These cupcakes would so fun for a birthday and will be the hit of any party!
The cake part is a banana cake made from scratch (and it tastes amazing!), but if you wanted to, you really could use a yellow or white cake mix. However, to get the full banana split effect, I recommend making the banana cupcakes. They are fairly easy to whip up and taste so good.
Banana Split Cupcakes Adapted from: Annie's Eats Makes about 30 cupcakes
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups sugar
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe banana
Vanilla Frosting Ingredients:
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine
4 cups (1 lb) sifted confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tsp vanilla
Chocolate Ganache Ingredients:
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt; whisk together and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium low and add in eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in 1 the mashed banana until well combined. With the mixer on low speed alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing only until just incorporated.
Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about 2/3 to ¾ full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-22 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
When the cupcakes are cooled, prepare the frosting. Cream butter and shortening with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at a medium speed until light and fluffy. Put frosting into a piping bag (or a Ziploc bag with a small corner cut off). Pipe a swirl of the frosting in a circle on each cupcake, covering most of the top of the cupcake.
To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and pour the hot cream over the chocolate; let stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk together until a thick, smooth ganache forms. Blend in the corn syrup. Let stand at room temperature at least 10 minutes so the ganache is not hot.
To finish the cupcakes, pour a spoonful of the ganache over the vanilla frosting of each cupcake. Garnish with sprinkles and maraschino cherries before the glaze sets. Chill the assembled cupcakes until ready to serve.