Friday, June 27, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

"The great lesson is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one's daily life, in one's neighbors, friends and family, in one's backyard."    

  - Abraham Maslow                       

I love peanut butter. I just love it. Haagen Dazs Chocolate peanut butter ice cream is my go to binge food around a certain time of the month (and their Sea Salt Caramel Gelato, but I digress). So these cupcakes really do it for me. It's hard for me to have these in the house without wanting to eat them all in one sitting. I've been making these for a while now, and they're always a big hit. I can't believe I haven't shared these with you sooner!

Here is my peanut butter cream cheese filling 

I start with my Best Moist Chocolate Cupcake Recipe. These really are the best chocolate cupcakes ever, sorry, they just are. They're light and super moist at the same time. The flavor and the texture is spot on. Then I fill those delicious little morsels with a cream cheese peanut butter filling. A fluffy peanut butter buttercream tops these babies off.

Here are my Best Moist Chocolate Cupcakes, these are the most awesome chocolate cupcakes I've ever had.

So you don't just get a little hint of peanut butter flavor, you get a giant peanut butter blast in your mouth!

This is the tip I used for filling the cupcakes. I used a round tip large enough for the filling to come out of. You can also use a filling tip, you can see a photo of one of those in my Raspberry Filled and Frosted Cupcakes post.

The cream cheese in the filling adds a little tang like cream cheese does. Which pairs perfectly with the creamy and fluffy peanut butter buttercream. All paired up with the yummy chocolatey goodness of the cupcakes.

Here are my cupcakes after being filled

My peanut butter buttercream, nice and fluffy ready to frost my cupcakes

Here's a funny little story. I made these for a client, I had a large cake box filled with them. The lid was closed and I opened the box and, whoosh! A big hit of peanut butter smell took over the air around us. It was wonderful. Peanut butter has a distinct, intoxicating and delicious, very strong smell.

Here is the tip I used, a large star tip, Wilton's 1 M.

If you are in a hurry and don't have time to fill cupcakes, the peanut butter buttercream is really easy to throw together. You can just frost the cupcakes with the buttercream and you will still have something special.
To frost cupcakes start on the outside, going in a circle
The peanut butter buttercream isn't too sweet, like a lot of standard buttercreams. It gets body from not just the powdered sugar, the peanut butter gives it body as well, so you don't need as much powdered sugar to provide that stiffness. If this is important to you, make sure your peanut butter doesn't have sugar in it.

Then as you go around, sort of build up the frosting on top of the first layer, finishing by bringing the frosting into the middle. If you don't like the way it looks, just take a knife and scrape it off, or lift it off, (making sure not to get any crumbs in the frosting,) put it back into the bowl and try again until you like the way it looks.  Practice really does make perfect.

If you have a peanut butter lover in your life you'll need to make these for them. You will seriously blow their little minds!

Like peanut butter but want to use another cupcake? Both the filling and the frosting, or just one of them, would be great with:

The Best Moist and Fluffy White Cupcakes

If you like the banana and peanut butter combination, you could try the frosting with my

Moist Banana Cupcakes

Or the frosting would be great on these dark chocolate little gems

Mini Dark Chocolate Cupcake Bites

Here are my little darlings, Coco and Lucien. They have been enjoying the warm weather and playing outside a lot lately. They especially love chasing birds, squirrels and bunnies. They just chase them. If they actually get close to catching them they just bark at them. Maybe they just think they're playing a fun game with their fury little friends. However, I'm sure the birds, squirrels and bunnies don't feel the same way.

If you didn't already know, I have a second Etsy shop! Coco's Kitchen is where I sell vintage cookbooks and vintage kitchen items. You'll find vintage Le Creuset, vintage Pyrex, vintage Descoware, lots of vintage cookbooks and more!  I add new items all the time, and I would love it if you checked it out, and favorited my shop, and even spread the word, if that's your kind of thing. Thank you so much!

Of course, House of Lucien is my shop where I sell vintage china, vintage glass, collectibles and more, for setting a beautiful table or just adding beauty to your home.

