Transform the humble banana into an indulgent treat with these browned butter banana cupcakes. Each cupcake marries the rich, nutty flavor of browned butter with the sweet, comforting taste of ripe bananas, creating a dessert that’s both familiar and surprisingly sophisticated. Filled with banana pudding and topped with a silky browned butter frosting, these cupcakes promise a delightful burst of flavor in every bite.

This recipe elevates the classic banana flavor profile with the depth and complexity of browned butter, both in the cupcake batter and the frosting. The addition of a banana pudding filling not only adds a creamy texture but also intensifies the banana essence, making each cupcake a multi-layered experience of flavors and textures.

browned butter banana cupcakes filled with banana pudding and topped with browned butter frosting

The Chemistry of Browned Butter Banana Cupcakes

Browning butter is a culinary technique that involves gently cooking butter until the milk solids caramelize, resulting in a rich, complex flavor. This flavor becomes the foundation of the cupcakes and frosting, offering a gourmet twist to the classic banana taste. The chemistry between the caramelized sugars and the ripe bananas in the batter creates a moist, tender crumb, while the pudding filling adds a smooth, creamy contrast that enhances the overall mouthfeel.

How does browned butter affect the flavor of the cupcakes?

Browning butter creates deep, nutty, and caramel notes that infuse the cupcakes with a rich, gourmet flavor, setting them apart from traditional banana cupcakes.

Can I use fresh banana instead of instant pudding for the filling?

While fresh banana can be used, instant banana pudding provides a smooth, creamy texture and consistent banana flavor that complements the cupcakes. It also helps maintain the structure of the cupcakes when filled.

browned butter banana cupcakes filled with banana pudding and topped with browned butter frosting

How do I know when the cupcakes are perfectly baked?

Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. They should be golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed.

Can these cupcakes be made in advance?

Yes, the cupcakes can be baked and cooled up to a day in advance. Keep them unfilled and unfrosted in an airtight container at room temperature. Fill and frost them a few hours before serving for the best texture and flavor.

browned butter banana cupcakes filled with banana pudding and topped with browned butter frosting

How do I achieve the perfect browned butter?

Mastering the art of browning butter can transform your cooking, making the process enjoyable and worry-free. Begin by placing your butter in a small saucepan over a medium flame until it melts completely. Shortly after melting, the butter will enter a boiling phase, accompanied by a series of popping sounds. These sounds are crucial cues during the browning process, so pay attention.

As the boiling continues, a thick foam will develop, yet the popping will persist. At this point, it’s essential to stay close and listen attentively. The moment the popping ceases, while at the same time the foam remains, it signifies it’s the time to remove the butter from the heat.

By gently stirring the butter, you’ll notice brown specks appearing through the foam, accompanied by a rich, nutty aroma. This indicates that your browned butter is ready. Ensure it’s allowed to cool down thoroughly before incorporating it into your recipes.

Butter in a sauce pan
butter boiling
butter foaming up
browned butter finished
cooled brown butter

What is in browned butter banana cupcakes?

Granulated Sugar

Adds sweetness, provides a caramelized flavor and crisp texture. Sugar assists with rising when creamed with butter. It helps add moisture to your treat and helps it evenly spread as it melts into a liquid in the heat of the oven. Sugar also helps with naturally preserving your baked treat.

Unsalted Butter

It is always important to use unsalted butter when baking. If you use salted butter, you have no way of knowing how much salt you are adding to your dough or batter and it will result in an overly salted treat.

Butter adds fats to your dough or batter which helps with moistness, flavor and texture. Butter melts at body temperature, which creates a ‘melt in your mouth’ sensation.

When baking with butter the temperature is important. If the butter is too warm your treat will melt down too fast and overspread in the oven, leaving you with a greasy, flat mess. If your butter is too cold it will have the opposite problem and not melt down enough, leaving your treat too thick.

Eggs

Adds both a protein (egg whites) and fat (egg yolks). The egg whites help with rising because, when foamed, little air pockets get trapped inside the egg white mixture. The water content in egg whites encourages steam while baking, which helps with gluten formation, resulting in nice and thick treats. Egg yolks have emulsifying properties that bring batters and doughs together and help them from collapsing. Unless otherwise specified, always use large eggs.

Overripe Bananas

Provide sweetness and moisture to your treat. You want your bananas overripe so that they are extra sweet, easy to mash and add more moisture than ripe or unripe bananas.

All-purpose Flour

Builds structure as it absorbs liquids and expands. All-purpose flour falls in the middle of bread flour (high in gluten) and cake flour (low in gluten). It’s exactly what it is named, all-purpose, the most universal flour that can be used in most baked goods.

