ultimate recipe swap: giada's banana muffins

banana beauty with a sweet topping
The last 24 hours have been a little crazy so after I got my girl settled this morning I headed into my sanctuary and baked a batch of Giada's Banana Muffins w/ Mascarpone Cream Frosting or what I call Brilliance in a Muffin Tin. Since this recipe is being used for both my Ultimate Recipe Swap/Whole Grains post as well as my I Heart Cooking Clubs/Resolutions post and I needed to make sure I followed my Pantry Plan there were a few substitutions I needed to make to the original recipe.

The first is the flour. Giada's recipe calls for regular all-purpose flour. Since my family primarily eats whole grain flour this was an easy swap to make. I love King Arthur Fours White Whole Wheat Flour. It's tender and light with all the health benefits of the wheat berry. If your looking to get your family to eat more whole grains, this is a great place to start. I have replaced my regular white flour with this one in almost 95% of my baking and I have never been disappointed.

I also wanted to make sure I bumped up the flavor to balance the whole wheat. So I increased the flavor profile just a smidge and the end result is just awesome! I would be surprised if they lasted the day in my kitchen. Truly.

So take a walk on the wild side and embrace a whole grain in the New Year! You'll be better for it...I promise.

Celebrate the Feast!
the texture with the white whole wheat flour is tender and moist - yumm!
Banana Muffins w/ Mascarpone Cream Frosting
Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

3 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 ripe bananas, peeled and coarsely mashed

3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl to blend. Beat the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the banana. Add the dry ingredients and stir just until blended.

Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake the muffins on the middle rack until the tops are golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out with no crumbs attached, about 25 minutes. Transfer the muffins to a rack and cool slightly. The muffins may be eaten warm or cooled completely and frosted.

To frost the cupcakes: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the mascarpone cheese and then beat in the honey. Spread the frosting over the muffins. Sprinkle with the walnuts.