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
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.
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