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The vintage pink and blue tablecloth, antique Bavaria small plates with pink roses, Hammersley China Cake Stand, vintage silverplated cake server, and the Wexford 2 Tiered Tidbit Stand are available at my Etsy shop, House of Lucien.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

This recipe makes about 25 cupcakes


25 of my Best Moist Chocolate Cupcakes  - Cooled. (that recipe makes over 30 of them so you might have a few more cupcakes than filling or frosting depending on how much frosting you use, etc.)

OR 25 of your favorite chocolate cupcakes

Peanut Butter Filling Ingredients

1/2 cup or 1 stick butter (114 grams), room temperature

1 1/2 cups (354 ml.) smooth peanut butter - I used Adams natural peanut butter that has no added sugar, if you use a peanut butter that has added sugar you might want to use a little less powdered sugar

1 - 8 oz. (226 grams) package cream cheese at cool room temperature

1 3/4 cups (225 g.) powdered sugar

2 tablespoons of milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Buttercream Ingredients

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) (339 g.) butter - room temperature

2 cups creamy peanut butter - I used Adams natural peanut butter that has no added sugar, if you use peanut butter that has sugar in it your frosting will be sweeter. Or use less powdered sugar, but you'll need to use enough to get the frosting to be a good spreading consistency.

3 Tablespoons milk or as needed

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

4 cups (500 g.) powdered sugar

Grated chocolate for topping, optional


Start by making the filling. Beat together the cream cheese and the butter until thoroughly mixed, in a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer. Add the peanut butter and mix again until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and the vanilla.  Mix until well combined. Now check the consistency. If you want the filling a little thinner, add milk a tablespoon at a time to get the consistency that you want.

Set the filling aside, and start the frosting. If you only have one bowl for your stand mixer, then clean it now to make the frosting.

Make the frosting. In the bowl of the stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer add the room temperature butter and mix it together until it's broken down and fluffy. Add the peanut butter and mix again until completely mixed and incorporated. Add about half of the powdered sugar and the vanilla and mix again. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and a few tablespoons of milk and mix again until fluffy. Now check the consistency. If it's too tightly held together and not fluffy, add a little more milk and mix again. I probably added maybe 6 tablespoons of milk total to get it really light and fluffy.

Fill the cupcakes -

Spoon this mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a filling tip, (a large long tip used for filling cupcakes) or a round tip big enough to push the filling through . You can see photos of a filling tip in this post, Raspberry Filled and Frosted Cupcakes.
Fill the cupcakes with the filling by pushing the tip 3/4 of the way down the cupcake, squeeze, then slowly lift up to fill the entire inside of the cupcake. I recommend using a test cupcake. Fill one, then cut it open to see if you filled it entirely. If you don't fill it with enough filling, the cupcake could just absorb the filling and not come across as a filled cupcake. Once you do a few and get a hang of it, it will go easy from there. Fill them up good, but don't overfill them. If you overfill them, they burst, or crack open.

Frost the cupcakes. As shown above, I used a large star tip, Wilton's 1M tip. 

Top cupcakes with grated chocolate, if desired. To grate some chocolate, just take a piece of chocolate, (I used a little  Ghirardelli square, because that's what I had laying around.)  Use the small holes of a box grater, or use a Microplane and grate the chocolate onto it. Make sure your chocolate is cool or cold, it needs to be hard and solid, and not melty.

Serve them immediately or within a few hours. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. These are best eaten at room temperature, so if taking them from the fridge, let them sit on the counter for 30 minutes or so before serving.

I hope you love these as much as I do! Happy Baking!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Very Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe

“It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”

― Dale Carnegie,   How to Win Friends and Influence People

I am very happy to share this recipe with you. I've been looking for a carrot cake cupcake recipe that I really like for a while now, and the search is finally over!

Whenever I have to use freshly ground nutmeg I grate it onto a piece of paper. That way it's easy to fold up the paper and pour it into my measuring spoon.

If you're going to do something, do it right. This is a sentiment my husband lives by. I admire this about him. He really takes the time to do things right. He's very handy and he does a lot of building around here. He rarely rushes through a job just to get it done. He's all about the details and the craftsmanship. He gives it his best. While I was making these cupcakes I was contemplating this.

