I hope you guys are just as excited about these cupcakes as I am!
I’ve only been waiting since last Thursday to post them (someone wanted quinoa instead…I won’t name names). If you’re already questioning “date nut”, it’s totally understandable. You’re probably wondering why you would make date nut cupcakes when you could, say, make buttermilk chocolate and everyone wins. I get it. I really do. And to be totally honest with you, these cupcakes are weird. I wasn’t so sure what to think, especially since it’s my great-grandma’s recipe and is probably circa 1944. You want to know what else was circa 1944? Tomato aspic. And we all know how that turned out.
Remember rum raisin ice cream? These cupcakes are like that. They taste retro but in a good way. Sort of like banana bread minus the bananas…if that makes any sense at all.
BUT OH MY GOSH CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE FROSTING??!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We’ll get to that in a second.
First, the dates! Don’t try to get all fancy with organic medjool. Think like a great grandma. What would she buy?
Retro, but in a good way.
Now let’s talk about the frosting….because, well, I liked the cupcakes a lot (I like weird things) but I LOVED LOVED LOVED (!!) this frosting. It might be my new go-to frosting for everything, that’s how much I loved it. And it was so easy to make! You just need a bag of butterscotch chips….
You melt down the chips then let it cool and pour the melted butterscotch into creamed butter and powdered sugar. That’s it. It makes the most deliciously fluffy, light, butterscotch-caramely frosting ever.
Trust me, you want to make this frosting. If nothing else, just to lick off the whisk of your KitchenAid attachment.
The frosting is the perfect thing to spruce up these date nut cupcakes. I loved the flavor of the butterscotch with the dates…it really was the perfect match! I love imaging my great-grandma serving these cupcakes to my grandma and her siblings when they were kids.
The original recipe calls for a half cup of shortening, which is what I used. If you’d rather use good old fashioned butter instead though, I’m sure that would work just fine. I’m certain the reason great-grandma used shortening here was because butter was in short supply at the time.
She would much rather save the butter to make this delicious butterscotch chip frosting…I get it.
Yum…..happy Monday, folks!
Date Nut Cupcakes with Butterscotch Chip Frosting
makes about 16 cupcakes
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup boiling water
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 11-oz package butterscotch chips
2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour the boiling water over the dates and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chopped walnuts in a bowl.
In another bowl, cream together the vegetable shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating well after each addition, and the vanilla. Continue beating until everything is well combined.
Alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the date/boiling water mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Do not over-mix here.
Fill greased cupcake tins about 3/4th of the way full with cupcake batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and springy. Let cool completely while you make the frosting.
To make the frosting, place the butterscotch chips in a large, microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring well after each time until all the chips are melted. It should take about a minute and a half total. Stir melted butterscotch chips well and set aside to cool. (make sure you really let the butterscotch cool or else it will melt the butter and you’ll have pools of melted butter and butterscotch instead of the fluffy frosting you desire!)
Cream the butter until light. Add the cooled butterscotch and the powdered sugar and continue beating until thick and fluffy.
Place frosting in a large plastic bag fitted with a pastry tip (optional but fun!) or just use a butter knife to spread on cooled cupcakes.