Fine Sea Salt

Enhances flavor, adds balance, masks any bitter flavors. Salt is the most powerful and oldest preservative. Always make sure to use fine sea salt so it melts down at the right speed in the heat of the oven. If you use larger granule salt, it will not melt down fully when baked and will leave salt crystals throughout your treat, making it crunch like you dropped it into sand.

Baking Soda

Elevates the pH level of your batter or dough. It increases the spread in your treat and encourages browning, which gives the crispy outside and soft inside texture that everyone loves. Baking soda needs both an acid and a liquid to react. Things that will activate your baking soda are: vinegar, fruit juice, molasses, brown sugar, tartar, buttermilk and sour cream. Baking soda only reacts once, which is right when it’s mixed into your batter or dough. The soda creates little air bubbles all throughout your treat. When the air bubbles get heated up in the oven, they expand.

Vanilla Extract

When using pure vanilla extract, as opposed to imitation flavoring, it will add the deep rich flavor that everybody wants in a treat.

Instant Banana Pudding & Milk

Create a creamy, flavorful filling that intensifies the banana flavor within the cupcakes.

Unsalted butter

Often the main ingredient of frosting, it adds structure to your buttercream. It also adds a smooth and velvety texture. Butter melts at body temperature, so it will make your frosting have a melt-in-your-mouth sensation.

Powdered Sugar

Is just finely ground granulated sugar. It will absorb moisture in your batter or dough. It dissolves easily, ensuring a smooth texture without grittiness. Because it is so fine, it can melt quickly in the oven and spread cookies out more. Powdered sugar also stabilizes and thickens the frosting, thanks to the small amount of cornstarch it contains.

browned butter banana cupcakes filled with banana pudding and topped with browned butter frosting

Storage Tips

Filled and frosted cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator due to the dairy content in the filling. They can be kept for up to 3 days. For best texture, let them come to room temperature before serving.

You can freeze the cupcakes for up to 2 months. Wrap each cupcake individually in plastic wrap and then store them in a freezer-safe bag. Thaw back to room temperature before enjoying.

Making Ahead

The components of these cupcakes can be prepared in stages. The browned butter can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator. The cupcakes can be baked a day in advance, and the pudding filling can be prepared and refrigerated. Assemble the cupcakes with filling and frosting on the day of serving for optimal freshness.

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Why make browned butter banana cupcakes?

In essence, these browned butter banana cupcakes are a celebration of flavor, texture, and the joy of baking. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or new to the kitchen, this recipe offers an opportunity to explore the delightful complexity that browned butter brings to a beloved fruit, resulting in a dessert that’s sure to impress.

browned butter banana cupcakes filled with banana pudding and topped with browned butter frosting

Recipes You May Love

Browned Butter Banana Cupcakes

Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 48
Browned butter banana cupcakes, filled with banana pudding, topped with browned butter frosting.

Ingredients 

Cupcakes

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter Browned
  • 4 eggs
  • 5 ripe bananas
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Filling

  • 1 package instant banana pudding
  • 2 cups milk

Frosting

  • 2 cups unsalted butter browned
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  • In a medium sauce pan over medium heat melt all the butter. Once the butter starts to simmer, then boil, keep an eye on it. As you hear the popping sounds start to slow down, your butter is almost done. Once the bubbling butter becomes silent, pull your butter off of the heat. Stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the browned bits. Pour the browned butter into a small bowl to cool off a bit.
  • In a separate bowl peel and mash the bananas
  • In a standing mixer add the sugar and butter, mix fully.
  • Add the eggs and mix until just combined.
  • Pour in the vanilla extract and bananas, mix until combined.
  • Add flour, salt and baking soda to the standing mixer and mix until the batter all comes together.
  • Scoop the batter into a light metal cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners.
  • Place in the oven for 18 minutes. Remove and allow to cool fully before filling and frosting.

Filling

  • While the cupcakes are baking, pour the pudding mixture and cold milk into a medium sized bowl.
  • Hand whisk for 2 minutes. Allow to sit until it thickens.
  • Once the cupcakes are cooled, pour the pudding into a piping bag with a Wilton 32 piping tip.
  • Push the piping tip into the top of each cupcake. Squeeze the piping bag until you start to see some pudding pushing back out. Repeat until each cupcake is filled with pudding.

Frosting

  • Brown the butter following the same instructions as step 2 in this recipe.
  • Allow the butter to fully cool.
  • In a standing mixer add the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
  • Turn the mixer on high and whip for 2 minutes until lighter in color and texture.
  • Frost each filled cupcake and then enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcal Carbohydrates: 31g Protein: 2g Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 8g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0.5g Cholesterol: 45mg Sodium: 136mg Potassium: 80mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 22g Vitamin A: 399IU Vitamin C: 1mg Calcium: 21mg Iron: 1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.

browned butter banana cupcakes filled with banana pudding and topped with browned butter frosting