Love is in the details. I mean this isn't something I do all the time in every area of my life, I am famous for having a tidy house and dirty closets. I mean who's got time to make sure the closets are clean too?  But I do pay attention to details when baking.

Take the time to soak the raisins

One of the details in this recipe is soaking the raisins. Soaking them makes them nice and plump and juicy. You could even soak them in something fun like bourbon! I soaked them in hot water, but that doesn't mean you have to.

And peel the carrots, it does make a difference.

Another detail in this recipe is peeling the carrots. Taking the time to peel carrots in almost any recipe that includes them is always a good idea in my mind. Carrots are a root vegetable which sits in dirt. Sometimes an unpeeled carrot tastes a little like the ground to me, so I always peel them to uncover their true flavor.

I grate the majority of the carrots (about 3/4 of them) on the small holes of the grater.

I grated these carrots mostly on fine holes of a grater, but I did grate some on a large grate. Just to have a little difference in texture here and there.

I grate the remaining carrots on larger holes. Just so you have a little pop of extra carrot here and there. It is best to use mostly the fine grate, since you do want the carrots to blend into the cake well.

These cupcakes are jammed packed with carrots. In fact I was concerned that it was going to be too many carrots, but all of those carrots work here. I think it works in the way that potatoes work in baked goods. My Moist Chocolate Farmhouse Cake has potatoes in it. And those potatoes take the place of extra flour and keep the baked goods light as well as adding moisture.

After adding the carrots - there is a lot of carrots in this recipe, but not to worry, the texture is amazing.

The flavor of these cupcakes is spot on, with a nice touch of spice. And the texture is just phenomenal. They are light and moist at the same time. With a bit of crunch added from the nuts and a little chew from the raisins.

My finished batter

I frosted these with a brown sugar cream cheese frosting. It's the first time I've made this frosting, and holy cow. Where have you been all of my life, frosting?  This stuff is incredible, with the warm tones of brown sugar, boosted with a bit of molasses in the tangy cream cheese is a perfect match for these cupcakes. I think I'm going to be using this frosting a lot in the future. How about some Moist Banana Cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese frosting? Or how does this sound, Moist Apple Cupcakes with brown sugar cream cheese frosting? I know! Right!

Ready for the oven
Just thinking about doing things right and giving things my best has made me want to do it in more areas of my life. I mean if I'm taking the time to do something, I might as well be "all in!" You know? Watch out closets, I'm coming for you, and I'm armed with "my best."
The sky when the sun was going down
If you didn't already hear, I've started a second Etsy shop! Coco's Kitchen is where I sell vintage cookbooks and vintage kitchen items. I'm adding new items all the time, and I would love it if you checked it out, and favorited my shop, and even spread the word, if that's your kind of thing. Thank you!

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The Very Best Carrot Cake Cupcakes Recipe

This recipe makes about 28 standard sized cupcakes


1 1/2 cups (223 g.) all purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

1 cup (about 2 1/2 oz. or 71 g.) chopped walnuts - or pecans work well too - if you have nut allergies, go ahead and omit

1/2 cup (64 g. or about 2 1/4 oz.) raisins

1 1/2 cups (315 g.) granulated sugar

3/4 cup (177 ml.) vegetable oil

1/2 cup (118 ml.) sour cream or yogurt - it's best to use a yogurt that has some fat in it, try not to use a nonfat yogurt

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 eggs

3/4 lb. about 3 cups loosely packed carrots, shredded


shredded carrots  - optional


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 180 degrees Celsius, Gas Mark 4.

Soak the raisins by pouring hot water over them. Let them sit for about 10 minutes, until they are swollen. Drain them right before using.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients, the flour to the nuts, set aside.

In a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, mix the sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs on medium high for 3 minutes. The mixture will be nice and homogenized and creamy looking.  Add the sour cream (or yogurt) shredded carrots and the soaked raisins (drained) and mix well to combine. Add the dry ingredients and mix for just about 1 minute on low, just enough to incorporate it all.

Divide the batter among cupcake lined muffin tins using an ice cream scoop (or a spoon works too)  filling to about 2/3rds to 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for about 19-22 minutes in the preheated oven. Mine took exactly 21 minutes. Make the frosting while your cupcakes are baking.

