A few weeks ago, while staring down some ripe bananas, I got a hankering for a banana cupcake with a cooked white icing that a friend used to make.

I searched high and low and could not locate that recipe anywhere. I lost touch with the woman who gave me the recipe about 25 years ago, so there was no way I could follow up and get it again.

I was disappointed but not dissuaded.

I decided to try and recreate the recipe. In that respect, I would have to say I failed. My cupcakes taste nothing like my friend's, but they are delicious.

Hers were more like cake than banana bread, but denser; and the frosting was different, and not too sweet. A sprinkling of chocolate jimmies made it even more of a treat.

My cupcakes are actually much sweeter, which is OK, as they are cupcakes after all. They are also very light.

To make them, I found a recipe I liked for a regular white cupcake, then switched out some of the liquid for mashed banana and increased the amount of baking powder, milk and vanilla I love vanilla and almost always add more.

I had to increase the baking time a bit on the cupcakes, but they were perfect.

Now for the icing. What I came up with is, again, definitely sweeter, but so good that I ended up spreading the leftover icing on graham crackers for a makeshift dessert after the cupcakes were gone.

I started with a mixture of butter, cream cheese and shortening and then sweetened it with powdered sugar. I thinned it with milk and vanilla. It was very good, but I wanted a little something more. I found it with a couple ounces of melted white chocolate. Perfect!

I shared about a dozen of these with my coworkers and I got a thumbs up all around. Try them and let me know what you think.

Oh, and by the way, after all this, I did stumble across the other banana cupcake recipe. Look for that in a future column, as that recipe is still worth sharing.

Banana Cupcakes

Makes 24 cupcakes

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 tablespoons milk

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy; add flour mixture alternately with mashed bananas until combined.

Use a measure to fill muffin cups. Bake 22-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Remove from tins and allow to cool on a wire rack.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

1/2 cup shortening

6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

3 teaspoons vanilla

2 tablespoons milk

teaspoon salt

3 cups powdered sugar

2 ounces white chocolate, melted

Cream together butter, shortening and cream cheese; add vanilla, milk and salt and mix well. Beat in powdered sugar, one cup at a time until well blended. Drizzle in melted chocolate and beat until combined.

For more recipes, go to http://www.tnonline.com/lifestyle/comfort-and-joy.