Caramel Macadamia Cupcakes

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Caramel Macadamia Cupcakes, Quirky Cooking

Caramel Macadamia Cupcakes, Quirky Cooking

Caramel Macadamia Cupcakes – recipe below!

How awesome are summer holidays? We’ve had a great time with family and friends – swimming, bushwalking, star-gazing and waterfall exploring; having long-overdue catch-ups, picnics, BBQs and morning teas; getting some gardening done and going to a fermented foods workshop; and just enjoying being less focused on work and having more time to relax. 
Far North Queensland, Jo Whitton, Quirky Cooking
I love where I live!! (Far North Queensland, Australia)
Waterfall picnic, Quirky Cooking
School starts again on Monday, and I know it’s going to get crazy again, especially when the new book comes out and our classes and workshops begin again. So I’m glad I took it easy for a few weeks. Hope you did too!
In case you’ve been off the radar for the holidays,
here’s what’s been happening in Quirky Land:
Life-Changing Food, Jo Whitton & Fouad Kassab
Our new cookbook “Life-Changing Food” has gone off to the printers – yay! (the book is due for release late March/early April)
– Fouad and I did a really fun podcast on Food Trends and Food Goals for 2017 (did you know naturally purple foods, cauliflower creativity, immune boosting mushrooms, and flexitarian diets are the in thing for 2017??)
– We also interviewed Jen Shaw of Barefoot Kitchens on our podcast about her new social-enterprise cafe and youth health project, Emerge! (Listen here: Jen Shaw: Living on Little)
– I’ve gotten serious about exercising, in an effort to regain the fitness lost by sitting at a computer every day writing a cookbook (and I’m loving these workouts – plus swimming and walking)
– I’ve started studying nutrition through Changing Habit’s Functional Nutrition Academy
– I started putting together a Full GAPS recipe ebook to add to my Quirky Cooking for Gut Health program
– I learnt how to smoke brisket, make perfect pork belly, cook ibika, and take photos of the moon from the rooftop (ha ha) Stay tuned for pork belly and brisket recipes!
We got lots of gardening done, and I’m finally getting a veggie garden and fruit trees in the backyard! (woo hoo!!)
– And I did a fermented foods course with Kultured Wellness ambassador Karli Rae, and am all inspired with lots of new ideas for fermenting everything from veggies and fruit to meats and coconut yoghurt! (photos below)
Now that I’ve caught you up on the news, how about something yummy to celebrate the start of a new year (and to cheer you up if you’re wishing the holidays weren’t over yet)! 

Caramel Macadamia Cupcakes

This is a recipe that I shared with my Quirky Cooking for Gut Health Program members a while back, and they loved it, so I thought I’d share it on my blog, too. We’ve been keeping sugars low, and although we’re at the tail end of GAPS, we still eat mostly grain free. So these cupcakes are a delicious little now-and-then snack that are super easy to make and very popular in our home! We hope you enjoy them too.  
All the best with getting ready for the back to school craziness… I’ll be posting some lunchbox ideas for you this week, so keep an eye out for those! (And there’s some savoury lunchbox ideas here on my FB page if you need some straight away.)
This recipe is suitable for GAPS Intro stage 6 and Full GAPS, and is Paleo, gluten free, grain free and dairy free.
Caramel Macadamia Cupcakes
Yields 12
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  1. 170g macadamia nuts
  2. 70g pitted medjool dates, or date paste
  3. 100g thick coconut cream
  4. 4 large eggs
  5. ½ tsp vanilla powder or extract
  6. ½ tsp bicarb soda
Caramel Icing
  1. 60g pitted medjool dates
  2. 100g thick coconut cream
  3. ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  4. ½ tsp vanilla powder or extract
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper baking cups. (I use "If You Care" baking cups as they are unbleached, non-toxic, and the cakes don't stick to them.)
  2. Place all ingredients into Thermomix bowl and mix 1 min/speed 9. (Or mix in a blender/processor until batter is smooth and creamy).
  3. Divide mixture between cupcake cups.
  4. Bake 20 mins at 180C.
  5. Cool, then ice with caramel icing.
Caramel Icing
  1. Place all icing ingredients into Thermomix bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 6. Scrape down lid and sides of bowl with spatula. (Or finely chop dates by hand and place in a saucepan with other ingredients.)
  2. Cook 5 mins/100C/speed 3 (or simmer in saucepan over med heat, stirring until smooth).
  3. Chill icing for approx an hour, then ice cupcakes.
  1. Store cupcakes in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 1 month.
Quirky Cooking


  1. Michelle says:

    Hi. Could you please advise what I could use to sub the eggs in the recipe? Thanks!

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Michelle! 🙂 Generally it isn’t recommended to substitute eggs if there are more then 3 eggs in a recipe. If you want to try it, maybe halve the recipe (in case it doesn’t work well!), and use 1 Tbsp ground chia seeds + 3 Tbsp water per egg, plus 1/2 tsp baking powder. I hope it works! Let us know. xx

  2. Katie says:

    These look great AND are free from almost all of the allergens in our house (pretty exciting as this rarely happens) but the 4 eggs are an issue. Any suggestions on a substitute? I do use egg replacer but it isn’t very good to replace more than 2 eggs.

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Katie! 🙂 Generally it isn’t recommended to substitute eggs if there are more then 3 eggs in a recipe. If you want to try it, maybe halve the recipe (in case it doesn’t work well!), and use 1 Tbsp ground chia seeds + 3 Tbsp water per egg, plus 1/2 tsp baking powder. I hope it works! Let us know. It would be great if these worked for your family. xx

  3. Kirsty says:

    Would this recipe work made into a cake?

  4. Annabel says:

    Hi Jo! Do you think this might work as a cake for a birthday?

  5. Tanya Angaine says:

    What patty pans do you use please?

  6. Dianne says:

    Looks awesome

  7. Maria Burgess says:

    Jo, I ordered your book before Xmas and seeing this recipe above I’m so excited to getting my copy. The macadamia cupcakes look so good.

  8. Anne Harris says:

    My teenage boys LOVE these muffins. I didn’t have macadamia nuts so used 100g cashews and 70g hazelnuts. Delicious! Am just making my second batch for the week as the first ones are almost gone. Winner! Thanks so much, Jo.

  9. Holly says:

    Looks amazing, would it be ok to make it into a cake?

  10. Lisa says:

    One of the easiest most delicious recipes that we love!! Thanks Jo

  11. Haley says:

    What could I use to substitute the coconut cream? Unfortunately I am mildly allergic. Thanks in advance

  12. Belinda says:

    Hi there,
    For school purposes can substitute the Mac Nuts with seeds or something else?

  13. Simone says:

    My cupcakes looked amazing when they came out of the oven then sank and wrinkled. What did I do wrong?

  14. Pam says:

    Made these for the first time. Love them. I’m wondering though what would be a good gluten free flour alternative to the macadamia nut as I have a grandchild with nut allergies and she always misses out.

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