26 July 2011

The mini series: date cupcakes

My colleagues got me a mini cupcake mold for my birthday and it was slightly bended, meaning it wouldn’t sit straight on my baking rack. On the package it said 5 year warrantee so I emailed the company explaining the situation and asking them how I could qualify for that. They came back to me saying that the warrantee was only for the anti sticking surface but if I would give them my address they will send me a free replacement. Here in Holland we are not use to this kind of service and I wasn’t sure if they would send it to me, but they did. Today my new cupcake mold arrived by post! And this one was straight! I had another look at the bended one and tried to bend it straight and it went. So now I have 2 mini cupcake molds =) Lucky me. These are slightly bigger then the purple one I use for my mini series, but they’ll do.

I’ve been thinking of using the dried dates I have sitting in a jar for a while now. When I first bought them they were nice and sticky but now they kinda dried out a bit. Not so good for eating, but great for baking so that’s what I did. Tonight, right after dinner and watching the finals of Australian’s Junior Masterchef (those damn kids are TALENTED!) I whisked this recipe together.

For about 24 mini cupcakes and one mini pound cake mold I used:
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 18 dried dates
- ½ cup of water
- 1 small cup of espresso coffee
- 150 grams of butter (about 2,5 cm)
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 bag of vanilla sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
I put about 18 dates in one pot.
And use a scissor to cut them in little pieces.
Then I added the lemon juice and enough water to cover the dates. I let it boil for a bit and added some more water when needed. I wanted it to fall apart.
There were still some small pieces left, but that’s ok the main part is mashed. To this I added the espresso coffee and let it to cool for a bit.
In a big bowl I put the room temperature butter, the sugar, vanilla sugar and egg and creamed it all together till it was smooth and the sugar dissolved.  Then the cup of flour, the salt en baking soda went in.
By this time the date mixture cooled down a bit and was ready to be added.
I mixed it for a couple of minutes till everything was incorporated.
Before I start filling the molds I preheated the oven on 180C degrees.
This very useful mini ice scoop was also a gift from my colleagues. One scoop was enough to fill one mold. I should’ve bought one earlier, would’ve saved me lots of time.  
Since there was some batter left I filled this pound cake mold. 
I set the timer on 30 minutes but took them out after 22 minutes, except for the cake mold. Since this had more batter I let it bake a bit longer. The cakes rose beautifully.
This is why you need to be patience and let it cool off for a bit before you try to get them out. The first mold is from the batch I took out when they got straight out of the oven. The second mold is from a couple of minutes later. Needless to say that it sometimes is better to be patience.
The cupcakes were better then expected. You see how fluffy and moist they are? After tasting one I thought why not dress them up a bit with some caramel sauce.
I put about 100 grams of butter, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 5 table spoons of whipping cream in a pot and brought it to a boil. It took quite some time for the mixture to brown and I notice that it helps to add a bit of water while the mixture cooks. Slowly but surely I go the slightly golden brown caramel.
I drizzled some caramel on top. By the time I almost finished all the cupcakes the caramel wasn’t as runny as needed so I headed it up for a little and then finished all the cakes.  
This recipe is a keeper and I am happy my little “experiment” worked well. Both my sister and my hubby loved the cakes and they were surprised it had dates in it. I’m telling you: anything baked in a mini mold would taste good!


  1. AnonymousJuly 27, 2011

    Oh, My! I love it! Dates, lemon AND coffee?! What a GREAT combination! The caramel just put it WAY over the top!

  2. Hiya Lilly, you date cupcakes look delish! I made 2 date recipes too but have yet to post them up, there are just too many backlogged recipes (note to self: got to STOP cooking!).

    As for the caramel, it helps to cook the sugar with very little water on medium heat first until it melts and browns to the right color (no or minimal stirring). Then you add in the cream and lastly butter, and you'll get a lovely golden brown caramel in only a few minutes.

  3. Cutest little cupcakes ever! Dates and caramel....oh yes....I could so go for a few of these. :)

  4. The cakes were still moist the next day. My colleagues loved their little 4 o'clock break snack.

    Foodiva next time I make caramel your way. Seems a lot better then putting everything in a pan and wait for it to brown!

  5. Oh look at those cute mini snacks! Love these!

  6. Everything about these mini date cupcakes are awesome! I'm totally in love with the idea of drizzling caramel on them :)

  7. I like all the ingredient the dates. lemon, expresso, vanilla...mmmmm

  8. I love dates and cup cake combine with mini dates cup cake, what's not to like! Awesome!

  9. These mini cupcakes look scrumptious. I love the idea of using dates in it. And aren't all things mini just super cute. Great post. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I am enjoying every episode of your mini-series, Lilly. I believe you when you say that that's delicious. Love dates and coffee.

  11. Hi Lilly,
    Lovely little cakes. I like mini's because I makes me feel like I'm not eating as much, he he. That is great service. Sounds like a fun show, we don't have it here.

  12. I can highly recommend everyone to watch "junior master chef", I am sure they have the episodes online. Those kids are so talented they make me feel like I've just set foot in the kitchen.

    As for the date cupcakes…I wish there was still some left…

  13. Oh date cupcakes sound good and healthy! I'm glad you got a 2nd pan and were able to fix the first. Bonus!

  14. Lilly these cupcakes looks fluffy and delicious
    I love cakes with dates haven't' had with the coffee flavour looks wonderful

  15. AnonymousJuly 29, 2011

    I know I commented earlier...but I told my husband about these and he was drooling! I definitely have to make these!

  16. Ann there are no limits for comments =) The more the better. I hope you made these for your hubby. Let me know how it turned out.

    Lindsey I am so happy I have another mold. One was just not enough!

  17. We have experienced same situation before - we complained about a product and they send us another one, but they didn't take old one so that we now have two! =) Your mini cupcakes with golden caramel looks delicious!

  18. The great think about mini cupcakes is that you can eat two without feeling guilty! Dates are fantastic to cook with. These look very delicious.

  19. Nami sometimes we just get lucky =) Two is always better then only one!

    Hester that is why I'm doing as much mini series as I can!

  20. i bought myself a mini-cupcake pan a while back and i fell in love with it. I love the mini bites cupcakes, so easy to grab and go. Yours look great.
    Thanks for sharing and thank you for your sweet words left on my guest post on Nami @ Just One Cookbook blog

  21. The caramel sauce about sent me over the edge!


I’m curious by nature so please share whatever is on your mind.