Let cupcakes cool before frosting.

Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

This makes enough frosting to generously pipe frosting onto 28 cupcakes. If you are spreading it on instead of piping, you'll probably have leftover frosting.

What? Cornstarch in frosting? The reason it is there is to give the frosting a little more body instead of adding more powdered sugar and making it even sweeter. Powdered sugar is just sugar with cornstarch added to it. So I've just added a little more.

The molasses is to bump up the flavor of the brown sugar. Brown sugar is just sugar with molasses added to it, so I'm just boosting that flavor up a little more. If you don't have molasses available where you live, just go ahead and leave it out. It doesn't need to be replaced with anything.


2 sticks (1 cup) (226 g.) butter - room temperature

2 - 8 oz. (227 grams) packages cream cheese

5 cups (625 g.) powdered sugar

3 Tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup (108 g.) brown sugar packed

2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

1-2 Tablespoons molasses

pinch of salt


Whisk the cornstarch into the powdered sugar, set aside. Beat together the cream cheese and the room temperature butter. Add everything else and beat well for about 2 minutes in a stand mixer. Pipe or spread the frosting onto cooled cupcakes.

The frosting does keep well in the fridge for a few days. Just bring to cool room temperature and beat before using. It also freezes well for a few months if you wrap it well in an airtight container. Again, just bring to room temperature first, then beat again before using.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easy No Cook 7 Minute Frosting

"Try to live your life in a way that you will not regret years of useless virtue, and inertia, and timidity. Take up the battle. Take it up! It’s yours. This is your life. This is your world."


- Maya Angelou
This is a frosting I make often. I love it. It's light, and fluffy. And I love marshmallows. And that's basically what this frosting is, is the base of a homemade marshmallow. I usually always have the ingredients too. (I have chickens, so eggs are rarely scarce.) I've even blogged about it, sort of. It's here in my Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting. That version is a cooked version as well as it being broiled, to make a toasty marshmallow frosting.

The frosting is super light and fun and sticky, in a good way. Making the frosting perfect for a Spring or Summer cupcake. It's the opposite of a heavy sugary buttercream that feels like it might weigh you down in hot weather.

This frosting is actually healthy-ish. Sure it has a lot of sugar in it, but as far as frostings go, this one is quite good for you, being it's only basically egg whites and sugar, and it's full of protein. You can even reduce the sugar to make it "not too sweet."

Vintage Ice Blue Jeannette Glass Co. Harp Cake Stand Circa 1950s available at my Etsy Shop, House of Lucien.

This version is a no cook version. This makes it much quicker to whip up than a traditional cooked version, where you would cook it over a water bath before whipping. One of the benefits of the cooked version is the egg whites are cooked. So you aren't serving up raw eggs. I have my own chickens so raw eggs don't scare me. But if they scare you, then use my other cooked version here. I believe raw eggs are probably safe for most people. But if I was feeding a crowd, of people I wasn't familiar with, I would probably use the cooked version. Just to be on the safe side.

Happy Spring!!

I used Wilton's 1M pastry tip to frost these.

Here are some cupcakes that would go great with this frosting:

Moist Banana Cupcakes

Really Moist Lemon Cupcakes for Lemon Lovers - You could use this 7 minute frosting, and broil it like I did with my Sweet Potato Cupcakes, and you would have a lemon meringue cupcake! Yum!

The Best Moist Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Pink Velvet Cupcakes - (These are really just delicious Strawberry Cupcakes)

Moist Apple Cupcakes

Irish Coffee Cupcakes - (The cupcake itself is a coffee flavored cupcake, the whipped cream frosting makes it an Irish Coffee cupcake, this frosting would complement it nicely.)

The Best Moist and Fluffy White Cupcake Recipe

Everyday I feed the birds. I throw birdseed on the ground and in a bird feeder above where these birds are. These guys are new here. I find it fascinating that birds from all around just happen to know where the food is. I love seeing new birds. I guess I'm a bird watcher, although I never contemplated it.

