As if I needed an excuse to bake, I stumbled upon the awesomeness that is Cupcake Hero & decided immediately that I MUST compete. This month's theme ingredient is banana. Being a Southerner, my cupcake plan of attack was so obvious: Banana Pudding Cupcakes. The cupcake itself has a very light banana flavor and is filled with, of course, banana pudding. Then the cupcake is iced in vanilla buttercream. For those not familiar with legit banana pudding, it's not that faux-banana-flavored stuff that comes in a box. It is, in fact, vanilla custard layered with slices of banana and vanilla wafers.
For the cake batter I tweaked this recipe. Instead of the almond extract I added about a half teaspoon of banana flavoring. This gave the cake a slight banana flavor - not at all overpowering. I filled cupcake papers all the way to the top and baked for about 30 minutes in a 350º oven. The cake came out incredibly light and airy. Yield: 20 cupcakes
Once the cupcakes were cool, I cut out all the "cake holes" with a sharp knife - make sure the cavity goes pretty deep into the cupcake so that you have enough room for a good amount of filling! My hubby gobbled up a bunch of the cake holes with buttercream icing - he was a happy camper.
In each hole I dropped a slice of banana, then filled all the way to the top with vanilla pudding (I totally cheated and used Jello Cook & Serve - I started to make the custard from scratch and it would not thicken for the life of me). On top of the pudding I placed a vanilla wafer (I actually used minis) - the bonus here is that it provides some stability - icing over a gaping pool of pudding would be a little tougher.
Once iced in vanilla buttercream, I added the finishing touch - another vanilla wafer on top of each cupcake. Voila! Banana Pudding Cupcake.