Clean “Elvis” Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes

An easy recipe for moist banana cupcakes with sweet peanut butter frosting. With their decadent taste, nobody will guess they’re healthy & clean-eating!

 

 

Last week, my parents rented a spacious house in Lake Tahoe with four bedrooms, a living room and loft, a wraparound porch, two-story-tall floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides, and an airy kitchen with a double oven. I nearly called the owners on the spot when I first opened the door to ask if I could housesit semi-permanently. Two ovens and all of that natural light? It was a baking blogger’s dream!  

 

 

Wednesday afternoon, I shoved my PJs and hiking clothes into a small overnight duffel and hopped in my cart to twist and turn my way up those winding mountain roads to spend 24 hours with them. I eased into the driveway shortly before 6 pm, and with all of our stomachs growling, we backtracked three miles into Tahoe City to dine out at one of our favorite tiny restaurant chains: Jake’s on the Lake.

 

The hostess seated us a table out on the back patio, gazing out over the docks where the sailboats gently bobbed in the small waves while their siblings, tiny triangles way out in the distance, gracefully floated on the other side of the massive lake.

 

 

Knowing we mainly came for dessert, we ordered a side salad and two entrées—halibut and ahi—to split between the three of us. While we nibbled, we chatted and caught up, occasionally staring out over the water at the gloomy rainclouds gathering and bumping into each other, sending down long slivers of lightning, accompanied by loud bass drums of thunder, about 10-20 miles away.

 

When our server set down our highly anticipated sweet treat, a gigantic “Hula Pie” ice cream dessert (I created a smaller copycat recipe last summer!), we dug in with spoons and forks (required for that thick Oreo crust) with ice cream flying towards out mouths so quickly that it probably appeared as if we hadn’t eaten any in 10 years.

 

 

With fully satisfied stomachs, we paid the bill and drove home, settling back into the lounge chairs on the porch to watch the rosy pink sunset. As the stars started twinkling in the slowly darkening sky, another bolt of lightning flashed almost directly above our heads, immediately followed by a loud clap of thunder that rattled our eardrums, so we dashed inside just before the heavens opened and raindrops pelted the deck.

 

With Mom in an easy chair and Dad on the larger couch, I curled up on the love seat, staring out through the two-story-tall windows at the tiny beads of water slowly trickling down the glass. Although I generally dislike the rain, I gladly welcomed it in Tahoe. It forced me to slow down—something I don’t normally do with this full-time blogging job!—and I felt so cozy inside of the comfortable cabin.

 

 

Just like my Tahoe thunderstorm experience, these Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes are cozy and filled with familiar flavors. Pretty swirls of slightly nutty frosting sit atop the tender banana cakes—a fun rendition of Elvis’s favorite PB and banana sandwich! Despite their sweet taste, they’re still skinny and clean-eating. Yes, they contain NO butter, refined flour or refined sugar!

 

 

The banana cupcake batter comes together in a snap. Whisk the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another; mix them together (remember to alternate additions for the most tender cupcakes!) then spoon the batter into lined muffins cups and bake. It’s that easy—no mixer required! The cupcake batter will be very thick, almost like muffin batter, but with two entire mashed bananas and Greek yogurt, they still turn out fabulously moist.

 

I used whole wheat pastry flour in these cupcakes. Compared to regular whole wheat flour, the pastry variety is ground a little finer and produces a lighter texture closer to all-purpose flour. I chose Bob’s Red Mill, one of my favorite brands. If you don’t own whole wheat pastry flour, you can substitute either regular whole wheat (to keep them “clean”) or all-purpose, but the regular whole wheat may turn out ever so slightly denser.

 

 

After biting into one fresh out of my oven (the official taste test!), I nearly squealed with joy and texted my guy. “I think these banana cupcakes are the best I’ve ever made.” So moist… So tender… So full of banana flavor. And without the frosting, they totally count as muffins! So I left a few unfrosted to nibble on for breakfast for a couple of days.

