Sticky Toffee Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Icing

What could be better, sticky toffee pudding in a bite size bun?

This recipe makes 36 mini muffins or 8 large. If you make the large ones, they take 20 minutes to cook.

Prep: mins
Cook: mins
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For the muffins:

90g dates pitted and chopped
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
110 ml boiling water
½ tsp vanilla extract
40g very soft butter
75g dark soft brown or muscovado sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
90g self raising flour, sifted

For the caramel:

70g golden caster sugar
2c tbsp boiling water
40 ml double cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp table salt

For the buttercream:

¼ tsp table salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g butter
100g icing sugar
2 dates for decoration


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C
  2. Place the chopped dates in a small bowl with the bicarbonate of soda and boiling water and set aside for 20 minutes
  3. Prepare the salted caramel by pouring the boiling water over the sugar in a small saucepan and slowly heating to dissolve the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved boil rapidly until the sugar syrup starts to caramelize.
  4. When the syrup starts to change colour carefully pour in the cream, salt and vanilla essence and stir to combine. Don’t worry it will look strange at first but will come together to form a lovely rich fudgy caramel. Pour it into a bowl and allow to cool.
  5. Beat the sugar and butter together for the muffins until light and creamy (about 5 minutes), either in a food mixer or in a bowl with an electric beater.
  6. Add the egg slowly adding a tablespoon of the flour halfway through to stop the mixture from curdling.
  7. Add the dates in their water and fold in the remaining flour.
  8. Place 36 mini muffin cases in 3 mini muffin trays ( or cook in batches) and divide the mixture between them. I used a piping bag to do this.
  9. Place in the preheated oven for 12 minutes until risen and firm to the touch.
  10. Leave for a couple of minutes and then remove from the muffin tray and place on a cooling rack.
  11. Whilst the cupcakes are cooling prepare the icing. Beat the butter until very soft and add the icing sugar. Beat for a few minutes until it is very light and creamy. Add the cooled caramel, salt and vanilla and beat again until all is well combined together.
  12. When the cupcakes are cool, pipe or spread the icing over the cupcakes and decorate with a slice of pitted date

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