If you didn't already hear, I've started a second Etsy shop! Coco's Kitchen is where I sell vintage cookbooks and vintage kitchen items. I'm adding new items all the time, and I would love it if you checked it out, and favorited my shop, and even spread the word, if that's your kind of thing. Thank you!

The squirrel likes the birdseed too. He's saying, "birdseed?" I thought that was squirrel seed.

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Vintage Fenton Silver Crest 2 Tiered Stand, Vintage Lead Crystal Square Cake Stand, and the Antique Jean Pouyat Limoges Floral Small Plates, available at my Etsy Shop, House of Lucien.

Easy No Cook 7 Minute Frosting

Makes enough to generously frost (like I did in the photos) 12 cupcakes. Recipe can easily be doubled to frost 24 cupcakes or a 2 layer cake.

 Note** This type of frosting doesn't keep well. Frosting your cake or cupcakes and serving them up to 4 hours is best, so plan accordingly.


5 egg whites - room temperature is best, but not necessary

1 cup (207 g.) to 1 1/2 cups (313 g.) sugar (This time I used 1 1/2 cups, but you can use as little as 1 cup if you want a "not too sweet frosting." I wouldn't use any less than 1 cup.

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar - This helps with the stability and volume of meringue, if you don't have this, or can't find it, it's o.k. to leave it out, but I do recommend it, especially if you are new to making a meringue.

 dash of salt

2 tsp. vanilla extract


Make sure the bowl of your stand mixer is totally clean and void of any sort of grease. If there is any sort of fat in the bowl or on the whisk attachment, it will prevent the meringue from forming.

In the bowl of your clean and dry stand mixer, add all of the ingredients. Use the whisk attachment, and whip, for about 7 - 9 minutes. Beat on medium for 2 minutes, then turn up the mixer to medium high and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 - 7 minutes more. You need to beat it on medium first, if you were to just beat it on high for the entire time the meringue can become dry, so it's best to gradually bring it up to the medium high speed and not just beat it on high the entire time.

For cupcakes, transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe the frosting on your cooled cupcakes, or use the frosting to frost a cake and serve immediately or within 4 hours of frosting them.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Moist Banana Cupcakes

“What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.”
- Oprah Winfrey

These banana cupcakes are one of the cupcakes I made for an event recently, as I mentioned in my last post. They were so well received that someone who attended that event, had me makes these cupcakes and the raspberry cupcakes for her event a few weeks later. So hey, these are pretty great! (If I do say so myself.)

Here are my mashed bananas, from the freezer is fine, just thaw them first, drain them of liquid and mash. Make sure they are very ripe for the best flavor.
I like using bananas in baked goods because I have a husband who doesn't like to eat a banana when it has even a few black spots.  That means my freezer sees a lot of bananas. No problem. I just thaw them and use them for yummy baked goods like these moist cupcakes.

My batter is ready to go, ready to be scooped into the cupcake tins

These cupcakes are everything you want a banana cupcake to be.

1. Full of banana flavor.

2. A great, moist texture.

Ready for the oven
Yep, these hit all the right notes. 
I frosted them with a mascarpone frosting. I love mascarpone cheese. It's sometimes called Italian cream cheese. It's much better tasting than traditional cream cheese, in my opinion. It's richer with a less tangy flavor.

Right out of the oven

The only ingredients in the mascarpone frosting is the cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. I've made mascarpone frostings before that included cream, and also ones that included butter. This version is my favorite. The flavor of the mascarpone cheese really stands out. The only down side is mascarpone cheese isn't cheap. If you live in the U.S., Trader Joes is the best place to buy it that I know of. The last time I checked, at the Trader Joes closest to me (which is about an hour away, so not super close) I think mascarpone cheese was 2.89 for the 8 oz. container. But at my local supermarket it's close to 5.00. And you need 3 containers. So yeah, not cheap, but very delicious. If you don't want to make this frosting, don't substitute cream cheese, just make another recipe. I'll list a few other frosting recipes below.

Here is some of my mascarpone cheese - 2 of my containers are pictured, but I needed 3 to frost my cupcakes.

Since most people like bananas, I think these are a great choice for a crowd.

Here is my mascarpone frosting - this stuff is to die for, especially if you are a mascarpone lover like me.

