My oldest daughter, Phoebe, turns 6 on Friday. SIX. I can’t believe it. Where did the time go? I feel like it was yesterday when I was holding her for the first time. . or feeding her. . or taking her to daycare or tying her hair in a ponytail.
She’s growing up.
Now, I’m lucky if she even lets me brush her hair. Yeah. She’s 6. Six and she knows what she wants and can be very particular about certain things. I’ve watched her grow over the years and have probably seen the most growth this past year, after we moved to Washington. This once extremely shy kid, now runs outside to call out all of her neighborhood friends to come out and play. She still has training wheels (which we hope to take off this summer) but she rides her bike with a lot of joy and excitement. Her new bike, which we got for her birthday, has a basket so she totes around this little stuffed teddy bear. I hope it stays in there for a while. I’m not ready for her to grow up and grow out of certain things yet.
Phoebe will always be my big girl. My first daughter. The oldest.
The one who used to cling to my leg when I dropped her off at pre-school. The one who was always scared to try anything new. Always. The one who was always very timid and shy. And even though she’s growing out of this, there are still times when she gets scared or doesn’t like too much attention or just plain and simple: needs her mommy. I will be here for her forever. And each day, I will strive to be a better mother. . because God knows sometimes I suck at it. And sometimes I am selfish and sometimes I lose my temper. On those days when I screw up, Phoebe always seems to be more loving and gives me more hugs. She’s awesome. She gets her awesomeness from her loving father.
To celebrate this week (because she is also the STAR of the week at school) and because I get to bring in homemade cupcakes to her class on Friday, and Phoebe has selected about 5 recipes for me to experiment with. . First up. . . We bring you these Chocolate Banana Cupcakes from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. Phoebe and I – of course- embellished our cupcakes. That’s how we roll.
If you are a baker, you need this cookbook. I have also baked their Chocolate Cheesecake, where my chocolate curls first made their debut . . . and I just discovered a blogger who is baking her way through the entire cookbook! These cupcakes are legit. Everything you want in a cupcake and more. Moist, flavorful and delicious! If you like chocolate + bananas, you must try these!
I hope you enjoy!
Chocolate Banana Cupcakes!
For the cupcakes:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- about 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- a pinch of salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature (cut into cubes)
- 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
- 2 eggs
- 1-2 ripe bananas peeled and mashed
For the chocolate frosting + curls:
- 2 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar sifted
- 6 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 oz. good quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate bar for the curls
- swirled chocolate wafer sticks; optional
- Special equipment: a vegetable peeler
- Preheat the oven to 325 (F).
- Combine all of your dry ingredients in a bowl, mix slightly and pour into your stand mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and beat on slow speed until you get the consistency of sand and everything is well combined.
- Slowly add the milk into the flour mixture, mixing well until all the ingredients are combined. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well, scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Lastly, mix in the mashed banana by hand. I left some of my banana somewhat chunky so there would be lovely banana pieces in my cake.
- Spoon the cake batter into cupcake liners in your muffin tin until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 - 22 minutes, or until light golden and the cake bounces back when touched. Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan before placing onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Beat the confectioners' sugar, butter, and cocoa powder together in your mixer on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together. Turn the mixer down to a slower speed, and add in the milk, a couple of teaspoons at a time.
- Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed and continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy (for about 5 minutes).
- Frost your cooled cupcakes and, when ready to serve, if decorating with the chocolate curls: microwave your chocolate for 10-15 seconds and simply use your vegetable peeler to shave and create chocolate curls. You can do this right over the cupcakes so the curls just land on top. Insert a chocolate wafer stick if adding and enjoy!!