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Banana Oat Cupcakes and a Tour of Bob’s Red Mill

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These banana oat coconut cupcakes are like banana bread, but so much better.  The cake is light and fluffy with a strong banana flavor and oats throughout.  Then, there’s the frosting – a brown sugar caramel frosting with a splash of coconut milk and shredded coconut sprinkled on top.

A few weeks ago, Jonathan and I took a trip to Portland, Oregon to attend the International Food Blogger Conference.  While we were there, Cassie from Bake Your Day arranged for a group of bloggers to take a tour of Bob’s Red Mill led by Bob himself!  Did you know that Bob is a real person who is still involved in the company?  I didn’t!

Let’s begin our tour.

Don’t forget your safety goggles and hair net:

If you’re a blogger, you’ll also want your camera handy:

What impressed me the most about Bob’s Red Mill was Bob’s true commitment to doing right by his customers and his employees.  He talked about how he was concerned that when he retired the company would get bought out and things would change.  To avoid this, he gave the company to his employees.  Only employees are allowed to have ownership in the company.

Bob loves to tinker with things, and while this wasn’t one of the most exciting tour stops for me, the machine shop is one of his favorite places to be.

Bob struggled to find a mill that he was happy with.  Even though he found one, he still has his employees take it apart after it arrives from the manufacturer and rebuild it to his specs.

Bob is really proud of their cornmeal.

But, he says that his favorite of all of their products is their really big oats.  They don’t have a product with that name, so I can only assume that he meant their “Whole Oat Groats.”  He has them for breakfast every day.

Bob’s Red Mill takes gluten-free products seriously.  Here’s a staffer doing some gluten-free testing.  Did you know that the gluten-free grain can’t even be on the same truck as grain with gluten?  If it is, this lady will find out!

Largely due to the rising number of people with gluten-free diets, Bob’s Red Mill’s business has been booming.  Check out all of these sacks of grain and flour:

And here’s a video of the boxing process:


Here are all of the boxes ready to be shipped:

OK, take those hair nets off now.

I want to take you somewhere special:

Bob said that he had never had so many people in his office at once.  Wait until he finds out that all of you are in there, too!

Other than meeting Bob and finding out that a company I already supported was as great as I hoped it would be, the other highlight of the tour was meeting JJ from 84th and 3rd.  She’s a Cupcake Project Explorer on the quest for the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake and she came all the way from Australia!

I also made a new friend, Marisa from Margaritas in the Rain.   We were fast friends and here you see us later in the conference weekend at a party hosted by MailChimp.

I don’t think you can take a bad photo while wearing a monkey hat.  I also love the one of Jonathan and me in our hats:

Here’s Elle, one of the conference coordinators – who just happens to also live in St. Louis:

And, yet another conference friend, Chris, rocking his hat:
See what I mean?  If you want a good photo, put on a monkey hat.  Notice that I left mine on for the big group shot with Jacqueline, Annelies, Megan, Veronica, and Jenn.
But, I digress.  When I got home I knew that I had to make something with Bob’s oats – hence the cupcake you see in this post.  Now would be a good time for the recipe.

If you've tried this recipe, please RATE THE RECIPE and leave a comment below!

Banana Oat Cupcakes
5 from 1 vote

Banana Oat Cupcakes

These banana oat coconut cupcakes are like banana bread, but so much better.  The cake is light and fluffy with a strong banana flavor and oats throughout.  Then, there's the frosting - a brown sugar caramel frosting with a splash of coconut milk and shredded coconut sprinkled on top.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword banana oat cupcakes, dessert, kid-friendly recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 18 Cupcakes
Calories 291 kcal


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup rolled oats

Brown Sugar Caramel Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • Shredded coconut to taste


Cupcake Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. In another medium-sized bowl, cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar until the mixture looks like wet sand (about two minutes on high speed with an electric mixer).
  4. Add bananas to butter mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Mix in eggs one and a time to butter mixture, mixing until fully incorporated.
  6. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients a little bit at a time, mixing until just combined.
  7. Mix in coconut milk until just combined.
  8. Fold in rolled oats.
  9. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.

Brown Sugar Caramel Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium-high heat.
  2. Add the brown sugar and bring to a boil, stirring gently to combine.
  3. Lower heat to medium low and continue to boil for two minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the coconut milk and stir quickly as the mixture returns to a boil. This will happen fast.
  5. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.
  6. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until thick enough to spread.
  7. Spread on cooled cupcakes and top with shredded coconut.
Thanks for touring with me.  I also plan to post a few more photos from the conference on Facebook.  Make sure that you follow Cupcake Project on Facebook so you don’t miss out.
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8 comments on “Banana Oat Cupcakes and a Tour of Bob’s Red Mill”

  1. Ahh so many good times at IFBC. I enjoyed the tour too. Loved seeing all these great photos. Esp of you in the monkey hat. ;-)

  2. Tiffanysays:

    That was a pretty cool post.

  3. Great round of of the Mill tour. I enjoyed it, too. Hey, you missed reporting Bob’s thoughts on GMO testing ;)
    Met with JJ and my friend Manu last Friday here in Denver while JJ and her husband RJ drove through CO. It was a very nice evening.
    LOVE the monkey hat pictures!

  4. I never thought I’d have so much fun in a monkey hat ;) It was such a blast getting to know you and your sweet hubby. Also – this recipe looks KILLER! Will try it soon. XO

  5. So lovely to meet you as well! Did you see me waving the other day on our way through St. Louis to pick up Rt 66 and head on to Chicago? ;D

  6. We have a pretty good selection of Bob’s products at our grocer though I am very unhappy the store discontinued carrying the bags of wheat gluten. i use for bread making and making seitan. According to the stocker, nobody wants gluten no more. According to the manager there is such a demand for gluten free fad now they are having to get rid of so many things to make room.

  7. Thank you for sharing. Bob was smart to sell the company to the employee’s. It is reassuring that his factory is VERY careful about separting the gluten free products. His customers should know about that. I am not a part of a gluten free household. If I was this fact would get me to buy Bob’s Red Mill products. :)

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