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Banana Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe with Cream Cheese Icing

How exciting, Halloween is tomorrow!  I’m sure everyone has their very scary costumes all picked out.  I know many adults celebrated Halloween over the weekend here in New Orleans.  Jeremy and I took it pretty easy but are looking forward to watching scary movies snuggled on the couch tomorrow night.  What are you up to? Any scary plans?  Taking the kids trick-or-treating? Let us know in the comments section.

Banana Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing on Cake Stand

If you’re looking for a tasty snack to make for your time waiting for trick-or-treaters, I have a good one for you.  A couple of weeks ago my sister gave me a few over-ripe bananas. Wanting to try to create something different, I came up with this banana pumpkin cupcakes recipe.  I used a banana cake recipe from AllRecipes as a guide but did change it up quite a bit.  Since it’s fall, I also added in pumpkin for an interesting twist.

Although the recipe I originally consulted was for a cake, I decided to make cupcakes because I took these to a party I was attending.  Cupcakes are so much easier to deal with than actual cake. You use the same recipe for a cupcake as you do cakes so no changes need to be made if you’d like to turn this into a full cake instead of cupcakes.

Let’s discuss some of the ingredients and techniques used in these cupcakes and then we can get on to the recipe. Since we’re making this batter from scratch, there’s quite a few ingredients to be used, as you can see below.  But the method is very easy overall.

Ingredients for the cupcake batter

First you add the pumpkin and bananas to a small bowl and mix well to combine.  Make sure you’re using very ripe bananas as they are the sweetest bananas.  I like canned pumpkin because it has a good flavor and consistency.  Great for making cupcakes as well as pies and cheesecakes.

Next you’ll want to carefully mix all of the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder and spices.  I like to mix these dry with a whisk to ensure that the baking powder is evenly dispersed throughout the flour.  Once the batter is in the mixer, you don’t want to overwork it there or the dough will get tough. If you carefully and throughly mix all of your dry ingredients together first, you’ll get a much more consistent and better end-product. As with many things, the more quality assurance you put in up front, the better product you end up with.

In the mixer, the method is very simple. We start by creaming the butter and sugar then adding the eggs and vanilla.  After that the dry ingredients are added alternating with milk. Last the banana and pumpkin are carefully stirred in by hand.   This is a fairly standard mixing method for cakes.

Cupcakes portioned into tin

Be sure to keep your mixer on the speeds indicated below. Each step benefits from different mixer speeds.  You can use a high speed for the initial creaming.  The goal here is to make the sugar and butter as light and fluffy as possible.  Next you will drop to a medium speed to add the eggs and vanilla. You don’t want eggs flying all over so a lower speed is preferable.  Last, as you’re adding the flour and milk, low speed is preferred so as to minimally agitate the flour proteins.  As needed, stop the mixer and carefully scrape down the sides to ensure even mixing.  The last step before baking is to divide the batter and then set to bake.  Pretty easy overall.

Cupcakes out of the oven

While the cupcakes are baking, go ahead and make the cream cheese icing.  All of the ingredients are combined in the mixer and mixed until smooth.  I really like cream cheese icing and it goes really well with the pumpkin and spices in these cupcakes.  Three cups of powdered sugar may seem like quite a bit but in the end, you’ll have just enough icing for 24 cupcakes.  Perfecto!

Creating icing for the cupcakes

Definitely wait at least 20 minutes as instructed before icing the cupcakes.  If cupcakes are not completely cooled prior to being iced, the top of the cupcake will be very crummy. Also, since this icing is based on butter and cream cheese, warmth from the cupcakes would melt the icing cause it to be unattractive.

A Dozen Banana Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

When icing my cupcakes, I used a pastry bag and a large star tip.  These are two items I recommend adding to any baking supply repertoire. You’ll be surprised how often you use them when you have them.  If you don’t have a pastry bag and tip, you can either free hand decorate with a butter knife or icing spatula OR you can use a Ziploc bag and cut one of the corners off.  This will allow you to make a swirly icing design.  Either way works fine.

A cake stand filled with banana pumpkin cupcakes

Now that you’re sweet tooth is activated, on to the recipe!

Yield: 12 cupcakes with icing

Banana Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe with Cream Cheese Icing

This pumpkin cupcake recipe features bananas, cinnamon, ground ginger & a decadent cream cheese icing. Perfect fall treat for a party or just for snacking.


Cupcake Batter:
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
Cream Cheese Icing:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 ºF.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the pumpkin and bananas and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger, and set aside for now.
  4. In stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Switching to medium speed on the mixer, beat in the eggs one at a time then add in the vanilla.
  6. Next switch to low speed on the mixer. Carefully add in the flour mixture alternating with the milk. Stir in banana/pumpkin mixture carefully by hand.
  7. Divide batter into 24 cupcakes.
  8. Bake in pre-heated oven for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool for at least 20 minutes before frosting.
  9. While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting: In the stand mixer, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla, and mix again until incorporated. Finally, add confectioners sugar, and mix until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
  10. Once the cupcakes are cooled, either spread or pipe the icing onto the cupcakes.

Total time includes 20 minutes cooling time after cupcakes are removed from oven.

Prep:35 min

Cook:40 min

Total:1 hour 35 min

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