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Salted Caramel Turtle Mini Cupcakes (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

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I made these specially for my sweet love… Bob.  Ok, ok, I make everything for him!  But he told me not to long ago that he loves turtles.  Now that I think about it, I hope he was talking about those turtle candies because that is how I understood it. haha  I wanted to create a dessert for you that you could throw together super fast yet make your friends and family believe that you “slaved all day in the kitchen” making this treat.  Shhh, this will be our little secret.

So hop into the kitchen and whip up a batch of four or five of these and throw them in the freezer.  They freeze beautifully!   The neat thing is that they don’t freeze solid.  Why is that so neat? Because you can make them up ahead of time, keep them fresh in the freezer and because they don’t freeze solid, they don’t require any thaw time.  You hear a knock at the front door, you swing it open and there stands ten of your in-laws… No problem!!  Invite them in (yes, you have to) and while they are removing their coats and shoes, you can quickly escape to the kitchen, pull these babies out of the freezer, put them on a decorative plate and voila!  They are ready to eat.  Where there is a plus, there is often a minus… they get really soft after 30 minutes so they need to be enjoyed soon after removing from the freezer or fridge.  I tested all of this so I have taken the guess-work out of it for you.


Yields 30 mini cupcakes

Brownie Ingredients:

Caramel Ingredients:

  • 1 cup packed Medjool dates, pitted
  • 3 Tbsp water

Turtle Shells:

  • 30 raw pecans, soaked and dehydrated
  • coarse sea salt



  1. Process all ingredients in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, until smooth, making sure not to over process (which will create excess oil).
  2. Press mixture into a mini muffin pan. Fill each mold to the top and level it flat.
  3. Place in freezer while you make the caramel frosting.


Caramel & Assembly:

  1. In the same food processor, blend the dates and water until creamy.  Stop every so often to scrape the sides down.
  2. Transfer the batter into a piping bag that is fitted with a large tip.
  3. Remove the mini cupcake pan from the freezer and pipe the caramel on top.  Sprinkle large coarse sea salt over the caramel.
  4. Place a single pecan on top and lightly press it into the cupcake.
  5. Serve right away or cover with plastic and store in the fridge or freezer.

Sous Chef Thoughts:

  • Almond meal ~ you can use basically any nut for this.  If you don’t have any nuts presoaked and dehydrated (good habit to get into), you can skip this stop if you are in a hurry.  For optimum health it is best to soak the nuts to remove the phytic acids.
  • Raw Agave ~ you can use raw coconut syrup, or maple syrup  (not raw).  I do recommend a liquid sweetener for this recipe for the moisture.
  • Medjool dates ~ if your dates are really dry, you might need to rehydrate them in some warm water for at least 15 minutes.  Drain before adding to the recipe.
  • Mold ~ I used a silicone candy and peanut butter-cup mold, click here to see.



4 thoughts on “Salted Caramel Turtle Mini Cupcakes (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

  1. Alice says:

    Hi Amie Sue, I just had to stop what I was doing and drop you a line. I absolutely love your website and now that I am on your mailing list I don’t miss any of your recipes. You sure have put a lot of new recipes out this past week in preparation for the holidays. I LOVE what you’ve done here with the turtles and the mini turtle cupcakes. You are so creative (and funny). You’ve given me such great ideas for the holidays. I just wanted to send you a big THANK YOU for all the recipes that you share with us. You are certainly inspiring. As well, I’d like to send you best wishes for the holidays and wish you and yours a very Happy New Year !!! God bless, Alice

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you very very much Alice… your words have blessed me and it was like opening a Christmas gift. :) I normally don’t release such a large amount of recipes in a weeks time or at once BUT I have been soooo busy creating and devoting holiday recipes that I wanted to get them out and share them with you all. The intent it not for everyone to try to make all of them, but to give an assortment to pick from. Perhaps a cookie I made in the raw, will inspire someone to bring in a healthier treat into their family traditions. And I fully believe in having a sense of humor, in all aspects of life. hehe

      Merry Christmas to you and many warm wishes for the New Year!!! amie sue

  2. Rhondy says:

    Hello Amie,

    This recipe looks delectable! You website is a fountain of never-ending inspiration and treasures.

    I am excited to give this recipe a try, but before I do would like to know if “moist almond meal” you list in the ingredient list is moist almond pulp or the dry almond meal?

    I did click on the link and it took me an article on almond meal and flours. Not sure which to use.

    Also, may possibly substitute the dates in the recipe for honey, coconut nectar, or some other sweetener? I ask this question not knowing the “role” the dates are playing. Please let me know what you think.

    Thank you Amie for being such a valuable resource. You have helped me to grow and gain confidence in the art of raw food preparation.


    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Rhondy, Thank you for your sweet words. What a way to start my morning. :)

      I adjusted my working… it should have read ‘almond pulp”. Since this recipe, I have created a post on almond pulp so I attached that new link too. Thanks for helping me in updating the recipe. :)

      The dates are a binder for the recipe, so I wouldn’t use anymore liquid sweetener. It won’t function the same and it will make them too sweet. Oddly enough, psyllium might work, maybe 2 Tbsp. If you try it, taste test and see if it would in fact need more sweetener. You want the batter to stick together and have a nice mouth-feel. I wish I had all the time and resources to test every variation… but I can support you if you try it. :) Let me know if you. Blessings, amie sue

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