 

 

But since Greek yogurt is the base from the frosting, you could probably still count a frosted cupcake as breakfast food too! That’s right, the frosting is just Greek yogurt, peanut butter, Stevia (or your favorite sweetener), and a tiny bit of xanthan gum to stiffen it up and make it pipe-able. If you don’t have xanthan gum, you can skip it! Just spread the frosting across the tops instead.

 

 

With their classic flavor combination, these healthy Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes are an absolutely irresistible dessert. With their minimal prep and super easy frosting, they’re perfect for easy weeknight treats, laid-back weekend get-togethers, or even a special birthday dessert!

 

Other than the two I brought up to the cabin for my parents, I saved the rest for me—because who wouldn’t want healthy cupcakes for breakfast?

 

 

If you like this recipe, then be sure to follow my Healthy Baking board on Pinterest!

 

Clean “Elvis” Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Serving Size: 1 cupcake

Clean “Elvis” Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes

These are honestly some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever eaten—and I’ve had more than my fair share of sweet treats! The banana cake is so moist, and the peanut butter frosting adds the perfect subtle nutty touch. You can prepare the cupcakes up to two days in advance and the frosting up to three days early. Store the unfrosted cupcakes in an airtight container on the counter and the frosting in an airtight container in the fridge. If possible, wait to assemble until just before serving for the best and freshest taste!

for the cupcakes
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 c mashed banana (about 2 medium)
2 tbsp + 2 tsp powdered Stevia (I used Trader Joe’s)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
¼ c plain nonfat Greek yogurt
½ c nonfat milk

for the frosting
1 ¾ c plain nonfat Greek yogurt
¼ c creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp powdered Stevia
1 tsp xanthan gum (optional)

  1. To prepare the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F and line 12 standard-sized muffin cups with paper cupcake liners. Lightly spray twice with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together the coconut oil, mashed banana, Stevia, and vanilla until well combined. Add in the Greek yogurt, stirring until no large lumps remain. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk, beginning and ending with the flour, and stirring just until incorporated. (For best results, add the flour mixture in 3 equal parts and the milk in 2 equal parts.)
  3. Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups, and bake at 350°F for 17-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the tops feel fairly firm to the touch. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. To prepare the frosting, beat the Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and Stevia together in a bowl. Gently stir in the xanthan gum (if using) with a fork, mixing just until it’s barely incorporated. Just before serving, spread or pipe on top of the cooled cupcakes.

Notes: Regular whole wheat flour may be substituted in place of the whole wheat flour, but the cupcakes will have a slightly denser feel and not quite as light of a crumb.

Unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, may be used in place of the coconut oil.

You may substitute your favorite solid-form sweetener (not a liquid!) in place of the Stevia. You’ll need the equivalent of about ½ cup of sugar in the cupcakes and about 6 tablespoons in the frosting. Just note that the Nutrition Information (see below) may change depending on your choice.

The xanthan gum stiffens up the frosting to give it a pipe-able consistency. You may omit it, but the frosting will be a little softer and will probably need to be spread on top of the cupcakes instead of piped.

Store any leftover frosted cupcakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

© Amys Healthy Baking. Recipe and all images protected. Please obtain my written permission before using images. If republishing this recipe, please rewrite it in your own words or link back to this post.
http://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2014/07/19/clean-elvis-peanut-butter-banana-cupcakes/

View Nutrition Information

 

You may also like these clean-eating recipes…

 

 

 

 

 

*Disclosure: Some of the links included in this post may be affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you purchase through those links. I really appreciate your support!



Comments

  1. Karen @ The Food Charlatan says on July 20, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Love these Amy! Is there anything better than a peanut butter cupcake? I think not. And that Hula thing looks AMAZING, I think I need to get myself over to Tahoe :) Sounds like you had a fun time! I would love to stay in an awesome window house like that!

