Want to talk about things in our lives that are complete jokes?

Banana Boat Cupcakes I howsweeteats.com

Good. I’ll start.

How about the fact that my major in college was information technology yet I can’t even install a plugin on this blog? True story.

Or that I keep praying to little baby Jesus that my husband’s snoring… “situation”… will somehow change without me holding his breathe right strip-covered nose and placing my hand on top of his mouth every single night?

Oh! Like how I made us healthy “salads” last night for dinner following a pulled pork + cornbread fest on Sunday night, then used an entire log of goat cheese, candied pecans, really thick bacon, brown sugar chicken and crispy shallots? Funny haha.

Banana Boat Cupcakes I howsweeteats.com

Maybe, like… and I shouldn’t even tell you, but 10 days after returning home from a trip how my ziplock bagged toiletries are still sitting on the steps – the steps which I climb no less than 10 times a day – and I just drop whatever I’m doing with one contact in my eye or a face full of soap to run and get what I need?

And finally… the fact that I have seriously convinced myself that these cupcakes are the perfect snack – and even a somewhat healthy snack to boot – since they are made with pretzels and fruit and peanut butter? Like, tons of protein here.

Banana Boat Cupcakes I howsweeteats.com

I wish you could live inside my mind. I have leeetle feeling I could justify those $250 jeans you want to buy or the brownies you want to eat for dinner. We could have a lot of fun together.

Banana Boat Cupcakes I howsweeteats.com

Last week I briefly mentioned that my mom used to make us “banana boats” when we were kids: a slice of bread smeared with peanut butter, a banana placed on top, the sides of the bread folded up like a sandwich and the entire thing skewered together with salty pretzel sticks. So good. So comforting.


And I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. I am a huge believer that most fruit + nut butter combinations solve all problems. Need energy? Apple and peanut butter to the rescue. Want a midnight snack? Strawberries dipped in melted chocolate macaroon almond butter. Need something filling yet light? Figs and pecan butter.

Just.do.it people.

Banana Boat Cupcakes I howsweeteats.com

So these cupcakes? They aren’t super sweet or super chocolaty. In fact… I’m sort of deciding right this minute that they are a banana muffin with a pretzel crust and a dollop of sugar on top. You could totally swap the dollop of sugar for some melted peanut butter and then they really ARE a snack. A real snack. You know, as opposed to a… fake snack.

Either way… you should eat some.

Banana Boat Cupcakes I howsweeteats.com

Pretzel Bottomed Banana Bread Cupcakes with Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

makes 12-14 cupcakes

pretzel crust

1 1/4 cups crushed salted pretzels

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Combine crushed pretzels and butter in a bowl and stir until entire mixture is moistened. Line a muffin tin with lines and using a tablespoon measuring spoon, scoop pretzels into the bottom of each liner. Use the back of the spoon to flatten and press the pretzels together.


1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

1 large egg

3/4 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside. In a bowl, whisk egg and add brown sugar, mixing until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Add melted butter and mix. Stir in dry ingredients, then add mashed bananas and mix until batter comes together. Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop batter on top of each pretzel crust.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown on the top and set. Let cool completely.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2 cups powdered sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1-2 teaspoons milk, if needed

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter and peanut butter until creamy. Add in vanilla extract then gradually add in sugar and cocoa with the mixer on low speed until entirely combined and smooth. If frosting it a bit too thick, add in milk 1 teaspoon at a time until it becomes a bit creamier. Frost cupcakes, then top with crushed pretzels if desired.

Banana Boat Cupcakes I howsweeteats.com

Your turn!