Kid-friendly Old Fashioned Banana Cupcakes + Sour Cream Frosting + Creamy Dreamy Banana Shakes Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Family Meal Plan: Old Fashioned Banana Cupcakes + Sour Cream Frosting + Creamy Dreamy Banana Shakes

Family Meal Plan: Old Fashioned Banana Cupcakes + Sour Cream Frosting + Creamy Dreamy Banana Shakes

Old Fashioned Banana Cupcakes + Sour Cream Frosting + Creamy Dreamy Banana Shakes

by Erin Fletter
Photo by Nataliya Arzamasova/
prep time
30 minutes
cook time
25 minutes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Old Fashioned Banana Cupcakes

The sweetness of bananas and chocolate and the tanginess of orange and sour cream—what more could you ask for in a moist, delicious cupcake, except a topping of Sour Cream Frosting?!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Shopping List

  • 4 bananas (3 of them very ripe—yellow with brown flecks)
  • 2 to 3 frozen bananas
  • 1 orange
  • 2 extra-large eggs **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 3/4 C sour cream **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 2 C milk **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 3/4 C granulated sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil **
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 2 C all-purpose flour **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 handfuls chocolate chips, optional **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1 to 2 C powdered sugar
  • 3 T brown sugar (or 2 to 3 stevia packs)
  • 1 C ice
  • paper cupcake liners (or nut-free cooking spray or oil to grease pan)
  • toothpicks

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • adjust :

    to change seasonings or consistency to one's taste or to alter portion sizes.

  • blend :

    to stir together two or more ingredients until just combined; blending is a gentler process than mixing.

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • combine :

    to merge two or more ingredients into one mixture, like a batter of flour, eggs, and milk.

  • juice :

    to extract or squeeze out the juice of a fruit or vegetable, like a lemon, orange, or carrot, often cutting open or peeling the fruit or veggie first to access its flesh.

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • mix :

    to thoroughly combine two or more ingredients until uniform in texture.

  • stir :

    to mix together two or more ingredients with a spoon or spatula, usually in a circle pattern, or figure eight, or in whatever direction you like!

  • taste :

    to put a bit of food or drink in your mouth to determine whether more of an ingredient is needed to improve the flavor.

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

  • zest :

    to scrape off the outer colored part of a citrus fruit's rind (skin or peel) using a metal tool with small sharp blades, such as a zester, microplane, or the small holes of a grater (avoid the "pith," the white, spongy lining of the rind that can be bitter).

Equipment Checklist

  • Oven
  • Muffin pan
  • Paper cupcake liners (or nut-free cooking spray or oil to grease pan)
  • Cutting board
  • Kid-safe knife
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Zester (or grater with small zesting plate/side)
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Whisk
  • Toothpicks
  • Blender (or pitcher + immersion blender)
  • Citrus juicer (optional)
  • Medium mixing bowl


Old Fashioned Banana Cupcakes

  • 3 very ripe bananas (yellow with brown flecks) + 1 all-yellow banana to top cupcakes
  • 3/4 C granulated sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil **
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature **(for EGG ALLERGY sub 1 extra mashed banana + more—see below)**
  • 1/2 C sour cream **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free sour cream)**
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor—check label)**
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 2 C all-purpose flour **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour)**
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 handful chocolate chips, optional **(for CHOCOLATE ALLERGY omit or sub carob chips; for DAIRY/NUT/SOY ALLERGY use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips)**

Sour Cream Frosting

  • 2 T sour cream **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free sour cream or omit frosting and top cakes with 2 T puréed ripe banana)**
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor—check label)**
  • 1/2 tsp orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 to 2 C powdered sugar

Creamy Dreamy Banana Shakes

  • 2 C milk **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free milk)**
  • 1/2 T sour cream, optional **(Omit for DAIRY ALLERGY or sub dairy-free/nut-free sour cream)**
  • 2 to 3 frozen bananas
  • 3 T brown sugar (or use 2 to 3 stevia packs)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor—check label)**
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 C ice
  • 1 handful of chocolate chips, optional **(for CHOCOLATE ALLERGY omit or sub carob chips; for DAIRY/NUT/SOY ALLERGY use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips)**
  • 1 orange, juiced

Food Allergen Substitutions

Old Fashioned Banana Cupcakes

  • Soy: Substitute canola oil or other nut-free oil for vegetable oil. Use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips.
  • Egg: For 2 extra-large eggs, substitute an extra 1 mashed banana + 1/4 C sugar + 1/2 tsp baking soda, and decrease oil in recipe to 1/4 C. 
  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut-free sour cream. Use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips.
  • Gluten/Wheat: Use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor. Substitute gluten-free/nut-free all-purpose flour. 
  • Nut: Use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips.
  • Chocolate: Omit optional chocolate chips or substitute carob chips.

