Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: Moist banana cupcakes topped with tangy chocolate cream cheese frosting—does it get any better?! Switch up your cupcake game with this easy homemade recipe.

How long it takes: You can bake the cupcakes in just over a half hour; you’ll need an extra hour to cool the cupcakes before you frost them.
Equipment you’ll need: cupcake pan and liners, mixing bowl
Servings: makes 24 cupcakes

Banana cupcake topped with chocolate frosting and a slice of banana.
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Cupcakes from scratch don’t need to be a big production. Homemade cake batter and frosting is really all you need to make something special. These banana cupcakes are the perfect example!

We keep it simple with easy-to-make banana cupcakes and top them with a swirl of chocolate cream cheese frosting. Each element is made from scratch which makes them extra delicious. And of course, that combination of chocolate and banana is always a classic! (I also love it in this healthy chocolate banana bread and triple chocolate banana muffins.)

Don’t let the “from scratch” part intimidate you. While there’s a little more work involved than tearing open a box of cake mix, none of it is hard. This is totally a recipe beginning bakers can tackle!

Reasons To Love Banana Cupcakes

  • Supremely moist. No dry cupcakes here! Thanks to the combination of mashed bananas and buttermilk, these cupcakes have an incredibly moist, tender crumb.
  • Perfectly sweet. Homemade banana cupcakes are sweet but in a balanced way. The cream cheese frosting adds a tangy element that keeps the cupcakes from being too cloying.
  • Easy to make. This is a recipe that relies on a lot of pantry ingredients and is a great way to use overripe bananas. The cupcakes are almost as easy as a boxed mix and taste so much better. I usually spread the frosting with an offset spatula or table knife so I don’t have to stress about rosettes and swirls. Canned frosting is always an option, too. No judgment here!
  • A crowd-pleaser. Banana cupcakes are a guaranteed hit with any crowd. While store-bought chocolate and vanilla cupcakes are easy to pass up (I mean: yawn), no one can resist a homemade banana cupcake at a party.

Cooking Tip

Riper bananas aren’t just sweeter, they also add a more assertive banana flavor. Look for bananas that have lots of brown freckles. If they’re on the soft side, that’s perfect! Be sure to take a look at my collection of 16 recipes that use ripe bananas.
Overhead view of cupcakes with piped on chocolate frosting.

Ingredient Notes

I’ll get you started on the recipe here with lots of extra information. Refer to the recipe card below for ingredient measurements, instructions, and nutrition information in a printable format.

For the Cupcakes

  • All-Purpose Flour: Be sure to lightly spoon the flour into your measuring cups, as opposed to scooping it. This ensures you’re not adding more flour than you need!
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda: The two leavening agents are combined to give the cupcakes an airy texture.
  • Salt: Salt enhances the overall flavor of your baked goods. Don’t skip it; your cupcakes will taste flat without it.
  • Butter: I recommend unsalted butter; let it soften so it’s easy to incorporate into the banana cupcake batter.
  • Sugar: The bananas alone won’t add enough sweetness to these cupcakes, so sugar is essential.
  • Bananas: Be sure to measure the bananas after mashing them. Three bananas can yield different volumes when mashed and you don’t want to add too much or too little, which can affect the texture and flavor of your finished cupcakes.
  • Buttermilk: No buttermilk on hand? Don’t want to buy a bottle? Here’s how to make buttermilk.
  • Eggs: Let the eggs sit on the countertop with the milk so they come to room temperature. Room temperature eggs hold more air when beaten, giving your banana cupcakes a fluffier texture.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: I always recommend pure vanilla, not imitation!

For the Frosting (make a double batch for piping)

  • Cream Cheese: Use the kind that comes in blocks, not a tub, and let it soften to room temperature.
  • Unsalted Butter: Like the butter for the cake, this also needs to be softened.
  • Milk: You can use any variety you have on hand for this recipe.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: Even though this is a chocolate frosting, vanilla will enhance the overall flavor.
  • Cocoa Powder: Either Dutch process or natural cocoa powder will work here.
  • Powdered Sugar: If your sugar seems lumpy, I recommend sifting it first. Your mixer will break up a lot of the lumps, but not all of them!
Overhead view of ingredients needed for recipe.

How To Make Banana Cupcakes

Preheat your oven to 375°F and line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a second mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the mashed bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla.

Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, first at low speed, then increasing to medium. Beat for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed.

Divide the batter into the cupcake liners. Bake the banana cupcakes for about 16 minutes, or until they’re lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the cupcakes in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Unfrosted cupcakes on cooling rack.

How To Make Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Wait until the cupcakes are completely cool before frosting them.

Beat the cream cheese and butter until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Add the cocoa, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon milk and beat until blended, then beat in the powdered sugar.

Add more powdered sugar or milk, if needed, to reach the desired consistency.

