loosely chopped
½ cup bananas, thinly sliced
18 cherries, pitted

Topping directions:
  1. Whip cream and sugar until light and fluffy
  2. Fold in bananas

I let everyone choose what garnishes for the top of the cupcakes, so I finished decorating as I gave them out and forgot to snap pictures!  Here's one I got though, as my mom started eating hers.  

If you noticed Spiderman in the plate above, yes we did have a Spiderman themed party for my dad.  A few days before the party my niece begged that we throw my dad a Spiderman party.  I'm not sure she has seen any of the Spiderman cartoons or movies, but she is going through a phase of liking him.  :)  I was wanting to make some more kid friendly vanilla cupcakes, so I decided to add a little spider flair to them.  This was the best I could come up with in short notice.  :)

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