Banana Pudding Cupcakes (Like the Actual Dessert!)

READY IN: 58mins




  • Heat oven to 350°F Grease 24 cupcake wells or line with paper liners. Count out 12 vanilla wafers for the garnish and set aside.
  • Place the remaining 24 vanilla wafers flat side down in the bottom of each cupcake well; set pans aside.
  • For the batter, mash the bananas with a fork until smooth, about 1 minute; you will have about 1 1/4 cups.
  • Place the cake mix, oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl with the banana puree; blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  • Increase mixer speed to medium and beat another 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as needed.
  • Spoon 1/3 cup batter into each cupcake mold, filling 3/4 full. You'll get 22-24 cupcakes; remove empty liners, if using, or take out the batterless vanilla wafers if you're greasing the pans.
  • Bake until cupcakes are golden and spring back when touched, 18-20 minutes. Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes; carefully remove cupcakes from pans and cool 15 minutes on the racks before filling.
  • Meanwhile, make the filling: Place the milk in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the pudding mix until blended.
  • Place pan over medium heat and continue to whisk as the mixture comes to a full boil, 3-4 minutes; remove pan from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Pour the pudding into a medium bowl and cool for 20 minutes.
  • While the pudding is cooling, make the topping: Crush the remaining 12 vanilla wafers; set aside.
  • In a large chilled bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer (chilled beaters also) on high speed until thickened, 1 1/2 minutes. Stop the mixer and add the sugar; beat again until stiff peaks form, 1-2 minutes more.
  • To assemble the cupcakes, remove the paper liners and place cakes on a platter. Spoon the pudding into a pastry bag fitted with a wide tip.
  • Pipe a generous amount of pudding into each cupcake (1-2 Tbsp) through the center of the top, allowing about 1 teaspoons of the pudding to overflow onto the surface of the cupcakes.
  • Sprinkle the wafer crumbs on top of the pudding and dollop about 1 tablespoons of the whipped cream over the crumbs.
  • Just before serving, stand a banana slice in the whipped cream; serve.
  • Store the cupcakes, without the banana garnish, lightly covered in the refrigerator for 1 day; add the banana slice just before serving.