Dairy Free AMAZING Banana Cupcakes w/ Spiced No Butter Buttercream

Let me start this post by saying that I'm not usually one to brag but I've been making the most delicious banana cupcakes for years. It doesn't matter what frosting I paired them with -peanut butter, cream cheese, browned butter- they always tasted amazing and they even once got rave reviews from a group of preteen girls when I was selling them at a Farmer's Market. So it's safe to say that one of my worries during the process that is going dairy free is that I won't be able to bake cupcakes that taste just as good without using real butter.

It's safe to say those worries were totally and completely unfounded. I took some of these to a church block party awhile back and everyone who tried one said they tasted great. They also passed the all important Brother Test, and he's always been brutally honest, so I know they're definitely good enough to share here.

I started by whipping up a buttermilk with some apple cider vinegar and cashew milk. I've done this a million times with normal dairy milk, but it was my first time attempting it with a non dairy milk and I have to say, it turned out pretty good! I honestly didn't notice a difference between using this and your average, full dairy milk once it was in the cupcakes.

Into a large bowl went brown sugar, white sugar and non dairy butter. I used Smart Balance, but you could of course use Earth Balance, any variety of non dairy butter, margarine, or even regular butter.

I whipped that all together with my hand mixer... And honestly, at this point I wasn't feeling too terribly confident. It wasn't looking as cohesive as it normally did, and it was kinda grainy no matter how much I mixed it. Nevertheless, I continued and added my eggs.

 So much better! With the eggs it was looking a lot more like what I was used to. I was starting to get a bit of my baking confidence back!

Next was some good ol' fashioned banana mashing. I use 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas, which in this case turned out to be 3 bananas. Depending on the size of your banana you might use more or less. To get the right amount I almost always mash one banana at a time into a 2 cup measuring cup until I've reached the proper amount. I also usually add my vanilla into my mashed bananas at this point and then give it a quick stir.

It's also very important to make sure your bananas have a good amount of brown on them. Underripe bananas just won't give you the amount of sweetness that you need.

Add the bananas to the wet ingredients and mix, mix, mix!

I combined my dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and the not-so-secret ingredient pumpkin pie spice) into a smaller bowl. I then admired the way they all looked in the bowl because I'm weird and have a strange fondness for the way cinnamon looks against bright white flour.

I added the dry to the wet in 3 parts, alternating the dry ingredients with the buttermilk mixture.

Then I just scooped them into some cupcake pans and popped them into 350° F oven for about 15-20 minutes. The dark pans cook a little faster than the light, so I ended up starting with 15 minutes and checking every 2 minutes after that.

Now for what I thought was going to be the hardest part- the frosting! I started with Smart Balance butter and some shortening and whipped it together really well.

Then I added a good dose of cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt before giving that another whirl.

Not pictured is me adding vanilla and mixing again before I started adding powdered sugar in 1 cup intervals.

Now, it looked incredibly weird at first, and again, I was cautious. I almost always make a classic American buttercream with butter and powdered sugar and let's be real, it's hard to get something that behaves exactly like butter without using, well, butter so I was a little worried. Was it going to work? Was the frosting going to come together with more mixing? Would it taste okay?

Yes, yes, and a resounding yes. 

Look at it...

... With a good bit of mixing it became creamy, dreamy...

...delicious frosting.

And then it was time for the fun part- actually piping the frosting on!

Though not before I let Cassie-Cat have a taste.

Add some sprinkles and you've got a delicious, adorable, banana-y treat! Note the messed up one in the corner. That one got left home with Brother.

Dairy Free Banana Cupcakes 
Makes 24 cupcakes 

  • 1/2 cup of non dairy buttermilk* 
  • 1/4 cup Smart Balance (Or any other non dairy butter or regular butter)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 2 eggs + 1 egg white 
  • 1 1/2 cup mashed banana (For me that was 3 bananas, but can vary depending on the size)
  • 2 tsp vanilla 
  • 2 cups flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 heaping tsp pumpkin pie spice 

*To make buttermilk add 1/2 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar to measuring cup and fill the rest of the way to 1/2 cup line with non dairy milk. 

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pan with liners 
  2.  Cream together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar in large bowl. Mixture will look a little  bit crumbly. 
  3.  Add eggs + egg white and mix. 
  4.  Add mashed bananas and vanilla and mix until well combined. 
  5.  In separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and  pumpkin pie spice. 
  6.  Add 1/3 flour mixture at a time and 1/2 of buttermilk, starting and ending with flour mixture  and mixing between. 
  7.  Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way and bake 15-20 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick  and have it come out clean. 

Spiced No Butter Buttercream

  • 1/4 cup shortening 
  • 1/2 cup Smart Balance (Or any other non dairy butter)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar 
  1.  In stand mixture or large bowl with an electric hand mixer, combine shortening and butter.
  2. Add cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt and mix. 
  3. Add vanilla and mix. 
  4. Mix in powdered sugar in 1 cup intervals, mixing until frosting becomes creamy. 

And there you have it! Dairy Free Banana Cupcakes with Spiced No Butter Buttercream! As always if you read all of this, thank you so much! I hope you found it entertaining. And, if you try the recipe please please please drop me a line in the comments and let me know how you liked it! 

For occasional recipes and crafts that I don't share here, pictures of my beloved pets, and a whole bunch of selfies you can find me on instagram @attackofthelizzy


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