So this past week, it was my birthday, and as a part of my routine and annual 'Treat Yo'self' week, I ate a ridiculous amount of cupcakes. My favorite was made with the following recipe - vegan Banana Split cupcakes! I love these because the actual cake part is banana flavored and uses real mashed bananas (instead of that gross candy flavoring) to achieve it. Long story short, these cupcakes really taste exactly like banana split sundaes! This frosting is so fluffy too, and if you have a KitchenAid mixer, you'll see just how fluffy it can truly get. (I love using mine for frosting recipes like this one.) Have fun with it. Maybe experiment in making some chocolate buttercream or strawberry buttercream to change the 'ice cream' flavors of your banana split! --------------------------------------------------- Vegan Banana Split Cupcakes with Fluffy Buttercream Frosting To Make the Cupcakes: 1/2 cup pineapple preserves 1/2 cup very ripe banana, mashed well (the darker and browner the banana the better!) 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup canola oil 2/3 cup non-dairy milk 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 1/4 cup finely chopped dark chocolate 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners. 2. Stir pineapple preserves in a small saucepan over low heat till melted and they pour easily when scooped up with a spoon. Remove from heat and set aside. 3. Push the mashed bananas through a sieve or blend for a few seconds with an immersion or regular blender to get rid of any remaining lumps. It should be fairly smooth. 4. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and mix. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, rice milk, vanilla, almond extract, and mashed banana. Create a well in the dry ingredients and fold in wet ingredients, mixing to just combine — don’t over-mix (very small lumps are okay). 5. Fill liners two-thirds full. Top the batter of each cupcake with 1 teaspoon melted preserves and 1 teaspoon chopped chocolate. With a small knife, carefully stir each cupcake 2 or 3 times to swirl in preserves and chocolate. Bake for 20-22 minutes till knife inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack before frosting. To Make the Frosting: 1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening 1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine, preferably earth balance) 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted if clumpy 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer Toppings: 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts chocolate or rainbow sprinkles. for garnish 6 candied cherries, cut in half, for garnish 1. Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and soy milk and beat for another 5-7 minutes until fluffy. 2. To assemble, top cooled cupcakes with frosting; this looks best when piled high with a pastry bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Sprinkle frosting with nuts, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, then top with a cherry.