Banana Split Cupcakes

Ice cream is a quintessential summer favorite everywhere, but frozen yogurt dominates California.

We have 2–TWO!–ice cream parlors in the entire Sacramento area. And no, Baskin Robbins and Cold Stone don’t count as parlors.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but an ice cream parlor is defined as a place where people wear blue and white striped clothing, play music from the 50s and give you the leftovers of your milkshake in a frozen tin cup.

If I asked Cold Stone to do that, the pimply-faced guy behind the counter would probably look at me weird and ask me what ‘tin’ was.

So anyways.

I grew up eating a lot of ice cream, thanks to my grandparents who are HUGE fans of the stuff, and because my parents loved me and regularly rewarded me with lots of it.

Until I became lactose sensitive. And then things went downhill.

But by that time, frozen yogurt came out and it popped up everywhere. And it was about that time I decided I wanted a new job. What a better, more fun place to work than a yogurt shop, right?!


Let me tell you about the frozen treat shop.

It was awful. Pure, unadulterated evil.

Not because it took 45 minutes to put together the extremely finicky yogurt machines. Not because my lackluster coworkers (there were more that sucked than those who were cool) would leave me, the only reliable opener, with nothing prepped so I’d have to sacrifice my beautiful, piano-playing fingers to cut strawberries in about 2 minutes (no, I don’t play piano, but everyone tells me I should since my fingers are so long and obviously cutting these strawberries very quickly could have easily ruined my chances of ever playing piano). And not because I am OCD and would always have an itching need to fill everysingle bin of candy to the absolute fullest.

Nope. It was because of the customers.

Apparently, in my county, people have a need to be extremely rude. I would get the bitchiest, snobbiest trophy moms pushing their $5,000 strollers in, oblivious to their young children thrashing my beautiful yogurt store and sticking their disgusting, sticky fingers INSIDE THE CANDY BINS I JUST FILLED TO THE BRINK.

I mean, really. I know you’re like, 75% plastic, but can’t you read the sign that says WATCH YOUR KIDS!?! Or is your perma-orange tan affecting the area of your brain to actually THINK.

If you’ve ever found it to be awkward scolding a child that wasn’t yours, try doing it when you’re wearing a shirt that says “Spoonologist” on the back. People automatically assume you’re on the same level of a drug-riddled bum and judge you for (politely) telling their kid to quit acting like an imbecile (so okay, I wanted to say that, but instead I mustered up as much fakeness as I could to kindly tell the kid “no no” without screaming and pulling its hair out).

And you all should know that I am NOT bubbly.

There is not a single bubble in my body.

And it is incredibly challenging to muster up that bubbly gene.

I’m not saying all bubbly people are fake, because I know a handful of awesome people who don’t even come close to the word ‘fake.’ But admit it. Anyone who feigns interest in your life or is syrupy-sweetly assisting you AT A PLACE OF BUSINESS is obviously doing it to sell you something or befriend you into spending more money.

I’m not an idiot. I watch it all the time at my work.

And for the record, just because I’m not bursting with energy, my nostrils flared, my mouth wide open and my eyes in a perma-wide-eyed, frenzied stare, feigning pretend interest as I say, “OOOOOOH the red velvet cupcake is SOOOOOO GOOOOOOD. MY FAAAAAAVORITE, you’ll loooooooovee it” doesn’t mean I’m a) a bad employee; b) unfriendly; or c) standoffish… it just means I’m not going to be incredibly fake.

People love to interpret not being bubbly with being rude.

We’re not rude. We’re just not psychopathic people who act like squirrels on crack while talking to customers or describing our favorite frozen yogurt flavor like we’re trying out for Glee.


Anyways, so back to the frozen yogurt shop from hell.

My absolute LEAST favorite part of this job (besides the horrendous lines in the summertime, people consistently leaving the handles down [GUESS WHAT: your yogurt is runny because YOU LEFT THE MACHINE RUNNING WHEN YOU LEFT THE HANDLE DOWN], watching kids stick their hands in the candy bins, and watching people lose any kind of coordination when scooping a spoonful of candy into their cup and subsequently dropping it all on my freshly swept floor)? It had to be when people would leave their used sample cups around my store, like some kind of cave-people.

Yeeeaaah. I don’t leave plates and napkins around your restaurant. I wouldn’t wear my shoes in your house if you were one of those odd people who makes guests take their shoes off outside. I wouldn’t leave my body surprises in your toilet. WHY WOULD YOU LEAVE YOUR USED SAMPLE CUP IN MY STORE.

So I guess I have a thing with spit. It disgusts me ever so much. And seeing those distorted, gross cups of half-licked yogurt strewn about my store on every surface but inside the trash can made me furious.

So long story short, I’d (accidentally) over charge them and wish ill upon them all. The end.

And if cops are reading this, or anyone who could incriminate me after reading this post, I definitely did not overcharge anyone. Swear.

Anyways. This post makes me wish there were more ice cream parlors with nice people working who don’t act like I did when I was working at the frozen treat shop. I crave the ultimate parlor experience of the classic booth seating, the cool music and the delicious parlor favorites. Like shakes and malts. Those cones that look like clowns. And banana splits.

So I decided to bring the parlor to my house and made some banana split cupcakes. And I promise you can be just as bubbly or cranky as you want, because you won’t have any customers and I don’t judge non-bubbly people.

Cue the 50s music!

Banana Split Cupcakes

1 box yellow cake mix, divided
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or you could use oil)
3 eggs
1 box sugar free/fat free banana cream pudding mix
2 medium, ripe mashed bananas (about 1 cup)
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
1 jar maraschino cherries, drained and patted dry
About 24 banana chips, if desired
Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting (recipe and ingredients follow)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin pans with 24 paper liners. In a small bowl, reserve two Tablespoons of cake mix and mix with the 1 cup of chocolate chips. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat together remaining cake mix, water, applesauce, eggs and bananas for about 2 minutes or until blended. Stir or beat in pudding mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Portion evenly into muffin tins and bake, approximately 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

Marshmallow Buttercream *adapted from Baked Bree’s amazing recipe 

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow cream (or fluff)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (32 oz) bag powdered sugar [I used the whole thing, but you may need less, depending on the consistency you prefer]

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add in marshmallow fluff and beat for about 2 minutes or until combined. Add in vanilla extract. Gradually add in powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until it’s nice and fluffy but still stiff enough to stand on its own. Like I said, I used the whole 32 ounce bag of powdered sugar, but if you want to spread it on, you may not need it as stiff as I did–use your discretion.
2. Pipe or spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes. Top with a cherry. If desired, drizzle on chocolate sauce or syrup.*

*Small note: I didn’t have any remaining chocolate chips on hand, only chocolate sundae syrup. While this turned out okay, it was very messy and runny–I would have much preferred to melt chocolate chips with some shortening in the microwave for a thinner drizzle that hardened easily. You could also use candy melts to drizzle; whatever you have on hand.

Moral of the story: Treat your frozen yogurt employees well, throw away your trash, and make these cupcakes, regardless if you’re lucky enough to have regular parlor experiences, ’cause these cupcakes are truly awesome.

Spoon optional.

xo, Hayley


  1. looks awesome! what did you do with the remaining 2 tbsp of cake mix and 1 cup chocolate chips? 🙂

  2. Hi sugar! I’m a total dork and realized I never told anyone what to do with those chocolate chips, but you’re supposed to add them back into the batter before baking–banana chocolate chip cupcakes and all 🙂 thanks for a great question and if you make them, let me know how they turn out! Thanks! xo.


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