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Friday Food: Sticky Date Cupcakes With Whiskey Ganache And Sugared Pecans

And this must be the recipe with the longest name ever!! It comes from the Winter, Issue 75 Donna Hay magazine. I took these for dessert tonight at WeeJock and Bessie's Mum's house. At first glance the recipe seemed to be complicated, but it was in fact quite straight forward and easy.

Sticky date cupcakes

The recipe called for whiskey and I substituted brandy, and I prefer pecans to walnuts. I filled the cupcake papers with 1/4 of a cup of the cake batter and made 13 cupcakes. The fresh dates, from the USA, were 227 g instead of 250, but the missing 23g didn't seem to matter at all. I made half the ganache and had enough to frost 11 cupcakes, though the ganache wasn't shiny as in the Donna Hay photo. I wonder if the alcohol made it grainy??

I cooked the cupcakes and the sugared pecans at the same time, to save on electricity!!

The general consensus was that these were delicious.


Sticky Date Cupcakes With Whiskey Ganache And Sugared Pecans   makes 12

  • 250g fresh pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 cup (250ml) of boiling water
  • 1 tspn bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (135g) dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (150g) self raising flour

For the ganache

  • 1/2 cup (125ml) pouring, or single, cream
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 1 tbspn (20ml) brandy

For the sugared pecans

  • 1 1/2 cups (150g) pecans
  • 1/2 cup (110g) white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tspn sea salt flakes
  • 1 tbspn (20ml) brandy

Preheat the oven to 180*C and place 12 cupcake papers into the cupcake or muffin tray.

Pour the boiling water over the dates, add the bicarb soda, and soak for 5 minutes. Place the date mixture, butter and brown sugar into the food processor and blend until smooth. My Oskar is small so I had to do two batches.

Dates and blending

Pour into a bowl, add the eggs and mix well, and then fold in the flour. The mixture should not have any flecks of the white. It will be a much paler batter now.

Cake batter

Fill the cupcake papers and bake for 20-25 minutes. I turned the tray at 10 minutes and mine only took 20 minutes. They are cooked when the top springs back when lightly pressed, they have come away from the edges of the pan and/or a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.


Cool in the tin for a few minutes and then remove and cool on a rack. I love the way the cupcakes are so uniform.

Cooling cakes

As soon as the cupcakes go into the oven mix the nuts, sugar, salt and brandy and spread out on a tray lined with baking paper. It is easy to spread them out to make one thin layer.

Sugared pecans

Put the tray into the oven with the cupcakes. Bake for 14-16 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely. It will form a kind of toffee-ed sheet. Once it is cool, chop coarsely and set aside.


To make the ganache, heat the cream in a saucepan, or microwave, and when it is almost boiling add the chocolate and remove from the heat. Stir gently until the chocolate has dissolved and the ganache is smooth. Add the brandy and allow to cool at room temperature.

Frosting and sugared pecans

Assemble the cupcakes: spoon on some ganache and use a butter knife dipped into boiling water to spread and smooth it over the top. Press a generous amount of the sugared pecans into the ganache.

Serve and enjoy!!!

Sticky date cupcake, ganache, sugared pecans



Yum! Love a sticky date cakey pudding anything. You did a great job to get them so even, I have never achieved that!


Looks so good as I love sticky date pudding. I have never try to make any as they seem too complicated.


I missed seeing these before. Must have been distracted. How yummy.


Yummo - these look delish!

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