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Gluten Free Sticky Date Cupcakes

A delicious cupcake take on a Christmas time favourite! This is my recipe for Sticky Date (or Sticky Toffee) Cupcakes, iced with a cinnamon buttercream and toffee sauce. An absolute treat for the Christmas season.

Equipment & Storage

For this recipe, you will need a sauce pan, electric beater, baking tray and a piping bag. I used a closed star nozzle for piping the buttercream but you can use whichever you like. These are best stored in a sealed container for 3-4 days. You may also have some leftover toffee sauce which you can cover and store in the fridge for up to a week. It's especially good heated up and poured over ice cream!

Why do my cupcakes crack?

If you are like me and struggle to get those perfectly rounded cupcake tops without cracks, let me throw you some tips that helped me. Firstly, the reason they crack is because they have risen too quickly, which means the either that the temperature is too high, or the batter has been over-mixed. If you notice the tops beginning to crack, turn the heat down so they won't split any further. Next, try to resist opening the oven door otherwise they might sink. And lastly, make sure your oven has properly pre-heated as well, so as not to mess up the baking process. Take this knowledge and may you be blessed with perfect cupcakes.

Can you make these dairy free?

Yes, you can easily make these dairy free. For the cupcake, all you need to do is swap the butter for a vegan alternative 1:1 and carry on with the recipe as normal. For the sauce, swap the double cream for a vegan alternative - I like using the Elmlea variety which can be found in most chain supermarkets.

Can you make these egg free or vegan?

I have not yet tried to make these egg free/vegan but in my experience, using a flaxseed 'egg' with this batter should definitely work.

In place of the two eggs you would need for this recipe, I would suggest using 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal and 6 tablespoons or water mixed together and let it sit for a few minutes until it becomes gelatinous. After that, mix it in where you would crack in the eggs and carry on with the recipe as usual.



  • 180g dates chopped

  • 100ml hot water

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 100 gram softened butter

  • 50 g dark brown sugar

  • 1 Tbsp golden syrup

  • 2 eggs

  • 200 grams self raising gluten free flour


  • 35 Butter

  • 35 dark brown sugar

  • 1 tbsp golden syrup

  • 60 ml double cream


  • 50 grams butter

  • 300 grams icing sugar

  • 1 Tbsp golden syrup

  • 1 tsp Cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to 200° celsius/bake. Grease a standard muffin tray with butter. Boil a kettle.

  2. Chop the dates finely, making sure to remove the seeds before. Place them in a medium sized bowl and cover with 100ml of boiled water.

  3. Sprinkle over the baking soda and mix into the dates. Leave the dates to sit for 10 minutes.

  4. In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and dark brown sugar with an electric beater until light and fluffy.

  5. Add in the golden syrup and beat again briefly.

  6. Beat in one egg at a time until all combined.

  7. Add in the gluten free self raising flour, and fold in until there is no visible flour remaining, don't mix anymore than that!

  8. Pour in the dates and water and gently fold through a couple of times, making sure the dates are spread evenly throughout the cupcake mixture.

  9. Divide the mixture into the twelve muffin holes, the mixture should reach roughly 4/5 of the way to the top.

  10. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Once baked, check they are cooked through by placing a kebab stick into the centre of one. If it comes out clean then they are ready!

  11. Let the muffins cool in the tray for 10 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

  12. For the toffee sauce, combine the butter, dark brown sugar, golden syrup, and double cream in a small sauce pan, and melt together over a low heat.

  13. Once everything is combined, bring the saucepan to a medium heat and once it reaches a gentle simmer remove from the stove.

  14. Set the toffee sauce to the side, it will thicken as it cools.

  15. Once the cupcakes are cooled entirely, make the buttercream.

  16. Beat the softened butter in a large bowl until creamy, then add in the icing sugar, golden syrup, and cinnamon.

  17. Beat again until they are combining, add a tablespoon of water to loosen up the mixture.

  18. Put the buttercream into a piping bag, and then pipe over the cooled cupcakes.

  19. Once the sauce has cooled, drizzle over the iced cupcakes and enjoy!

1 Comment

Rick Savage
Rick Savage
Dec 22, 2023


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