This past weekend, my parents and I drove an hour south of their house to my brother’s Masters graduation at his university. As part of a small department with a slightly obscure focus, the gala took place in a quaint performance hall on campus with a catered reception in the courtyard afterward.
We arrived nearly an hour early, with plenty of time to pick out prime seats and snap pictures with my brother in his cap and gown. With a 110°F heat wave outside, we stayed in the concert hall for almost all of those photos—thank goodness for air conditioning!
The ceremony lasted less than an hour, even with multiple musical performances and important faculty members reading a short bio before each of the undergrad and graduate students received their fancy diplomas. Before any baby could cry or grandparent could nod off, we applauded one final time before heading outside for the gourmet celebratory food.
Three long buffet tables awaited, with a string quartet situated at one end and a bartender in the center of the patio. Crudités and dips, crackers and soft cheeses, spinach frittatas and stuffed mushrooms, bacon-wrapped artichokes and grilled chicken, brownie bites and chocolate chip cookie bars, fresh fruit and chocolate fondue… Even with so many tempting options, we managed to be polite and only nibble!
With my brother’s many food allergies, he put the least amount of food on his plate and nearly skipped the dessert table altogether… Just about everything there, especially the baked treats, contained eggs—one of his more severe reactions!
But not these Healthy Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting! They’re perfectly safe for my brother to eat and full of sweet oh-so-irresistible flavors. With their dreamy frosting swirls, these cupcakes look much fancier than any of the department’s graduation desserts, but they’re much easier to make than you’d expect—and just 120 calories!
The cupcake base starts with white whole wheat flour (like this!). It’s made from a special type of soft white wheat, which has the same health benefits as regular wheat but a lighter taste and texture. That last part makes it perfect for tender baked goods, like cookies, brownies, scones, pound cakes, and of course, these cupcakes!
With just 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, the rest of these cupcakes’ tender texture comes from mashed banana. The banana also replaces the eggs (aka it’s safe to sneak as many spoonfuls of batter as you want!) and adds natural sweetness. For the best results, use bananas with more brown spots than yellow! They may look too ripe to eat, but they’re much sweeter than their pure yellow siblings, making them perfect for these cupcakes!
To make the cupcakes taste a bit sweeter, you’ll also mix in a little liquid stevia. It’s one of my favorite ingredients! Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener. Nothing refined or artificial here! It’s also very concentrated, so you just need 1 ½ teaspoons for all 12 cupcakes. This is the kind I buy because I love its sweet flavor and don’t notice any strange aftertaste. I purchase it online here because that’s the cheapest price I’ve found, and you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!
Before dolloping your yummy cupcake batter into your pan, remember to coat your cupcake liners with cooking spray! Low-fat batters stick to liners like superglue, so this little trick helps the paper liners peel away with only a few crumbs attached, just like with regular indulgent cupcake batters.
Then all that’s left to do is wait for them to cool, add frosting on top, and…
Enjoy! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy banana cupcakes!
Healthy Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 cups (240g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp (14g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup (260g) mashed banana (about 2 large ripe bananas – see Notes!)
- 1 ½ tsp liquid stevia
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp (210mL) unsweetened cashew milk
- cream cheese frosting, for serving (see Notes!)
- To prepare the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners, and coat the liners with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together the coconut oil, vanilla, and banana. Mix in the liquid stevia and 2 tablespoons of milk. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the remaining milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and stirring just until incorporated. (For best results, add the flour mixture in 3 equal parts.)
- Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners. Bake at 350°F for 17-20 minutes or until the centers feel firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, top with cream cheese frosting just before serving.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also enjoy Amy’s other recipes…
♡ Mini Dark Chocolate Banana Cupcakes
♡ Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Vanilla Frosting
♡ Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting
♡ Classic Carrot Cake Cupcakes
♡ Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
♡ Chocolate Cupcakes with Cookies ‘n Cream Frosting
♡ Orange Creamsicle Cupcakes
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Chocolate Cupcakes
Karen @ The Food Charlatan says...
That sounds like basically the most amazing ceremony ever! Every graduation should come with snacks at the end, amiright? These cupcakes!! YUM!
Thanks Karen! 🙂 That’s definitely what I think — but it’s probably just the private schools that do! 😉
These are divine! I made a batch of these babies to split between my family and a small dinner party. Rave reviews. Everyone asked for the recipe! I cheated a little and used storebought cream cheese frosting mixed with cocoa powder, just for a little banana-chocolate action. A keeper for sure ??
I’m so glad you loved these cupcakes, Celina! I’m truly honored that you made them for your family and dinner party. What a huge compliment that people asked for the recipe — wow!! Thank you for sharing that with me! 🙂
Rhodieleen Anne dela Cruz says...
How much sugar should I use in the cupcakes if I only have granulated sucralose?
I’m honored that you’d like to try this recipe of mine, Rhodieleen! If you have granulated sucralose (the kind that’s supposed to sweeten cup-for-cup like granulated sugar), then you’ll need ¾ cup to replace the stevia in the cupcake batter. If it’s the Splenda brand (or a similar off-brand equivalent), then you should be able to use the full amount of milk because that granulated sucralose product dissolves down to almost nothing (compared to regular granulated sugar!), and you shouldn’t have to make any modifications to the recipe. 🙂 I can’t wait to hear what you think of these cupcakes!