Mostly I think “whatever” about cupcakes. Most of the time, they are nothing. Just a spec of sorta dry cake with some sweet grease on the top. And unfortunately since the dawn of the Fancy Gourmet Cupcake Movement, I have missed out because I can’t frequent those establishments due to their use of wheat flour.
So when Valentines rolled around this year I was thinking brownies, chocolate dipped shortbread etc. But then for some reason I remembered this recipe that I had gotten out of the August 2008 issue of the Alamo Celiac Newsletter for Barfield Banana Cake. The recipe belongs to Anne Barfield of Chicken Paradise Bed and Breakfast here in San Antonio. If you have never heard of it, you should! The Barfield’s cater to all sorts of food allergies, especially Celiac/gluten-intolerant. The property is paradise as the name indicates, but the host and hostess are what make the place out of this world!
But anyway, Anne makes this Banana Cake with the dreamy icing. Her recipe is gluten-free, casein- free (dairy-free) and can go egg-free as well. I’m not a banana cake fan, but this cake wins at everything I bring it to as being so fabulous. I decided to use a Peanut Butter Frosting with a dark chocolate drizzle instead of the white frosting on this go-round. I made a few widgets to this recipe only because I didn’t have a few things it called for.
Barfield Banana Cake (with very minor changes)
Makes 18 cupcakes, 2 8-inch, 9-inch or 10-inch layers
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. Crisco or Spectrum Solid Palm Shortening
3 eggs or 3 T. flax meal (Put into a measuring cup. Add boiling water to make 3/4 c., stir, let sit to thicken)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. plain soy yogurt, goat yogurt, cow yogurt (I used sour cream!)
1 c. mashed very ripe banana
2 c. My GF Flour Mix
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Method of Prep:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put cupcakes papers in cupcake pans, or get your cake pans sprayed with a little non-stick pan spray.
In mixer, combine shortening, sugar and vanilla. Cream together at medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs on at a time or flax mixture until combined well. Cream another few minutes. Take your bananas and mash them well. Combine the yogurt/sour cream with the bananas. Measure all your dry ingredients together and mix well. Alternating dry and wet, and always ending with dry, add the flour mix and banana mix into the mixer. Scrape the bowl down and give it a final mix. Scoop into cupcake pan or cake pans and bake until done, about 15 minutes for cupcakes and 20 minutes for cake layers. Cool well and get ready to frost.
My Peanut Butter Frosting
1 c. creamy peanut butter (I like Skippy Natural)
6 T. butter or crisco or palm shortening
2 c. confectioner’s sugar
5T. warm water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Method of Prep (peanut butter frosting):
Cream the butter/shortening with the peanut butter and the vanilla with your whisk in the mixer. When combined, scrape the bowl and then sprinkle in the confectioner’s sugar. As soon as that it added, your icing will be grainy and thick. Gradually add the water about 1T. at a time until your icing becomes smooth. Once it is smooth, stop adding water ad turn up your speed on the mixer and whip until the icing is fluffy. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes or cake layers.
4 T. Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life or Hershey’s Special Dark, depending on your needs)
Method of Prep (chocolate drizzle):
In a non-metal bowl, microwave chips about 30 seconds at a time until they begin to melt. Stir thoroughly. They may need a final 15 seconds or so once they are all blended. Either drizzle on top of the cupcakes using a pastry bag or make stripes with the chocolate coming off the end of fork.