    • Amy says on July 20, 2014 at 11:12 am

      Thank you Karen! We should take a road trip up to Tahoe sometime! I was surprised at how easy the drive was, and it’s totally worth having a huge Hula Pie at the end of it. Let’s make a plan next week when we see each other! ;)

  2. Helen @ Scrummy Lane says on July 20, 2014 at 7:45 am

    I’m feeling a little envious right now, Amy, because I made some healthy cupcakes (well, muffins) of my own today and they just weren’t what I was hoping for. I’ll have to take note of a few of your tips and see if I can do any better next time! Particularly love your idea of using Greek yoghurt for your frosting. I think Greek yoghurt is such a good sub for so many things. :-)

    • Amy says on July 20, 2014 at 11:13 am

      I still have 2 left — they’re all yours! ;) Greek yogurt is definitely my favorite healthy baking staple. It adds so much moisture to muffins and cakes, and yes, it makes an incredible frosting too! (My favorite is mixing it with instant pudding; it’s much cheaper than the xanthan gum!) I hope your next batch of healthy cupcakes/muffins turns out beautifully Helen!

  3. Gretchen @ Two Healthy Kitchens says on July 20, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    Oh Amy … these cupcakes take me back to high school!! I loved to bake, and my dad required a dessert after each dinner, so we always had a sweet treat on hand. My favorite thing to make (besides rice crispy treats – my fave … not his!) was a banana cake with peanut butter frosting!! It was so well loved at our house, we’d eat one in just a few days, and then I’d make another! Sooooo yummy!!!
    And of course, you know that Shelley and I are huge fans of the Elvis flavor … can’t wait to make these!! :)

    • Amy says on July 20, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      Gretchen, that’s just the sweetest story about you baking for your dad! I would’ve loved to be a part of your household — a sweet treat after every dinner? Sounds like bliss to me! :) And thank you for the reminder about rice krispie treats! They’re my guy’s favorite, but I haven’t made him any since Valentine’s Day… I think that needs to change soon!

  4. Maureen says on July 21, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Yum, yum, and YUM! I just pinned it. I think I’ll substitute almond flour for the wheat flour. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

    • Amy says on July 21, 2014 at 10:43 pm

      Thanks for the pin Maureen! And I’m really excited to hear how the almond flour works for you. :)

  5. Thalia @ butter and brioche says on July 21, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I am SO craving one of these cupcakes right now.. dont think you can ever go wrong with peanut butter and banana. looks delicious, thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Amy says on July 21, 2014 at 10:44 pm

      Thank you Thalia! You’re right, PB and banana is a match made in heaven. One of my favorite flavor combos!

  6. Julia says on July 21, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    These sound like a perfect breakfast idea! Icing included! Haha. Sounds like you had a good trip to Tahoe, but only for 24 hours? It must have been hard to leave! I just went for my first time last summer, and it’s so beautiful! I can’t wait to go back.

    • Amy says on July 21, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      Thanks Julia! It actually wasn’t so bad just spending 24 hours in Tahoe. My parents just bought a cabin there, so now I can head back up whenever I want! And it’s only about 2.5-3 hours to drive, so once they get internet installed (and I can blog from the cabin), I might never leave! ;)

      • Julia says on July 22, 2014 at 7:54 pm

        That is so amazing! I didn’t realize they bought it, I thought you were renting it. I wouldn’t blame you if you never left!

        • Amy says on July 22, 2014 at 10:40 pm

          Oh! I’m sorry for the confusion Julia. We rented the cabin I described, but while we were up there, my parents signed the papers to buy a different cabin. If only I could keep those windows and the double oven! ;)

          • Julia says on July 23, 2014 at 3:49 pm

            Oh I see! Don’t be sorry, I’m the one being nosy! Haha. Well congrats to your family, that is so exciting–(double oven or not)!

          • Amy says on July 23, 2014 at 10:25 pm

            Thanks Julia! And I don’t mind — you aren’t being nosy at all! :)

  7. Brittany says on July 21, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    You cupcakes look heavenly, and your stories about the Tahoe trip are magical. I want to get snug and cozy with a storm while in a cabin. Eating a cupcake preferably!

    • Amy says on July 21, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      My parents just bought a cabin in Tahoe, so you should totally come down and visit. We’ll go hiking as often as you want!! (I’m serious. Open invitation — as long as it isn’t snowing! ;) )

Trackbacks

Leave a Comment