Does Mr. Presley Approve?

You better believe he would. After all, this week brings Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Banana Butter Frosting. As that very combination – PB and bananas – was one of Elvis’s favorites, this is exactly the sort of treat that’d leave the singer All Shook Up.

Of course, the beguiling aroma drifts through the kitchen, and soon through the house, long before the cupcakes are ready. Quite nearly too much temptation to bear, hence a plea sent oven-ward, “Don’t Be Cruel.”

OK, that’s enough. Still, when AllRecipes flagged the recipe in its April/May 2020 issue, Elvis’s tastes immediately came to mind:

If the paring is enough to satisfy The King, might it attract this site’s readers too? Possibly.

Actually, the AllRecipes columnist’s grandmother Lottie invented cupcakes decades ago, and someone else developed the frosting. At some point, the two elements were brought together. The combination is inspired.

The cupcakes are light in texture, yet are dense in flavor. They’re moist too. Not only does the peanut butter add smoothness, but a surprising addition, applesauce, keeps the crumb supple. Just look at the results:

The frosting is up to the task too, as nearly three bananas and a generous supply of butter keeps things creamy and flavorful. If anything, the recipe could use a little more butter, though, and a final mix at high speeds, to amp up the frosting’s fluffiness. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the taste, but adjustments incorporated into the preparation below will produce topping with stiff peaks.

Not that any of this would matter much to an aficionado like Elvis, who was into the combination of peanut butter and bananas long before they became a “thing.” In answering the question posed initially, The King almost certainly would approve of this latest incarnation. Try these cupcakes and, one hopes, so will you.


The next track is a Spoonflower original. More specifically, the artist is Penny Maudsley, who created the design Hound Dog Retro.


Lottie’s Peanut Butter Cupcakes

  • 1-and-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (*1)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Lisa’s Peanut Butter Frosting (recipe below)
  • sweetened banana chips, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the brown sugar, peanut butter, applesauce, oil, and vanilla until smooth and well combined.  Add eggs, one at a time, and beating after each addition until combined.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk, also added a little at a time.  Mix until just combined.

Fill the prepared muffin cups two-thirds full.  Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into one of the muffins comes out clean.  Let cupcakes cool in the tin for five minutes.  Carefully remove the cupcakes from the tin and let cool completely on a wire rack.   Frost with banana butter frosting and garnish with a banana chip.


1 – Instead, I used peanut oil, as it matched the overall theme a bit better.


Lisa’s Banana Butter Frosting 

  • 1 cup mashed banana (*2)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup softened butter (*3)
  • 7 cups powdered sugar

In a stand mixer, beat together at medium speed the banana, lemon juice and salt. Beat in the softened butter until creamy, about a minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until smooth.

Once sugar in incorporated, gradually increase the mixer speed to high and mix for a minute or two, until the frosting is fluffy. (*4)


2 – One cup works out to a little under three bananas.

3 – This is double the half-cup specified in the original recipe. As explained in the article, though, this will give the frosting more heft, and will prevent it from being runny.

4 – Likewise, giving the frosting a high-speed blitz at the end will incorporate air into the frosting, imparting lift.


15 thoughts on “Does Mr. Presley Approve?

    1. Thanks so much, Rachel! The textiles captured my imagination too

      Prepare for plenty of smiles ahead, then, as Amazon fabrics ease ahead of off-the-shelf retail. …to be replaced eventually with custom artwork. A progression unfolding over the next two years, …and you have the best view up in the balcony!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Good question, E! Oil actually makes cupcakes, etc. a bit denser, whereas butter contributes slightly more fluffiness.

      Texture is only one aspect, though, and flavor is just as important. In today’s case, peanut oil took the PB cupcakes’ character and ran with it.


      1. It really depends, E, on what you hope to accomplish.

        Butter really doesn’t have an assertive flavor, though if richness is your goal, it definitely is the moisturizer of choice. Think of all the French stuff, like croissants or brioche.

        Meanwhile, in this week’s application, I was looking to emphasize the peanut flavor. Thus, peanut oil got the nod.


  1. First you teach me Tchaikovsky’s full name and then that peanut butter and bananas were a favorite of Elvis. What next, Keith?

    P. S. I love so much about this recipe—your no salt or sugar added peanut butter…the banana butter frosting! Let me knock out these Thanksgiving pies first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This weekend you clued me in a new sensation electrifying modern ballet, Crystal, and I tell you The King liked peanut butter and bananas. Hardly an even exchange, is it?

      So flattered, though, you enjoy the recipe. These cupcakes waited forty-some years after Elvis left the building; they certainly can hold on a week or a month more.

      By the way, did Lauren bake the pies, and what flavor are they? Pumpkin’s a given, most likely, but you mention “pies,” plural.


      1. “Unclaimed leftover pies?” That’s a whale of a tale, Byers, and I’m not buying it. Still, it made the holiday better, so let’s run with it.

        Another Crystal quote – “The diet starts (tomorrow).” That describes pretty much every week’s entry, doesn’t it?

        Until I feature salt-free rice cakes. Fortunately, I never tried them, but I imagine they’re similar to styrofoam packing peanuts, both in texture and in taste. In other words, pecan pie’s polar opposite.


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