Sour Cream Frosting

  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut-free sour cream or omit frosting and top cakes with 2 T puréed ripe banana.
  • Gluten/Wheat: Use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor.

Creamy Dreamy Banana Shakes

  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut-free milk. Omit sour cream or substitute dairy-free/nut-free sour cream. Use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips.
  • Gluten/Wheat: Use certified gluten-free pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla flavor.
  • Nut: Use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips.
  • Soy: Use Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips.
  • Chocolate: Omit optional chocolate chips or substitute carob chips.


Old Fashioned Banana Cupcakes

preheat + chop + zest

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Have your kids chop up 3 very ripe bananas into small pieces and add to a large mixing bowl for the cupcake batter. Then zest the peel of 1 orange, being careful to grate only the orange part and not the pith (bitter white part). You'll use the zest in Step 3. Set the rest of the orange aside to juice for other recipes.

measure + whisk

Measure 3/4 cup sugar and add it to the bowl with the chopped bananas. Whisk well until combined.

crack + combine

Crack 2 eggs into the bowl with the sugar and bananas. Then add 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and the orange zest. Mix again until smooth.

measure + mix

Time for the dry ingredients! In a new bowl, measure 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk together and then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Stir in 1 handful of chocolate chips if using.

fill + bake

Line a muffin pan with paper liners or grease with oil or butter. Fill each well 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. If you are topping the cupcakes with frosting, you can make it while you wait.

cool + decorate

After removing the cupcakes from the oven, cool completely. Then spread frosting, like Sour Cream Frosting, thickly on top of each cupcake and decorate each with a slice from 1 banana.

Sour Cream Frosting

measure + mix

In a medium mixing bowl, have your kids measure and mix together 2 tablespoons sour cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon orange juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

stir + adjust

Slowly stir in 1 to 2 cups powdered sugar as needed to make a thick frosting. Have your kids whisk until the frosting is smooth. If the frosting is too thick, spoon in more sour cream, banana, or orange juice until desired consistency is reached.

Creamy Dreamy Banana Shakes

measure + combine

In a blender (or pitcher for use with an immersion blender), measure 2 cups milk, 1/2 tablespoon optional sour cream if using, 2 to 3 frozen bananas, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 pinch of salt, 1 cup ice, and 1 handful of optional chocolate chips if using.

juice + blend

Squeeze the juice from 1 orange into the blender. Blend until smooth and creamy, then taste. Does it need more orange juice? More vanilla? Adjust and enjoy!

Surprise Ingredient: Banana!

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Photo by Daria Lixovetckay/

Hi! I'm Banana!

“I'm such an 'a-peeling' fruit, I'm just going to have to tell you a little about myself! Bananas are very popular. We're long and curved, and we typically have a yellow outer layer (like some raincoats!) called a peel or skin. After peeling a banana, you can eat it whole; slice it into cereal, salads, or desserts; and mash it and put us on toast or add us to pancake or banana bread batter. Be careful not to throw your banana peel on the floor, or someone might slip on it!"


  • The Latin scientific name for banana is "musa sapientum," or "fruit of the wise men."
  • The first recorded mention of bananas is from the 6th century BCE. They were represented in Egyptian hieroglyphs.
  • Bananas may have been Earth's first fruit and the first fruit cultivated by people. The first banana farms were in southeast Asia.
  • The phrase "going bananas" came about because monkeys love bananas!
  • India produces over 26 percent of the world's bananas. In the United States, Hawaii grows the most bananas.
  • There are a few cultures, especially Japan's, where the fiber from the banana plant is used to make fabric and sometimes even paper.
  • The world's record for the longest banana split is 4.97 miles. In March 2017, Innisfail, Australia, residents made it using 40,000 bananas, 660 gallons of ice cream, and 528 gallons of topping. It took hundreds of volunteers 12 hours to prepare the banana split. 
  • People like their bananas! Worldwide we eat more than 100 billion bananas each year! Of those, Americans annually eat about 27 pounds of bananas per person. But we don't eat as many bananas as the Ugandan people. Their average consumption each year is 500 pounds per person!

