Brianna Banana Cupcakes Keeps It All in the Family

When you hear the name Brianna Banana, you may be tempted to follow it with "bo banna." Or maybe that's just our juvenile tendencies.

In any case, that wouldn't be the first comment that Brianna Banana owners Kara and Lisa Trucchio have heard about the name they chose for their budding cupcake business.

"Everyone asks, 'Which one of you is Brianna?' and we're like, 'No, neither of us,'" says Lisa. "Brianna is my sister's middle name, and banana is our signature flavor, if you will."

For the sisters, family comes first, so it's no wonder their signature recipe is an adaptation of their great-grandmother's banana bread recipe, which they made for every holiday.

"I had the brilliant idea to make it into a cupcake and put frosting on it," says Kara. "Because frosting is the most amazing thing on earth."

After making it for their family last Thanksgiving, they decided to start selling the homemade treats. Since then, they've added some new flavors to their repertoire, like cookies and cream, snickerdoodle, and Samoa, after the popular girl scout cookie. 

"We take after my mom, she's always cooking and baking things," says Lisa. "We took her rum cake recipe and made it into a coconut rum cupcake. It's like tropical vacations in your mouth."

As for their method for coming up with new flavors, Lisa says they look for simple recipes online and make them their own. "We don't like to put anything weird in our batter. We just want it to be good stuff, like butter and sugar. They're not exactly the healthiest things to eat, but they're delicious."

Keeping it simple doesn't just translate to their recipes. Since they have busy schedules and work multiple jobs, coming back home to bake is their way to relax and catch up. "We're usually in our pajamas when we're baking," Lisa says.

The pair usually bakes together and Lisa creates graphics for the company, designing their Web site, business cards, and posters. For now, they sell their cupcakes at charity events that have benefited groups like the League Against Cancer and Christy's Closet. This Saturday, they will be at the South Miami/Coral Gables Elk's Lodge for an "Summer Shopping Extravaganza" benefiting Amigos for Kids, a non-profit that seeks to prevent child abuse.

If you go, just make sure to try a bite, or they'll be after you.

"I love watching other people's faces when they taste them. I get very offended when people don't. I'll stand in front of you until I see you bite it," says Kara.

First Annual Summer Shopping Extravaganza. Saturday, July 16. Elk's Lodge 1676, 6308 SW 78th Street, South Miami. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and tickets cost $5. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Amigos for Kids Back to School Drive.

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