When in Rome…Bake Banana Cupcakes

While the grown-ups were out for a day trip to Rome, the kids worked in the kitchen with Chef Ben and baked these amazing cupcakes – they were classic banana bread recipes which were baked in cupcake moulds, topped with soft cream cheese frosting and sprinkles. Dense banana bread as cupcakes were unexpected – it was moist, rich and unlike the usual fluffy sponge cakes that so often comes in a cupcake shape. It contained loads of bananas (and butter) but not too sweet. The frosting was super light like whipped cream, because the Philadelphia Cream Cheese you buy in Europe comes mainly in the whipped spreadable kind.

It was perfect.

After a lovely day of wandering around the hot narrow streets of Rome looking for fountains, gelato and pasta, it was the best to see our kids beaming with pride, waiting for us with their baked treats.

Bananas contain a significant amount of DHA Omega 3 fatty acids, as well as Vitamins C,and A, Protein, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, and of course, Potassium. It is a great superfood snack, and in the recipe below inspired by what the kids baked with Chef Ben, there are 3 bananas packed into 12 cupcakes, along with ground flaxseeds, wheat germ, spelt flour and multigrain flour. The frosting is with butter, sugar and cream cheese – it is a straight up sweet snack topping, so if you prefer to offer the cakes without all of the sugar, simply spread it on top with softened cream cheese and a few sprinkles.

Banana Bread Recipe


1 cup light brown sugar

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 large eggs

3 ripe bananas

1 tablespoon milk

¾ cup spelt flour

1 cup multigrain flour

2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds

¼ cup wheat germ

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare the cupcake moulds – (I use silicone, so no buttering needed, but if you are using cupcake mould baking sheets, butter them well or put in cupcake liners in the moulds).

2. In a bowl, cream the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until smooth and add the milk. In another bowl, mix together the flours, wheat germ, ground flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. Add the banana mixture to the butter mixture and blend well, then slowly add the dry ingredients. Mix well.

5. Pour batter into cupcake moulds.

6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Immediately invert out of the moulds and let cool on a rack for 15 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting with Sprinkles


1 lb (500 g) cream cheese at room temperature

6 tablespoons (90 g) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 ¼ cups (155 g) confectioners’ sugar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Chocolate or multicolor sprinkles (optional)

1. In a bowl, combine cream cheese with butter. Using an electric mixer, beat until smooth.

2. Add the sugar and vanilla.

3. Spread at room temperature, either by using a piping bag or by a spatula.


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