Use an offset spatula or butter knife to spread the frosting onto the cupcakes.

Piped Frosting: If you prefer, make a double batch of frosting and use a piping bag to frost the cupcakes (as pictured).


Can these banana cupcakes be made gluten-free?

Yes, you can make these cupcakes gluten-free by substituting a gluten-free flour blend for the all-purpose flour. Make sure to check that it’s a 1:1 baking blend. Keep in mind that texture and density may vary slightly with gluten-free flours.

What’s the secret to moist cupcakes?

The secret to moist cupcakes lies in using ingredients that retain moisture, such as the buttermilk and bananas in this recipe, and your technique. Avoid over-mixing the batter, which can lead to tough cupcakes, and be sure not to over-bake them as that can dry them out.

Frosting Options

Add A Little Extra To Your Cupcakes

  • Mix-ins: Mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or peanut butter chips are a delicious addition to your banana cupcakes. Be sure to take a look at my banana chocolate chip cake recipe.
  • Fillings: Core the center of the cupcakes using a cupcake corer or a small knife and spoon in a dollop of frosting, caramel (or bourbon caramel sauce), chocolate ganache, or peanut butter.
  • Garnishes: Sprinkles, chocolate shavings, chopped nuts, banana chips—any of these would be tasty!
Cupcake with bite taken out of it to show texture.

Make Ahead Ideas

The banana cupcakes can be baked ahead of time and stored unfrosted in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one day or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Storage Suggestions

It’s best to refrigerate these banana cupcakes since they have cream cheese in the frosting. Store them in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days. They can be frozen unfrosted for up to 3 months.

More Banana Recipes


Banana Cupcakes

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 16 minutes
Total: 1 hour 33 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Moist banana cupcakes topped with tangy chocolate cream cheese frosting—does it get any better?! Switch up your cupcake game with this easy homemade recipe.
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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup mashed)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

FOR THE FROSTING (Make a double batch to pipe frosting)

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ teaspoons milk (add more as needed for the right consistency)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (add more as needed for the right consistency)


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
    2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder, ¾ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
    ½ cup butter, softened, 1 cup sugar, 2 large eggs
  • Add mashed bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla; beat just until combined. Mixture may look somewhat curdled.
    3 medium ripe bananas, mashed, ½ cup buttermilk, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Add flour mixture, beat on low until combined, then increase speed to medium. Beat for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
  • Divide batter evenly, filling cupcake liners about ½ full. Bake 16 minutes or until lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely before frosting (about 1 hour).
  • Meanwhile, prepare frosting. Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy. Add cocoa, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon milk. Beat until blended. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth and light. Add more powdered sugar or milk, if needed, for the desired consistency.
    4 ounces cream cheese, softened, 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, ¼ cup cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 1 ½ teaspoons milk, 2 cups powdered sugar
  • Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread the frosting on the cupcakes.For piped frosting (as pictured), use a piping bag and your choice of tip. You may need to beat in extra powdered sugar for a firmer consistency to pipe.
  • Serve cupcakes immediately or store in fridge until ready to serve.


  • The riper the bananas, the sweeter the cupcakes will be. Since bananas vary widely in size, it’s best to measure the mashed bananas so you have the correct amount.
  • Frosting options: Feel free to use your favorite frosting. The post has additional homemade frosting recipe links. Canned frosting is just fine, too. The bananas are so rich and moist, they’re great without frosting, too!


Serving: 1frosted cupcake, Calories: 181kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 29mg, Sodium: 185mg, Potassium: 106mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 191IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 45mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes says:

    Gotta love a good cupcake! I can’t wait to make these! Thanks for linking to my monster cookie dough cupcakes!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      You’re welcome! I hope you love these!

  2. Carolyn says:

    How do I utilize the the shortening in this recipe?
    Is it melted first?
    if not, exactly where do I mix it in? The wet or dry ingredients?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      The shortening is mixed in with the rest of the wet ingredients. No need to melt. :) Enjoy!

  3. Dee says:

    I just recently discovered your web site when looking for a banana cupcake recipe. These are AMAZING! Thank you — a real big hit with everyone!!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you liked the cupcakes! Can’t go wrong with all that frosting. ;)

  4. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says:

    kids should NOT get cancer :( Ugh it’s so sad to think about.

    So instead I’ll focus on happy things, like OXO and these fantabulous cupcakes!

  5. Sharleen says:

    Great recipe and thank you for sharing! Not quite as easy without a cupcake corer though.. But hey, I am determined and I managed just fine although they probably weren’t as pretty under the frosting. I couldn’t let those cored-out insides go to waste so I ate most of them and instead, they went to “waist”.
    I scolded myself. I ate one less cupcake. There! It all worked out in the end. Thank you again.

  6. Deborah says:

    I totally love that oxo is giving money to such a great cause for this post. And I totally love these cupcakes!