These cupcakes have so many wonderful qualities! First of all, they are very, very chocolaty, and moist, and so flavorful. And they don’t have any fat except the one coming from the chocolate. It means you can eat extra one or two… oh… they are mini cupcakes, have three more. And you won’t recognize the dates in the baked cupcakes. The dates make them moist but don’t give a fruitcake flavor. Please, don’t be penny-wise here; buy the best chocolate you can find and moist Medjool dates, and I guarantee these cupcakes will become your favorite too.
Makes 24 mini cupcakes
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup pitted, coarsely chopped dates
- ¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 3 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped
- ½ cup + 1 tbsp packed light brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 325 F.
Bring the water and dates just to a boil in a heavy saucepan, then transfer the mixture to a food processor and add the cocoa powder and chocolate, pulsing once or twice to combine. Let cool 2 minutes, then add the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking soda, and salt, then puree until smooth. Add the flour and pulse just until incorporated.
Spray 24 mini muffin molds with a vegetable oil spray. If you don’t have a nonstick muffin pan, line the regular molds with parchment liners, then spray the liners with oil.
Spoon the batter into the cups, dividing it evenly, and bake until a wooden skewer comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack. Cool completely on the rack, right side up. Just before serving, sprinkle the tops lightly with confectioners’ sugar.
The cupcakes can be made and cooled (but not dusted with sugar) 1 day ahead and kept in an airtight container at room temperature.
August 17, 2012 at 7:45 am
Hey one question, when you say Bring the water and dates just to a boil in a heavy saucepan, then transfer the mixture to a food processor, do u mean the dates along with the water???? Please clarify…
June 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm
Wow great recipe
i will try it tonight thank you
January 28, 2011 at 11:44 am
when i bake mini cupcakes they always hollow out at the bottoms after baking. Does anyone know why. this happens everytime! once the paper is peeled off it isnt a nice and flat, they turn out very small. how do you get the flat even bottoms like the picture?
October 28, 2009 at 3:04 am
Mmmm it looks yummy. i’m dying to bake it :]
August 21, 2009 at 1:17 am
I baked the muffin yesterday and it was super moist and delicious except that the top of my muffins were sticky after I left it overnight in an air-tight container after cooling.
March 27, 2009 at 9:06 pm
Thank you for your recipe, Vera!!! I can’t wait to try it out.
Selphie & Vera, I’m hailing from Asia too (my goodness when did I ever use language like that, reading too much sports news LOL) and I never get the problem of it turning hard after. I get the best & moistest cakes by beating it like crazy to get really creamy butter & sugar (this is one of the most important steps I think) then barely folding in the flour, JUST in. Cream too, cream is magic.
February 16, 2009 at 10:29 pm
Selphie, yolks certainly make the baked goods tender. But, considering their cholesterol-elevating ability, they don’t seem so good after all :)
And I’m wondering how long do you usually beat the batter after the flour has been added? Overbeating the batter can unpleasantly affect the texture.
February 14, 2009 at 11:21 pm
thank you for your reply
but by having so many of white eggs, as what my mom and my aunts says, the white egg has the effect to harden the cakes.
the asian egg weighted around 50 g. it not so much difference though. hmmmmm
February 14, 2009 at 12:55 pm
Selphie, thank you for the complement!
Your problem might be caused by the size/weight differences between your eggs and the western ones. If you have scales, you can simply weight the eggs. One large north-american egg weights 60 grams. So, for this particular recipe, multiplying by three, you will need 180 grams of eggs.
February 14, 2009 at 12:20 pm
I really love your blog..
As im a beginner for baking and cooking, I always facing this problem when I baking using the westerner recipe, the westerner recipe is always using 1 – 5 eggs, same as most of your recipe, like this only using 3 eggs, while in asia, we used 10 yolks at least to make it very very soft, we even used 30 egg yolks for a pan of layered cake.
when I made a cupcakes or cakes with 3 eggs or 2 eggs like the western recipe, (which actually I really love the variations and decorations) but when the cake is cooked, it only taste good and smooth after it came out of the oven, but after it cools down to the room temperature, it turn hard.
I dont know what happened, but when I used the asian recipe, it always smooth and never turn hard when it cools down.
hmm.. I hope you can help me with this…
October 13, 2008 at 10:45 pm
Marija, I’m so happy! Thanks for letting me know!
October 9, 2008 at 9:03 am
Vera, I have just made them. They are wonderful!