Anatomy & Etymology

  • What appears to be a banana tree is actually an herbaceous flowering plant (the world's largest). 
  • A banana plant can grow an inch or more while you sleep at night, eventually growing from 10 to 25 feet high.
  • Botanically, a banana is a berry.
  • Since commercially-grown bananas do not contain seeds, you cannot grow a banana from seed unless you can find someone who sells seeds from the wild fruit. Otherwise, new plants are grown from offshoots or suckers of the banana plant.
  • A single banana fruit is called a finger, and a cluster of fruit is called a hand. There are 10 to 20 fingers on each hand.
  • About 75 percent of a banana's weight is water. 
  • Because bananas are less dense than water, they are able to float.
  • Wild banana varieties include bubblegum pink bananas with fuzzy skins, green-and-white striped bananas with orange sherbet-colored flesh, and bananas that taste like strawberries when cooked.
  • The word "banana" may have come from the West African Wolof word "banaana," through late 16th century Portuguese or Spanish. However, it could have come from the Arab word "banan," meaning finger. 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • Bananas ripen best if growers pick them when they are still green.
  • Don't separate a banana from the bunch if you want it to ripen more quickly. 
  • Putting bananas in a sealed container, like a brown paper bag, will hasten them to ripen, especially if you add another type of fruit to the bag. 
  • You may have noticed that organic bananas often come with plastic wrap around the top stems of a bunch, but you can also wrap yours at home. Tightly wrapped stems will help bananas last three to five days longer. 
  • Try peeling a banana from the bottom up toward the stem to avoid dislodging the stringy vascular tissue running down the length of the fruit inside. Those strings are called "phloem" (pronounced "flom").
  • Banana peels are actually edible if cooked.
  • Once you peel a banana and it comes in contact with air, it can begin to turn brown. Sprinkling lemon or pineapple juice on a cut banana will prevent this.
  • Don't be surprised that the banana peel turns brown or black after being refrigerated—it won't affect the fruit inside. This darkening happens because the cold breaks down the skin's cell walls and causes compounds in it to oxidize.
  • You can put ripe or overripe bananas in the freezer and then add a frozen banana to your blender when making a smoothie instead of ice. You can also insert a popsicle stick into one end of a banana, freeze the banana, then dip the frozen banana in chocolate melted with a little oil. If desired, roll the coated banana in toppings like nuts, coconut flakes, or sprinkles, then refreeze for a chocolaty, nutritious frozen dessert. 


  • Bananas contain vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6.
  • Bananas have 31 percent of the daily value of vitamin B6! This vitamin strengthens your nervous and immune systems. It also is needed for your body to make serotonin, a hormone that elevates mood.   
  • About half of all people allergic to latex may also be allergic to bananas.


History of Banana Bread and Cake!

Photo by A_Lein/
  • Banana bread and cake are found in many countries. Mashed ripe bananas are the primary ingredient in all of them. "Banana bread" was created in the United States in the 1930s, perhaps due to the circumstances of the Great Depression when cooks wanted a way to use their overripe bananas.
  • Banana bread was then introduced to the Philippines during the American colonial period, where it is called banana cake. Steamed banana cake is popular in some Asian cuisines. 
  • Mashed or chopped bananas are combined with flour, sugar, eggs, butter or oil, and baking powder or soda to make banana bread, cupcakes, or layer cake. Additions to the batter include applesauce, chocolate chips, and nuts. Banana cake and cupcakes are generally sweeter than banana bread, and toppings can be frosting or sliced bananas.

Let's Learn About the United States!

