Saturday, February 26, 2011


My little guy turned four today...guess he's not so little any more. (sniff) Actually, I enjoy birthdays. I enjoy getting older and I like watching my kids grow older, too. I'm always excited to see what the next stage has in store.

His birthday party is tomorrow...a birthday brunch. I've got cinnamon rolls, pancakes, two Nick Malgieri egg tarts, and the annual train cake all in the works. Today, his actual birthday, we celebrated as a family. He requested "butternut and chocolate scones" (NM's butterscotch scones to which we always add chocolate chips) for breakfast. Then we went to our Saturday morning swimming lessons, played at the small indoor playground at the elementary school where we take lessons, went out for bagels, and then went to a large indoor park for running and climbing and sliding.

We let him set the agenda and the menu for the day. He requested mac-n-cheese and chicken nuggets for dinner, and for his birthday dessert, chocolate cupcakes with yellow banana frosting. Having just made chocolate cupcakes for my mother-in-law's birthday last weekend, I wasn't especially enthused about the request. And I thought banana frosting sounded strange.

Luckily the day after he told me what he wanted, I read Tracey's post on banana split brownies. They sounded perfect: chocolate and banana, as requested! I asked him what he thought about brownies with banana and (the thing I knew would push him over the edge) mini marshmellows! My kids love mini marshmellows. Sure enough, he told me, "I like to change my mind, Mom! That sounds great!"

I decided to fulfill the request for cupcakes by baking the brownies in a muffin tin. I followed the recipe Tracey posted, but made only a 1/2 batch. I put 1/4 cup of brownie batter into each muffin cup, and the 1/2 batch made 10 muffins. They baked for 25 minutes and were perfect.

I made the ganache, although I didn't even use close to the 1/2 batch I'd made. I'd probably make 1/3 or 1/4 batch next time. And I skipped the sliced almonds because, while I love them, my kids aren't fans of nuts in, well, anything. I put the mini marshmellows on top and set the cupcakes under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Way too long! While not blackened, the marshmellows were definitely darker than we'd like. Luckily, they peeled off easily and I tried again, this time watching like a hawk.

The verdict? Perfection! Hubby said they were the best cupcakes he's ever had in his life, the kids gobbled them up, and I loved them. We will definitely make these again!


  1. Great pics! It sounds like the birthday boy really enjoyed his "cupcakes." =) My girls are huge marshmallow eaters, too, any chance they get.

  2. Wow! It sounds like you really made your little guy's 4th birthday special. What a great family day! I hope you're planning to post about the annual train cake - I'd love to see it. My little guy is already talking about his 4th birthday...but it's not till September. : ) The brownie cupcakes look and sound delicious.

  3. Happy birthday to your son! These brownie cupcakes sound awesome - my kids love the combination of chocolate and bananas, so I'll have to try either the brownie or cupcake version!

  4. Happy birthday! We just celebrated our 3 year old's. Those cupcakes look amazing. So cute with the perfectly browned marshmallows. I am trying to figure out what to make for our joint 3 year old/1 year old birthday party this weekend. Inspiration...

  5. I have to say, August really knows how to party! I'm with him on everything except chocolate things...all this sounds wonderful. You are such a good mom to come up with all these things. Very cute pictures of the birthday boy and his side kick...I would have trouble not spoiling them.