I love being set a baking challenge as it makes me think outside my usual baking box and come up with something new. When Banana Moon clothing contacted me to tell me they were looking for bloggers to put together some fun banana based bakes I couldn’t wait to get on board! I love bananas but never usually bake with them so it was really fun to bake cupcakes fit for the cheeky Banana Moon monkeys, and I used their logo to inspire the decoration too. So here is my banana bake: Banana, Walnut and Chocolate Chip Monkey Cupcakes.
I was really pleased with these cakes as they are just so simple to make and decorate but I think look really fun and impressive, and taste so good (if I do say so myself!) The sponge is really light and fluffy but had nice variants in texture from the melted chocolate and crunchy nuts and the added banana makes them really moist and sweet. Each cupcake is packed with nuts and chocolate chips too which is really nice as no matter which one you pick you still get lots of different flavours and textures coming through.
The chocolate decoration makes them really decadent but the cakes would also be super tasty left plain if you wanted a slightly healthier version (hey, bananas are healthy right?!) They’re also super quick and easy to make, as well as being fairly sturdy (as opposed to more delicate butterfly cakes) so would be perfect for whipping up quickly and taking on a road trip (I think these would be an ideal nutritious and delicious festival cake!)
So here you go, here’s how I made them…
♥ 2 bananas
♥ 100g salted butter
♥ 175g unrefined golden caster sugar
♥ 225g self-raising flour
♥ 2 eggs
♥ 3 tbsp milk
♥ 1 tsp baking powder
♥ 100g dark chocolate chips
♥ 100g chopped walnuts
♥ 100g salted butter
♥ 300g icing sugar
♥ 40g cocoa powder
♥ 40ml milk
♥ White chocolate chips
♥ Giant white chocolate buttons
♥ Chocolate icing pens
1) If your bananas aren’t terribly ripe and like me you just can’t wait to get baking, pop them on a lined baking tray and put them in the oven at 150C for 40 minutes.
2) The skins should turn a shiny black colour. Take them out the oven and leave them to cool for half an hour.
3) Then either turn your oven up, or if you already have ripe bananas, pre-heat your oven, to 180C and line your cup cake tin with cases. I went for cute yellow polka dot ones to fit with my banana and monkey theme.
4) Take a large mixing bowl and add your butter, eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder, milk, chocolate, walnuts and bananas. If you did ripen your bananas in the oven then just snip off the end and squeeze the banana out a bit like you would with toothpaste. Then use an electric whisk or stand mixer to beat until it’s all smooth and well incorporated.
5) Fill your cupcake cases with the mixture and leave it to settle for a couple of minutes. Pop the tray in the oven and cook for 25 minutes, until the sponge bounces back and a skewer comes out clean.
6) Leave the cakes to cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
7) While the cupcakes are cooling it’s time to make the chocolate butter icing. Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl and then add in the butter. Beat together in a stand mixer or with an electric whisk until it is light and fluffy. Slowly add the milk and then beat quickly for another five minutes.
8) Once your cupcakes have completely cooled spread over a layer of chocolate icing. It doesn’t have to be too perfect as I think little fluffy uneven bits make for more realistic looking monkey fur!
9) Time to add the monkey faces! Start by drawing a little blob on the back of a giant button using the chocolate icing pen and then stick this onto your cupcake. Use the icing pen to then draw on two little nostrils and a smiley mouth.
10) Above the giant button add two white chocolate chips with the flat base facing up. Then draw a little pupil on each one. Give the money some ears by cutting a giant button in half and placing each half either side of the face. Ta daahhh! Cheeky monkey banana cupcakes are ready to eat!
*Big thanks to Banana Moon for inviting me to take part in their banana baking challenge and giving me a baking set and apron to help me along my way. All thoughts are honest and my own, for more information please see my Disclaimer Page.
I live in Brixton in London. I eat out far too much, am always planning my next trip and have a borderline unhealthy obsession with Harry Potter.