Pear and Banana Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting


I realize pears are not still in season but I also realize the convenience of frozen pears. Pears that I stored up in my freezer during the summer because I am that good- I think ahead! No, actually I am not that good- I just forgot to use them before we left out of town for a few days so I just cut them and popped them in a freezer bag. Hey- good things do happen when you are running around crazy because if it wasn’t for that out of town trip and last minute save on the pears I would not be giving you the most spectacular cupcakes known to man- my Pear and Banana Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting!

Typically one doesn’t see pears and bananas together but I promise this is a winner. I saw a similar recipe in a Southern Living magazine this summer for spiced peach carrot bread but with no peaches or carrots on hand I improvised and used my pears instead! Are you intrigued yet? You should be because this cupcake has such an amazing tantalizing flavor to it. The spices of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice pair so well with the sweetness of the pears and bananas. It is a refreshing change from the traditional cupcake and the caramel frosting adds a nice nutty flavor. The cupcake is sweet but not overly sweet and perfect for a quick breakfast (hey this mom needs a cupcake sometimes in the morning) or treat. No need to separate ingredients- just throw it all into one big bowl and with some man power stir until just combined.

Pear and Banana Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting
  • 2 ripened pears, mashed
  • 2 ripened bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • For the Frosting: (from my
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons, ½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup half and half (or cream)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup shortening (or softened butter)
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  1. Combine the dry ingredients together and set aside. Mix together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl leaving the bananas, pears for last. Stir in the dry ingredients and pour your mixture into individual greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until nice and golden brown. Top with Caramel Frosting
  2. For the Frosting:
  3. To prepare the caramel, combine the sugar and water in a saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon as the sugar melts. Stop stirring when the sugar starts to boil. Let the sugar boil until it is amber colored (but not too dark!). Remove the saucepan from the heat, and add the butter and the half and half. The caramel will foam up and steam, but that’s OK (just keep your face and hands clear and be careful!). Add the sea salt, and whisk vigorously until the caramel comes together. Cool to room temperature.
  4. Transfer the caramel to a large mixing bowl. Add the shortening (or softened butter), and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating on medium speed, until the icing reaches a spreadable consistency.


  1. Collette Osuna

    Yum!!! So what if you froze the pears? lol…I don’t think there are any fruit police here, so I say go for it sister, you ARE that good!
    Hehehe….I felt guilty buying frozen blueberries yesterday…good goddd…..the fresh ones were like $8.00….yikes!!!

    Love salted caramel ANYTHING…adding these to my “please don’t burn the crap out of it” recipe stack:)

    A Lifestyle Blog where Fashion, Décor & Cooking “connect”

    23 . Jan . 2012
  2. Mary

    Oh yes please!! these will be a HUGE hit!
    Mary x

    23 . Jan . 2012
  3. Shawn

    Pears + Bananas + Salted Caramel = WINNER! I’m picking up pears today because I can’t wait to make these!

    23 . Jan . 2012
  4. Alexis @ There She Goes

    wow- salted caramel icing on cupcakes- im in! also…im the weird girl that says caramel like “carmel”…can i still have one of these?

    23 . Jan . 2012
  5. Erica

    Interesting combo! I kind of want to make a pear banana baby food for Kay now! How are you doing? How is life with the two kiddos? I’d love to hear more about it!

    23 . Jan . 2012
  6. Alli

    I never knew you could freeze pears. Duh! My kids each eat a pear and banana daily so these would be the perfect sweet treat. Oh wow yum!

    23 . Jan . 2012
  7. Candy

    Thanks for the tip on freezing pears! We have a pear tree and I don’t use the fruit is provides nearly enough.

    I love this combination of flavors. But then I’m a sucker for anything with salted caramel!

    23 . Jan . 2012
  8. 2 sisters recipes

    What a genius idea and recipe! YOu go GIRL! Have a great day! 🙂 Anna

    23 . Jan . 2012
  9. Whitney

    I especially can’t to try out that frosting!

