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Upside-Down Caramel Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Ice Cream

Upside-Down Caramel Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Ice Cream
Upside-Down Caramel Banana Cupcakes with Vanilla Ice CreamNathan Congleton / TODAY
Cook Time:
25 mins
Prep Time:
45 mins

Chef notes

This recipe is a unique twist on three summertime favorites: banana splits, cupcakes and ice cream. The bottom of the cupcakes makes the perfect platform for a scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream with a drizzle of caramel sauce.


Ice cream
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 whole vanilla beans
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
Swiss meringue buttercream
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • cups salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
  • 6 large bananas
  • Caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought


For the ice cream:


Heat the heavy cream and half-and-half in a medium saucepan over medium heat.


Halve the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape seeds into the saucepan. Heat until just until simmering, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low.


In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Slowly pour 1/4 of the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking rapidly. Repeat twice with remaining cream making sure to whisk thoroughly after each addition. Pour egg mixture back into pan with remaining cream. Whisk constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, 6-8 minutes.


Fill a large metal bowl with ice. Place a medium metal bowl on top of ice. Pour ice cream mixture into the medium bowl and stir until cool.


Place into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.

For the cupcakes:


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a muffin tray.


In a large bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce and sour cream until well blended. Stir in flour, baking soda, and buttermilk and stir until just until combined.


Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.

For the Swiss meringue buttercream:


Bring a small pot of water to a simmer.


In a medium metal bowl, whisk egg whites and sugar together. Place bowl the pot of simmering water, whisking constantly until mixture reaches 115°F. Remove the bowl from heat and place the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. 


Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, letting it incorporate completely between additions, and beat until smooth. Beat in the caramel sauce. Add vanilla extract and stir until combined.

To assemble:


Top each cupcake with the Swiss meringue buttercream and roll edges in toffee bits. Place cupcake upside-down on a serving plate and press gently.


Top with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, drizzle with additional caramel sauce, and sprinkle with toffee bits.


Peel and slice the fresh bananas and serve alongside the cupcakes.