Salted caramel date cups

RECIPE: Salted date caramel cups

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The much-loved peanut butter cup gets a nutritious superfood makeover! Recipe by Roberta Nelson.

Take much loved peanut butter cups, update them to be more nutritious and a healthy treat and you get these salted date caramel cups made with only whole, nourishing ingredients. 

These can be whipped up in a matter of minutes and enjoyed now or later when a treat is on your mind. 

You start by making your own chocolate using cold-pressed cacao powder. Cacao powder that has been cold-pressed maintains a rich flavour and the nutritional properties of the raw cacao bean.
Cacao contains antioxidants which come from the plant polyphenols- similar to those found in green tea- which are active in raw cacao powder and have sparked an interest for their potential benefits for wellbeing.  It’s important that the cacao is not heated too much otherwise these antioxidants will be destroyed so ensure you keep your coconut oil and cocoa butter as cool as possible when you’re making the chocolate. 

Dates are used to make the gooey caramel which fills the centre. You will have date caramel left over so store it in an airtight container or jar in the fridge to mix through your morning muesli, spread on toast or make a second batch of these caramel cups. 

Dates contain iron, vitamin A, fibre, potassium and B vitamins with a naturally sweet taste of buttery caramel- but make sure you use the gooiest dates you can find. If you can’t find soft, fresh ones, you will need to soak them in warm water for around 10 minutes and then strain them to soften them up.

Enjoy your salted date caramel cups with a cup of tea, in the middle of the afternoon or as a quick hit when you’re in need of a pick me up.

VeganDairy FreeRefined sugar free
Makes 12 cups


Date filling

  • 10 fresh and soft Medjool dates, pitted
  • ¼ cup plant-based milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp rock salt


  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup cocoa butter, grated
  • ¼ brown rice syrup
  • ½ cup cacao
  • ½ tsp rock salt

To assemble

  • 12 mini cupcake patty pans
  • 1 mini cupcake tray

How to make

  • In your blender or food processor, add the dates, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt and blitz for 30 seconds until everything is broken down and processed. Wipe down the sides of your machine’s jug with a spatula and blitz everything again for 60 to 90 seconds or until the mixture resembles a thick caramel. Taste and adjust it to suit you then transfer it to a container and place it in the freezer while you prepare your chocolate
  • Put a patty pan in to each cupcake hole of your mini cupcake tray to prepare it for pouring your chocolate in to
  • On the stovetop in a saucepan, melt the coconut oil until it is fully liquid but not boiling hot. Remove the pan from the heat and add the grated cocoa butter (you can do this by chopping it up in to small pieces or using a fork to get it out of the jar), stirring it into the hot oil so that it melts. Whisk in the brown rice syrup followed by the cacao powder and salt. Once completely smooth, transfer it to a jug and evenly pour half of the mix across each of the patty pans. Place your cupcake tray in the freezer for the chocolate to set
  • Once the base of your caramel cups are solid, remove them and the date caramel from the freezer and begin to scoop a teaspoon or so of the date caramel in to each patty pan ensuring that it does not meet the edges (this is so the chocolate can fully cover the caramel). Once each cup has caramel in it, pour the remainder of the chocolate over the top of them and sprinkle with a touch of rock salt for garnish. If your chocolate went hard in the process, heat it gently in a saucepan on the stove and add one tablespoon of coconut oil to loosen it up for pouring. Return the tray to the freezer until they are completely set which should take around 30 minutes. Once set, remove them from their patty pans and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week or in the freezer for 1 month

Roberta of Naturo Medico is a foodie with her heart set on improving the way we all experience food.

Combining her background in nutrition with her public health expertise, Roberta is using every mouthful to help the world be a healthier, happier, more sustainable place.

Follow @naturomedico on Instagram for more healthy eating inspiration!