Photo by JeniFoto/ (July 4th Picnic)
  • Most of the United States of America (USA) is in North America. It shares its northern border with Canada and its southern border with Mexico. It consists of 50 states, 1 federal district, 5 territories, 9 Minor Outlying Islands, and 326 Indian reservations. 
  • The country's total area is 3,796,742 square miles, globally the third largest after Russia and Canada. The US population is over 333 million, making it the third most populous country in the world, after China and India.
  • The United States of America declared itself an independent nation from Great Britain on July 4, 1776, by issuing the Declaration of Independence.
  • The Revolutionary War between the US and Great Britain was fought from 1775-1783. We only had 13 colonies at that time! On September 9, 1976, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and declared that the new nation would be called the United States. 
  • The 13 colonies became states after each ratified the constitution of the new United States, with Delaware being the first on December 7, 1787.  
  • The 13 stripes on the US flag represent those first 13 colonies, and the 50 stars represent our 50 states. The red color of the flag symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes innocence and purity, and blue symbolizes vigilance and justice.
  • Before settling in Washington DC, a federal district, the nation's capital resided in New York City and then Philadelphia for a short time. New York City is the largest city in the US and is considered its financial center. 
  • The US does not have a recognized official language! However, English is effectively the national language. 
  • The American dollar is the national currency. The nickname for a dollar, "buck," comes from colonial times when people traded goods for buckskins!
  • Because the United States is so large, there is a wide variety of climates and types of geography. The Mississippi/Missouri River, running primarily north to south, is the fourth-longest river system in the world. On the east side of the Mississippi are the Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains, and the East Coast, next to the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • On the west side of the Mississippi are the flat Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains (or Rockies), and the West Coast, next to the Pacific Ocean, with several more mountain ranges in coastal states, such as the Sierras and the Cascades. Between the coasts and the north and south borders are several forests, lakes (including the Great Lakes), rivers, swamps, deserts, and volcanos. 
  • Several animals are unique to the US, such as the American bison (or American buffalo), the bald eagle, the California condor, the American black bear, the groundhog, the American alligator, and the pronghorn (or American antelope). 
  • The US has 63 national parks. The Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, and the Grand Canyon, with the Colorado River flowing through it, are among the most well-known and visited.
  • Cuisine in the US was influenced early on by the indigenous people of North America who lived there before Europeans arrived. They introduced beans, corn, potatoes, squash, berries, fish, turkey, venison, dried meats, and more to the new settlers. Other influences include the widely varied foods and dishes of enslaved people from Africa and immigrants from Asia, Europe, Central and South America, and the Pacific Islands. 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in the United States?

  • Education is compulsory in the US, and kids may go to a public or private school or be home-schooled. Most schools do not require students to wear uniforms, but some private schools do. The school year runs from mid-August or the beginning of September to the end of May or the middle of June.
  • Kids generally start school at about five years old in kindergarten or earlier in preschool and continue through 12th grade in high school. After that, many go on to university, community college, or technical school. 
  • Spanish, French, and German are the most popular foreign languages kids learn in US schools. 
  • Kids may participate in many different school and after-school sports, including baseball, soccer, American football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, swimming, and track and field. In grade school, kids may join in playground games like hopscotch, four-square, kickball, tetherball, jump rope, or tag.
  • There are several fun activities that American kids enjoy doing with their friends and families, such as picnicking, hiking, going to the beach or swimming, or going to children's and natural history museums, zoos and wild animal parks, amusement parks, water parks, state parks, or national parks. Popular amusement parks include Disneyland, Disney World, Legoland, Six Flags, and Universal Studios.
  • On Independence Day or the 4th of July, kids enjoy a day off from school, picnicking, and watching fireworks with their families. 
  • Thanksgiving is celebrated on the last Thursday in November when students get 2 to 5 days off school. Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are popular December holidays, and there are 2 or 3 weeks of winter vacation. Easter is celebrated in March, April, or May, and kids enjoy a week of spring recess around that time.  
  • Barbecued hot dogs or hamburgers, watermelon, apple pie, and ice cream are popular kid foods for 4th of July celebrations. Turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie are traditional Thanksgiving foods. Birthday parties with cake and ice cream are very important celebrations for kids in the United States!

The Yolk's On You

What kind of key opens a banana? 

A mon-key!

That's Berry Funny

What would you call two banana skins? 

A pair of slippers.

THYME for a Laugh

Why couldn’t the teddy bear finish his cupcake?

Because he was stuffed!

Lettuce Joke Around

Why are bananas never lonely? 

Because they hang around in bunches!

The Yolk's On You

What did the cupcake tell the frosting?

"I’d be muffin without you."

That's Berry Funny

What do you call an island populated entirely by cupcakes?


Lettuce Joke Around

"Why are you taking that sour cream into the pool?"

"Because I want to take a dip in the water."

The Yolk's On You

What’s the difference between a baseball cupcake and a baseball muffin?

The batter!

THYME for a Laugh

What do you call grumpy soft serve?

Sour cream!

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