Sticky Date Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting (Low GI would you believe?)


I love the combination of dates with anything (nothing like a delicious date & lamb tagine). Dates also happen to be high in fibre and low GI (even though they contain lots of natural sugars). I try and create low GI sweet treats and dessert because eating low GI foods makes me feel good. I think all food should be delicious and fun and then also tick the ‘nutritional value/low GI box’. On the flip side there’s no need to eat average tasting food just because it is healthy. Life is too short! and there are so many delicious and nutritious options.

These cupcakes are a ‘cake’ in point. I gave them away to everyone who ordered my ready-meals online last week and got great feedback. We are selling the cupcakes online this week (so many requests) but I wanted to share my recipe so you can make them yourself at home.

The key with creating delicious real food is to find a complex balance of flavours whether you are making cupcakes or a curry. I have created a recipe for these date cupcakes using coconut sugar which is low GI and also gives a delicious caramel note to the cupcakes as well as buttermilk which gives a hint of sourness. Of course the balance of a cupcake is in favour of sweet (rather than salty, savoury, sour or spicy) but a cupcake still needs to reference and balance all those flavours to be really delicious. A good recipe can help you get some way towards balance but you do need to taste and adjust and I’ll share my tips!

For a low GI version, use spelt flour not plain flour (plain flour will give you a medium GI cupcake).

Fancy some long-weekend baking? You’ll need 1 pot, 1 blender, 2  mixing bowls, cupcake pan (you can buy cardboard cupcake wrappers from the $2 shop which can be filled without a tray or you can use regular cupcake wrappers in a pan).


Cupcakes (will make around 20 depending on the size)
300g dates (dried and pitted)
100ml water
1 heaped tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups of plain flour (exchange the plain flour for spelt flour to create a low GI version)
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp himalayan sea salt or to taste (or any good sea salt – himalayan contains nutritious minerals which is why I prefer it – if you have an opportunity to add something nutritious take it!)
1 cup coconut sugar (I buy organic coconut sugar in bulk but you can find smaller packets in health food stores)
190g unsalted butter (pick the best quality you can find. The better the butter the better the cupcakes. I use girgar butter, lurpak, pepe saya or an organic version)
3 eggs
130ml buttermilk

Salted Caramel Frosting (optional! I usually serve them with good butter)
1 cup Coconut sugar
120g unsalted butter (the best quality possible – as above I choose girgar butter, lurpak, pepe says or an organic version
120ml Cream (not thickened cream just regular runny cream)
240g icing sugar (sifted) – i use the CSR logicane lower GI version which you can buy from the supermarket
Lemon rind from 1 lemon
Himalayan sea salt to taste



  • Pop the dates in a saucepan add the water and baking soda and stir over low heat until the dates begin to break down (only about 5 minutes you still want them to retain a bit of texture). Remove from the heat. Blend the dates while still warm – you want texture so don’t blend to a paste. Chunky bits are good. Here’s a pic of the dates tipped from the pan into the thermomix.


  • beat the butter and coconut sugar in an electric mixer (with the mixing attachment not the whisk). You want the mixture to lighten up a bit and be smooth. This will take 5-10 minutes of beating. You can use a handbeater also.





  • Meanwhile sift the flour and baking powder and salt into a bowl. This pic is of plain flour version but I usually go for spelt.


  • Add the eggs to the sugar/butter mix 1 at a time and beat well until a little lighter and fluffier (about 5 minutes of beating should do it). The mix may curdle a little but don’t worry it will all come together in the end!
  • Add the buttermilk to the sugar/butter/eggs mixture and beat until just combined.
  • Add the flour/baking powder to the wet ingredients and gently fold in with a large metal spoon turning the bowl as you go. You don’t want to overwork the mix or the cupcakes will be tough. The mix will be quite dry – if it is too dry add a little more buttermilk (you may find with spelt flour in particular that you need extra buttermilk). Taste the mix – you are looking for a balance of sweet, salty and sour. You will taste mainly sweet but need to taste a tiny bit of salt for the perfect flavour hit. If you think you need more salt you can add a little of finely ground himalayan sea salt or maldon salt (needs to be finely ground and you need to add just a pinch at a time and keep tasting) and gently fold through.
  • Allow the mix to rest for 15 minutes before spooning into cupcake containers. You can do this well ahead and leave the uncooked cupcakes in the fridge covered until you would like to bake and eat them. The uncooked cupcakes also freeze and can be cooked from frozen.
  • Preheat the oven to 170degC and cook the cupcakes for around 15 minutes until done – the cooking time will depend on the size so towards the end check them. Touch one in the middle and if it feels firm (not wobbly) its done. Trick is not to overcook these cupcakes – you don’t want to dry them out!
  • Let the cupcakes cool while you make the icing if you fancy icing.


Combine the butter, coconut sugar and cream and a good pinch of himalayan sea salt in a small pan on medium heat until the sugar dissolves and butter melts. Stir until the mixture starts to thicken (will take 2-5 minutes). Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Add to a mixing bowl and beat in the icing sugar until smooth. Add a little lemon zest. Taste the mix – do you get enough salt (you don’t want it to taste salty you just want a hint)? If you think it needs a touch more salt, add a tiny bit at a time until you get the salted caramel flavour right on. Try not to overdo it!

Once the cupcakes are cool, pipe or spread on some icing.

Hope you like them. Love to hear how you go and see any pics,




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Categories: Freezer ideas, Kids, Recipes

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