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Cacao Caramel Cupcakes

Servings 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

BOTTOM CRUST

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup Medjool dates

THE CARAMEL LAYER

  • 1 cup cashew pieces soaked for 3–4 hours
  • 1/2 cup Medjool dates soaked for 20 minutes, or 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons filtered water

THE CACAO LAYER

  • 9 tablespoons solid coconut oil melted
  • 9 level tablespoons cacao powder or less if you’re not a chocoholic
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions

BOTTOM CRUST

  1. Place nuts in food processor and pulse into smallish pieces. Add the dates and pulse to incorporate dates. Pinch the mixture in your fingers to see if it sticks together. Put cupcake papers into baking cupcake tins. Press 1 tablespoon of crust into bottom of each cupcake paper. Refrigerate until caramel layer is ready to spread.

THE CARAMEL LAYER

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth, adding water a tablespoon at a time. Use as little water as possible. Remove tin from refrigerator and spread 1 tablespoon caramel layer over each nut crust and place tin back in refrigerator.

THE CACAO LAYER

  1. Place solid coconut oil in a bowl and place over a pan of hot water to melt. Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until completely smooth.

TO ASSEMBLE

  1. Remove cupcake tin from refrigerator and place 1 tablespoon of cacao mixture on top of caramel layer. Divide any leftover cacao between the cupcakes. Place back into refrigerator and leave overnight. Wrap in individual plastic wrap and freeze.

Recipe Notes

NOTE: Cashew pieces and Medjool dates need to be soaked. See the directions in the For the Caramel Layer section that follows.