Sticky banana date cupcakes

Happy New Year everyone!  I for one am absolutely thrilled it is 2014, which will be a year full of new beginnings and exciting adventures for me.  I know that most people like to kick of the new year with resolutions, of which nearly all involve some variation of “being healthier”.  At my household and blog as most of you know, I firmly believe in both eating incredibly healthy foods and also incredibly unhealthy ones, thus resulting in some sort of moderation. (The philosophy works for me at least.)  So, I typically never even look for “healthy” dessert recipes because I figure as long as I’m eating salad and quinoa and delicious vegetarian food the rest of the time, I can (mostly) get away with the copious amounts of chocolate and other baked goods I consume.  However, this recipe caught my eye because even though it’s gluten and dairy free, it didn’t have a lot of weird ingredients and I thought I could make it quite easily.

And seriously, this recipe is such a find.  It’s probably the first genuinely healthy dessert I’ve posted on this blog and I liberally taste test everything on here, so you must trust me when I say it’s utterly delicious.  A lot of people are cautious about dates and this recipe definitely uses a bunch of them, but you don’t get any sort of overwhelming flavour of dates at all, and the natural sweetness of dates is what eliminates the need for any sugar in this recipe whatsoever.  No sugar, butter, or oil in a cupcake that tastes delicious?  Yeah, sign me up for multiple batches.  I also highly recommend the use of raspberries here – they are crazy expensive in Australia but I was making these for a dinner party so splurged on them anyway and it was totally worth it.  So delicious!

Sticky banana date cupcakes (adapted from Eat Drink Paleo)


  • 10 tbsp water
  • 12 dates
  • 1 ½ ripe banana, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 ½ -3  tbsp coconut flour or almond flour (I have no clue where to get coconut flour in Australia so I just used almond) – as long as there is no gluten intolerance in your intended audience you can also use normal flour of course
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp baking powder

For the sticky date ganache

  • 5-6 dates, chopped
  • Juice of ½ of an orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Fresh raspberries or strawberries for garnish
Preheat oven to 270°F (185 C).  Grease muffin tins if you need to or use amazing mini muffin silicon molds like I have.  Heat the dates and water in a small saucepan over low heat until the dates break down and thicken. Use a fork to mash them together and set aside.

Combine all the other ingredients for the cupcakes together.  I started by mashing the banana, then added the eggs and vanilla extract, and then the dry ingredients.  Then add the date mixture to it.  Evenly distribute into the cups – mine made 12 little ones but if you filled them more it would make about 10.  Bake for about 20-22 minutes.  They will be done when a toothpick stuck in the centre comes out clean. 

To make the sticky date ganache, just put all ingredients (except for the fresh berries) in a small saucepan over low heat and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until the dates break down. Mash with a fork and whisk until thickened. Set aside.  When the muffins have cooled for at least 10 minutes, remove them to a serving plate and spoon a bit of ganache paste on top.  Then garnish with a fresh raspberry or strawberry. 

IMG_6575Adding eggs to the mashed banana

IMG_6576Boiling the dates with the water in a saucepan (looks gross I know but seriously bear with me)

IMG_6577Combining the dates mixture with the other ingredients to form the batter

IMG_6578Ready to go into the oven

IMG_6583Finished product (yes 12 went in and only 10 are in this photo.  Taste testing has to happen!)

IMG_6593Ready to serve with a dollop of date orange ganache and raspberries (which I highly recommend by the way – the raspberries just elevate it to a whole other level)

Put simply, these are the best healthy dessert I have ever made.  I was just so pleasantly surprised that a dessert containing literally no sugar or butter or oil could be so delightful.  I can not get over how good they tasted with just the natural sweetness from the dates and the added extra tanginess from the orange in the ganache and the raspberry on top.  This is without a doubt the best sort of dessert you can make for yourself right now if you have a healthy New Year’s resolution!

One year ago: Salted fudge brownies

One Response to “Sticky banana date cupcakes”
  1. Jennifer Stebbins says:

    Just forwarded this to d, who came home with a box of dates today. Fate? Probably.

    Also he was telling me that he loves your recipes because they have a limited number of ingredients… Aka not scary!! Ill send you pics if we make them of course:)

    Just out a letter in the mail to Sydney:):) keep an eye out!!!!

    Any more progress on your decision??



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