Banana Vanilla Cupcakes are an easy crowd pleaser.
Vanilla Pastry Cream
Make the pastry cream first and refrigerate at least an hour before piping onto the cupcakes.
Pour the cream into a medium size saucepan, and using medium heat bring just to a simmer and shut off.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt together for a minute or two until the mixture is pale.
Whisk half of the warm cream into the egg yolk mixture, then pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining cream.
Using medium heat, cook; whisking constantly for 8-10 minutes, until the pastry cream is thickened and boiling.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Strain the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass container to remove any lumps. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming and place into the refrigerator to cool at least an hour or you can make a day before you make the cupcakes.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line 2 muffin pans with paper liners.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a bowl and set aside.
Place the butter into a mixing bowl and using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat for about 4 minutes until creamy.
Add the sugar and vanilla and beat about 3 minutes until fluffy.Scrape down the bowl, add the eggs, and beat until just combined. Scrape down the bowl again and add the bananas, beating until just combined.
Turn the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture until batter is combined.
Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Place into the preheated oven on the middle rack and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove cupcakes onto the wire racks and cool completely.
Place the vanilla pastry cream into a piping bag with a star tip and pipe onto each cupcake. Drizzle on a little caramel topping. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.