    23 . Jan . 2012
  10. kelli

    Something sweet, yummy! The pictures are wonderful and makes my mouth water then when I see what all the recipe holds I am really wanting to take a bite of these.

    23 . Jan . 2012
  11. Pure Complex

    You always have something delicious and interesting on this blog.. and I love visiting. And this pear and banana cupcake recipe with caramel frosting looks out of this world.

    23 . Jan . 2012
  12. Christina @ ovenadventures

    These sound great! I’ve never thought to freeze pears.

    23 . Jan . 2012
  13. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite

    I have never seen pear & banana cupcakes, but wow! I cannot wait to try these! I have been jonesing for some banana cupcakes or muffins, and why not just add some pear? Not to mention salted caramel frosting…mmmm…

    23 . Jan . 2012
  14. Sawsan

    I have never tried pears and banana together but these cup cakes sound like a refreshing change from regular

    23 . Jan . 2012
  15. Meg

    ok i’m not a fan of pear or bananas but this recipe looks so delicious i will have to make it and eat the whole pan for myself and leave none for the hubby, hehe!

    23 . Jan . 2012
  16. sportsglutton

    Love the idea of these three flavors in a cupcake and I don’t even care for bananas 😉

    23 . Jan . 2012
  17. jackie @ marin mama cooks

    I love recipes where you just throw all the ingredients into one big bowl. Easy peasy works for me!

    I may have to try that carmel frosting on my chocolate cupcakes as it sounds delish!

    23 . Jan . 2012
  18. yummychunklet

    You had me at the words “pear” and “caramel”! This sounds like a delicious combo with the banana. Great idea!

    23 . Jan . 2012
  19. Caroline

    Ohhhh my gosh. My sweet tooth is in full force. These cupcakes look incredible!! I’m liking the pear/banana combo.

    23 . Jan . 2012
  20. kankana

    two of my all time fav fruit makes this cupcake recipe go to my wish list directly. 🙂

    23 . Jan . 2012
  21. Malli

    I am partial to the Pear and Caramel combo–cannot be beat!! You have some awesome cupcakes..looks like they came out of a gourmet magazine.

    23 . Jan . 2012
  22. Liz

    Oh, gosh, that icing must be addicting…I’m not sure I’d have enough left for my cupcakes after a few samples 🙂 These sound fabulous!!!

    23 . Jan . 2012
  23. Veronica's Kitchen

    Both banana and pear are in season here, great idea snack for kids after school! 🙂

    23 . Jan . 2012
  24. Three-Cookies

    Very unique, I have never heard or nor tried pear and banana combination. They are from different climates. Very curious

    23 . Jan . 2012
  25. chef_d

    Pears and bananas together sound intriguing, I love salted caramel. The cupcakes look super delicious!

    23 . Jan . 2012
  26. Shellie

    Oh, my talented, talented, child! I miss you (and your cooking. *grin*)

    23 . Jan . 2012
  27. Joy Peyton

    These look so delicious and adorable!

    23 . Jan . 2012
  28. Tina (PinayInTexas)

    Haven’t tried banana and pear combo, but those cupcakes sure look good…and my, the salted caramel frosting sounds heaven!

    23 . Jan . 2012
  29. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book

    Why oh why don’t I have any pears on hand! BRILLIANT recipe – can’t wait to give it a try and talk about a decadent frosting!
    🙂 Mandy

    24 . Jan . 2012
  30. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    Oh what a wonderful combination! I think I had never had a cupcake that has pear in it. I love the salted caramel here… looks so delicious!

    24 . Jan . 2012
  31. Eva

    I AM intrigued, salted caramel, pear and banana sound delicious, and such a nice tip of the hat to spring (hopefully just around the corner).

    24 . Jan . 2012
  32. shaheen

    Pear and bananas together, oh I am intrigued.

    24 . Jan . 2012
  33. Joanne

    Why hello there, gorgeous. Salted caramel frosting – come to momma.

    24 . Jan . 2012
  34. daphne

    You had me with the frosting- time to go find some pears!

