The Banana Cupcake Experiment

Last week I read a friend’s funny post about karma and cream of tartar not being immortal and I thought…duh!  I would never do something like that…hahaha!  It goes to show how you should never say never! It wasn’t all that long ago that I decided to get a new baking powder because I was tired of chipping and mashing baking powder chunks from my jumbo-restaurant-sized bottle that was about 5 years old.  It wasn’t because it was “too old”, I just didn’t like having to mash it up before I could measure it.  What an amazing difference in the Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake I made a couple of weeks ago!  It was this recipe lead me to replace buttermilk with plain yogurt…which leads me to my “karma” moment and the discovery that plain yogurt and plain Greek yogurt are not created equal.  Case in point.

Banana Cupcakes 1

I love my Banana Cupcakes…so does everyone else!  They are so tasty that friends ask us to make them for THEIR parties – they are always a hit in any crowd.  So on Saturday, when Megan said that her friend wanted us to make banana cupcakes for a baby shower, I thought “easy peasy”.  All I needed was bananas and eggs.  Megan was going to be gone most of the day and General Conference was on cable, so I thought we would just wait until the evening to bake the cupcakes and then frost them in morning so they’d be fresh.  No problem, right?  Wrong!  After the first batch baked, they looked a little pale, but the toothpick came out clean, so off to the freezer they went.  Next batch in.  As the time neared the second batch being done, Megan fetched the first batch out of the freezer and came in the kitchen with a puzzled look on her face.  “Are these cupcakes supposed to look like this?”  Not a good question for a baker to hear!  Low and behold, when I looked at the cupcakes, they had shrunken and shriveled up to just a shadow of their former self!  Taking the second batch out, we decided to let them cool on the counter to see what happened.  The third batch went into the oven. 

You know the saying, “A watched pot never boils.”?  Well, let me just say that doesn’t apply to watching banana cupcakes shrink and shrivel right before your eyes.  If the cupcakes were for our own family’s consumption, it wouldn’t matter.  They still tasted really good, even though they were a little heavier than normal.  But when you’re making them for someone else’s party, this just wouldn’t do.  Added to that, it was 10 o’clock at night, only one banana left and whatever it was that I used in this batch was not working.  The only difference between this batch and the last time I made this recipe was that  I used plain Greek yogurt instead of just plain yogurt.  These puny little cupcakes did not make me happy, so off to the store I went to get more bananas and buttermilk – the ingredient that was in the original recipe.  I certainly didn’t want to risk a second failed batch.

Banana Cupcakes 2

A view from the top reveals the difference.  (Pay no attention to the frosting application…just using up the leftovers on the “duds”!)

Banana Cupcakes 4

This doesn’t show the size difference as much as the view from the top, but you can see how the cupcake itself looks different.  (Made with buttermilk on the left, Greek yogurt on the right.)  So I’ve decided that when I bake for someone else, I’ll steer clear from experimenting with a tested and approved recipe!  Starting baking a little earlier in the evening would also be helpful.  And I will also make it a point to keep buttermilk on hand!

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