Salted Caramel Turtle Mini Cupcakes (raw, vegan, GF)
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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.
Ingredients: yields 30 mini cupcakes
- 1 cup packed Medjool dates, pitted
- 3 Tbsp water
- 30 raw pecans, soaked and dehydrated
- coarse sea salt
- 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).
- Press mixture into a mini muffin pan. Fill each mold to the top and level it flat.
- Place in freezer while you make the caramel frosting.
Caramel & Assembly:
- In the same food processor, blend the dates and water until creamy. Stop every so often to scrape the sides down.
- Transfer the batter into a piping bag that is fitted with a large tip.
- Remove the mini cupcake pan from the freezer and pipe the caramel on top. Sprinkle large coarse sea salt over the caramel.
- Place a single pecan on top and lightly press it into the cupcake.
- 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.