The homemade pastry cream really takes these cupcakes from ordinary to extraordinary. Don't cheat and open a box of pudding mix - I promise you that it's worth the extra effort to make your own pastry cream.
For the Banana Cupcakes:
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1¾ cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)
½ cup buttermilk
For the Vanilla Pastry Cream:
3 cups half-and-half
6 large egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Reserve 12 vanilla wafers and crush remaining wafers in food processor. Add melted butter and stir to combine.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
Press 1 Tablespoon wafer mixture into 12 paper lined jumbo muffin cups. Bake 5 minutes at 350.
Scoop batter over wafer crust in jumbo muffin tins.
To make the pastry cream, bring half and half to a simmer in a small saucepan.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt together until the mixture is pale, about 1 minute.
Whisk half of the warm half-and-half into the egg yolk mixture.
Fill pastry bag with cream cheese frosting.
Pipe frosting on top of each cupcake.