    24 . Jan . 2012
  35. Biren @ Roti n Rice

    Combining pears and bananas sound like a great idea! I am also intrigued by the salted caramel frosting. I will have to give it a try.

    24 . Jan . 2012
  36. Melanie @ Melanie Cooks

    These cupcakes look gorgeous! Now I’m craving a baked goodies with banana flavor!

    24 . Jan . 2012
  37. val

    I want some, I need some. I have to have these.

    24 . Jan . 2012
  38. Linda

    oh wow….what a combination!!! And I will take your word for it, they must be delicious!! I’ve never thought to freeze pears!!! Not once!! But now, I certainly will!!

    24 . Jan . 2012
  39. Torrie @ a place to share...

    how’s life going as a new mom of 2?? i hope you’re doing well :). xoxo

    24 . Jan . 2012
  40. Bree

    Salted carmel frosting? I am sold!

    24 . Jan . 2012
  41. Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything}

    I freeze pear too, when I find a good sale I just can’t pass it. I then add some to smoothies.
    Your cupcakes look great! Love that salted caramel frosting!

    24 . Jan . 2012
  42. SharleneT

    There I was, with some extra pears on hand and I find this recipe! The frosting is to die for. I bet if someone was really desperate, they could remove all the pears from a can of fruit cocktail. Thanks for sharing and come visit when you can.

    24 . Jan . 2012
  43. Sheila

    Drool. These look amazing.

    24 . Jan . 2012
  44. Kristy

    You’re killing me! These look fantastic and that salted caramel frosting…I’d have to make an extra batch to just eat. 😉

    25 . Jan . 2012
  45. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes

    I’ve never baked with pears. I’ll have to give it a try. That frosting sounds especially fabulous!

    25 . Jan . 2012
  46. Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray

    How unique! And that frosting looks like it is to die for!

    25 . Jan . 2012
  47. Glitterista

    Salted caramel frosting?! I’m in! 🙂

    25 . Jan . 2012
  48. Stefanie

    Wonderful flavor combo! Love the idea of a salted caramel frosting 🙂

    25 . Jan . 2012
  49. Karen (Back Road Journal)

    I have quite a few pear trees in our orchard but have never thought about freezing the pears. Your recipe sounds terrific and I can’t wait to make the cupcakes.

    25 . Jan . 2012
  50. lena

    it’s morning here now..pass one of your cupcakes here pls! even it’s frosted..that salted caramel is something to die for!!

    25 . Jan . 2012
  51. Marsha @ The Harried Cook

    I have never, ever baked pears into anything! Sounds interesting… and that frosting… yummmmmmmmm! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    25 . Jan . 2012
  52. Allison @ Alli n Son

    During a midnight feeding last night I was searching for salted caramel frosting recipes, and now I found the perfect one. I’m pairing it with some chocolate cupcakes, I can’t wait.

    25 . Jan . 2012
  53. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking

    Oh these look like they would just melt in your mouth! What a great flavor combination!

    25 . Jan . 2012
  54. Lisa

    Mmm, I’m just catching up on reading everyone’s blog posts. Just getting over a cold. This looks so delicious and pear and banana’s yum, I bet it’s so moist!

    26 . Jan . 2012
  55. Kate (What Kate is Cooking)

    Oh my god, I LOVE salted caramel frosting. Seriously SO delicious and addicting. I need to make these ASAP!

    26 . Jan . 2012
  56. The Food Hunter

    what an interesting combination.

    26 . Jan . 2012
  57. Beth

    I have ripe pears and bananas sitting on my counter. I think these are going to happen!

    26 . Jan . 2012
  58. jo-lyn's cup cakes n' candies

    Ohme Ohmy! How did I miss this post? Pears….Bananas…CUPCAKES?!?!?! It’s like heaven all up in here!! Your my new BFF!!!! =)

    27 . Jan . 2012
  59. Maggie

    I am obsessed with salted caramel!! pear and banana is such an intriguing combo! I need to try these 🙂

    08 . Feb . 2012

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