For Blog

In preparation for my book… I’ve been testing out quite a lot of recipes. These I like to call “Bananas Foster Cupcakes,” because they celebrate cream and rum and cake in three lavish bites. (There’s cream inside!)

I’ve discovered that to get a truly unbiased opinion on a recipe, it is best to set it in the kitchen of an anonymous office where people whisk in to grab a diet Mountain Dew or two, and may grab one of these as well as they whisk out. If they seek out answers as to how these cupcakes landed in their office kitchen, by sending out an office-wide email for example, then they probably made a lasting enough impression to be worthy of a cookbook. I like to call it the Nielsen ratings for food.

So, in the spirit of taking polls, I’m going to ask you… would you like the recipe now? Or would you like to wait for the book to come out? Do tell in the comment section below and after the tally has been taken at 12 pm Pacific time on Thursday, I will post or not post… depending on whether you all are the instant gratification type… or the waiting kind.


Okay, okay, the people have spoken. Here you go!

“Bananas Foster Cupcakes”

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr


For the Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose or cake flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/3 + 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 ripe banana pureed

For the Cream Filling:

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ cups coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon rum
  • 1 tablespoon butter

For the Icing:

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/8 cup coconut milk
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon rum


For the Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line one muffin pan with paper liners or butter and set aside.
  • In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1/3 cup sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Beat in the rum, then the banana. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk, until just combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
  • Rinse the bowl of the electric mixer and add the whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on low speed until foamy. With the mixer running, gradually add the remaining 1/8 cup sugar and beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Don’t overbeat these lovely peaks or they will turn lumpy.
  • Gently fold a third of the egg-white mixture into the butter-flour mixture until combined. Then gently fold in the rest.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the cupcakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and let cool.

For the Cream Filling:

  • Combine the sugar, flour and salt in a bowl, and stir well to mix so there are no lumps. Set aside.
  • In a heavy saucepan, beat the egg yolks well with a whisk. Over low heat, add the flour mixture to the egg yolks, alternately with the milk and rum, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, scraping the sides and corners of the saucepan as you go so the egg doesn’t cook. When the mixture begins to thicken, add the butter, continuing to stir. Keep stirring until mixture reaches a nice pudding consistency, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Fit a pastry bag with a small tip and fill it with the cream. Push the tip through the bottom of each cupcake and gently squeeze the pudding into the middle.

For the Icing:

  • Combine all of the ingredients except the rum in a double boiler and whisk constantly until it becomes thick and glossy, about 7 minutes, adding the rum half way through. Let it cool a bit, then spoon pillowy mounds of it on top of each cupcake.