four years ago i was asked to prepare a small treat for a friends potluck.  knowing a frenemy of mine would be in attendance, i toiled to find the perfect recipe. something that would be sure to impress in it’s a) cuteness & visual appeal b) taste and c) approachability. they were, a hit. cute as a button, tasty and moist.

i  know, i know, jimmy fallon has his opinions on the word moist: “worst word in the english language”. for the record, i agree (i dislike the word “moist” almost as much as i dislike the word “frenemy”) – but there is no other word that fits! “wet-ish” and “balmy” don’t sound so good when discussing an edible treat!

but i digress: several years later i had to issue an apology to an ex, and chose to make him these as well. i believe he forgave me 😉

and again, last week, after messing up my go-to mushroom turnovers, and having rain ruin a “birthday picnic” (which later turned into “birthday fort”) i decided the only remedy would be my go to banana cupcakes with marscapone cream cheese frosting. they were, again, perfect.

banana muffins with marscapone cream cheese frosting (adapted from giada de laurentis)

ingredients

muffins:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed

frosting:

3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted, for garnish

directions:

1.  line muffin cups (sharoni note: i made mini cupcakes, but all sizes can work with this recipe) with paper liners and preheat the oven to 325 degrees f.

2. whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl to blend. beat the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl to blend. stir in the banana. and add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.

3. divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. bake the muffins on the middle rack until the tops are golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out with no crumbs attached, about 25 minutes (less for smaller muffins). transfer the muffins to a rack and cool slightly. the muffins may be eaten warm or cooled completely and frosted.

4.  frosting: using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. beat in the mascarpone cheese and then beat in the honey. spread the frosting over the muffins. optional: sprinkle with the walnuts.

5. eat and enjoy!

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