I hope these are as successful for your people, as they were for mine!

We have deer that live on our land. They are really active now that it's Spring.

More frosting recipe choices that would be great with these cupcakes:

Traditional Cream Cheese frosting from my Super Moist Red Velvet Cupcakes.

A yummy vanilla Not Too Sweet Frosting from my Best Super Moist White Cupcake Recipe.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream - (also not too sweet, and so yummy,) from My Favorite White Cupcakes

Toasted Marshmallow Frosting from my Sweet Potato Cupcakes.

Salted Caramel Buttercream -or Caramel Buttercream with a little less salt - from my Whoopie Pies.

Chocolate Buttercream from my Best Moist Chocolate Cupcake Recipe.

If you didn't already hear, I've started a second Etsy shop! Coco's Kitchen is where I sell vintage cookbooks and vintage kitchen items. I'm adding new items all the time, and I would love it if you checked it out, and favorited my shop, and even spread the word, if that's your kind of thing. Thank you!

Never miss a post! Follow The Alchemist on Facebook! Or Pinterest!

Vintage Blue Lace Tablecloth, Fenton "Spanish Lace" Milk Glass Cake Stand, Shelley Primrose Chintz Plate Set, Rosina Queens Daintyflower teacup, Antique Nippon Blue Cream and Sugar Set, and Vintage FB Rogers Silver Tray available at my Etsy Shop, House of Lucien.

Moist Banana Cupcakes

makes 24 cupcakes

For the Cupcakes


2 cups (310 g.) flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 sticks (8 oz.)  butter at room temperature

1 1/4 cup (278 g.) white sugar

3/4 cup (177 ml.) sour cream or yogurt, a yogurt with fat in it is best, meaning try not to use a nonfat yogurt

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

4 eggs

5  very ripe bananas mashed, or 2 cups mashed (16 oz.) (473 ml.)

1 cup chopped walnuts - optional - I've made these cupcakes about 4 times now, and I haven't used nuts yet, but I plan to at some point, depending on who I serve them to.

Dried Banana Chips for topping, optional

Mascarpone Frosting

This amount of frosting will frost 24 cupcakes using about the same amount as I have used in the photos.


3 - 8 oz. packages mascarpone cheese

3 cups (315 g.) powdered sugar

3 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 180 degrees Celsius, Gas Mark 4. Line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners, greaseproof are best.

In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the room temperature butter, and sugar and beat until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for a few seconds, just to make sure it's all been mixed in.

In another large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. The flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Add the sour cream and vanilla to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat together until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat together. (I just start the mixer on low, and add an egg, wait a few seconds, add another, etc. until they have all been added.) (Of course I have the eggs cracked into a small bowl first, so as not to risk getting a piece of egg shell into my cupcakes.) Add the mashed bananas and mix again until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again just to be sure it's all been incorporated.

Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Mix just until it's been combined. Be careful not to overmix it, now that you have added the flour, you don't want to overwork it. Just mix it until it's all been incorporated. Scrape down the bowl one more time, and mix it together. Stir in the nuts, (if using) just until they have been mixed in.

Scoop with an ice cream scoop, or spoon with a spoon, the batter into the cupcake liners until they are about 2/3rds full. Bake for about 18-22 minutes until they pass a toothpick test. While cupcakes are baking, make the frosting, (directions below.)

Cool on wire racks for 10-20 minutes. Then remove them from the muffin tins and finish cooling on wire racks until cool.

Frost the cupcakes with the frosting and top with a dried banana chip, if desired.

Directions for Mascarpone Frosting

The mascarpone cheese is soft enough to be used straight from the fridge. It can be used cold, or at cool room temperature. If the cheese is at too warm of room temperature, it can melt like butter.

Beat the mascarpone cheese with the vanilla extract for about a minute. Stop the mixer and add the powdered sugar. Start the mixer on low until the sugar has been mixed with the mascarpone, (to make sure it doesn't fly out of your mixer) continue beating on medium high for another minute or so.

Refrigerate any leftover frosting. If you want to frost cupcakes after it's been refrigerated, you will need to beat it again.