mini chocolate cupcakes

(Makes 1 dozen)

Today I thought we needed a little chocolate sweet to start the week off with a little "something, something". This is a quick, delicious, moist little cake with no guilt attached, thanks to the richness coming from puréed dates, instead of the usual butter or oil.


From "Gourmet - August 2003" makes 12 mini cupcakes



  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 oz. fine quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
  • vegetable oil spray
  • 1 teaspoon confectioners sugar for dusting




Preheat oven to 325°F.

Bring water and dates just to a boil in a 1-quart heavy saucepan.

Transfer mixture to a food processor and add cocoa powder and chocolate, pulsing once to combine.

Let cool 2 minutes, then add brown sugar, egg, vanilla, baking soda, and a pinch of salt, then purée until smooth.

Add flour and pulse just until incorporated.

Spray muffin cups with cooking spray. (If pan is not nonstick, line sprayed bottoms with rounds of wax paper, then spray paper.)

Spoon batter into cups, dividing it evenly, and bake in middle of oven until a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes


Cool cupcakes in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack (remove wax paper, if using) and cool completely, right side up.

Sprinkle tops lightly with confectioners sugar just before serving.