Apple and Date Cupcakes with Coconut Yogurt Icing

Gluten Free, Vegan, Sugar Free

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Yesterday my beautiful friend Maddie had her twentieth birthday party. Last year I made her this lemon sponge birthday cake and covered it in sugar flowers and told you all how much I love Maddie, if you want to read that. This year I wanted to make the MOST EPIC CAKE OF ALL TIME.

Maddie loves banoffee pie so I decided to make a four-layer caramel mud cake with banana and cream filling and chocolate ganache covering the entire thing. So I got up early, went and bought all the ingredients, whipped up my cake feeling like a casual Masterchef, and as I was cleaning up I found the pound of sugar sitting on the counter. Not in the cake, like it was supposed to be, just relaxing on my counter.

Uuugh. Life’s struggles. I tried to fix it by covering every single layer in a thick layer of more caramel as well as the chocolate and bananas and cream, and it ended up pretty awesome. But I think it would probably have tasted better with you know, sugar in it.


Lots of people tell me they’re too scared to bake or try my recipes because they might stuff up or they’re not “good enough.” To them I say, I stuff up all the time. Like literally every time I make something there’s a stage that goes wrong somewhere in there. But it doesn’t matter! Try it anyway, and if you have to go out and buy a jar of Dulce de Leche to smother on your sugar-free cake, that’s ok too.

You can never get any better if you don’t try in the first place. Which brings me to these cupcakes. Ever since I made these apple and cinnamon cream cheese cupcakes, I’ve been wanting to make a gluten free AND vegan version that’s just as good as the original.

I was waay too scared for ages because my memory of them was so perfect, I didn’t want a mediocre cupcake to replace it. But finally thought, geez Lil. Just go make the cupcakes already. With the help of My Darling Lemon Thyme‘s gluten free muffin recipe I finally cracked the apple cinnamon cupcake challenge.


I’m going to go as far to say that these are better than the original muffins. And they happen to be way better for you too! There’s no eggs, dairy, gluten or refined sugar in them at all and they also happen to be super easy to make.

I’m always worried when I make gluten free cupcakes that the texture will be either super powdery, or gluggy, or dense. These weren’t any of these. My sister ate one not knowing they were gluten free and said they were crumbly but moist (mooooooist), like the perfect cupcake. So there you go, the Cake Kahuna has spoken. You can replace the apple with carrot or pear if you want! You could add chopped almonds or walnuts, sultanas instead of the dates, and you can even leave out the icing.

By the way, I am calling these cupcakes but they are technically muffins…But in my mind once it has icing it is a cupcake, so…yeah. They’re cupcake muffins. Have a great week guys!

One Year Ago: Lemon Berry Butter Cake

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Apple and Date Cupcakes with Coconut Icing
Recipe inspired from this book
1/2 cup almond meal
3/4 cup fine brown rice flour
1/2 cup potato flour
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 eggs, lightly beaten OR 2 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 4 tbsp water for vegan
3 apples, washed and grated
1/2 cup dates, chopped into chunks

1.5 cups (370g) coconut yogurt (or normal yogurt)
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp brown sugar (optional but awesome)
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Preheat the oven to 180C (356F) and line 10 muffin moulds with muffin cups. Whisk together in a bowl the dry ingredients well. In a separate bowl mix together the wet ingredients. Gently fold the wet into the dry and fill the muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 17-22 minutes, until golden on top and cooked through. Leave to cool.

Drain the coconut or normal yogurt in a sieve lined with a teatowel for a few hours, to make Labneh. Mix with the maple syrup and brown sugar and pipe over the cupcakes. Once iced, keep the cupcakes in the fridge.

34 thoughts on “Apple and Date Cupcakes with Coconut Yogurt Icing

  1. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about the pound of sugar ๐Ÿ˜‰ Haha, I could totally do that as well
    I’m glad you managed to safe the cake though.
    Ever since I saw these lovely muffins on Instagram I’ve been looking forward to reading this post. They are gorgeous! Pinned ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Awh sighs the cake thing happened to me once and it sucked so.darn.much. Buuut yours sounded mighty delish covered in that dulce de leche layer hey! And tehse cupcakes are absolutely adorable! I saw them on insta and thought they were the cutest thing everrrrrrr!

  3. I am a great date aficionado. I love that you can use the for so many things, that they are amazing just eaten from your hand with a cup of tea and that they can be used to sweeten just about everything. I used to make them into date paste/syrup that I mixed with my homemade sesame milk to feed my converted milk kefir. I don’t use so many now but I think it’s amazing that you can also turn them into date sugar (in the oven) to be used in cakes for a subtle caramel richness. Excellent share and as we have a big orchard not too far away that sells apples on a little stall out the front on the honour system, I might head up and buy a bag of mixed and rustle up a few of these delightful little babies for morning tea. We have had a few days of delicious rain again and a few of these plus a nice big mug of tea might be just what the doctor ordered ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Apparently you just put chopped dried dates in a slow oven till they are very dry and then throw them into your vitamix and grind them into a powder. Easy peasy ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. And I hope you learned your lesson ๐Ÿ˜‰ Next time you doubt whether you should attempt something like this you just dive in head first. What a fabulous result!

  5. These cupcakes look and sound divine. I need to expand my gluten free baking – I am little daunted by how the results will turn out to be honest but these look so good, I will give them a try. I have nominated you for a Leibster award! If you would like to join the fun, see the details on my latest post. No worries if you have already par taken. Enjoy the week ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you Jo! I also get very worried about gluten free baking but luckily these turned out great! Thanks so much for the nomination, I’ve already participated but I’m flattered you nominated me ๐Ÿ™‚

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