Baking: Sweet

Gerda's Brandy Tart Cupcakes

Gerda Swanepoel was the 2nd runner-up in KOEKEDOOR, kykNETís first reality baking series. She is also South Africaís official Koeksister champion and lives in Ermelo where she runs the Ouma Rooi Koeksister bakery. This recipe, as prepared in the reality series, has been adapted for use on Safari Dried Fruit and Nuts website.


For the sauce

15 ml (1 tbsp) butter
315 ml light brown sugar
180 ml brandy
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence

For the cupcakes
250 g Safari Pitted Dates, chopped
5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda
250 ml (1 cup) boiling water
125 g butter
250 ml light brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
500 ml (2 cups) flour
5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder
pinch of salt
250 ml (1 cup) chopped Safari Shelled Pecan Nuts
65 ml brandy

For the garnish
150 ml cream
15 ml (1 tbsp) castor sugar
extra pecan nuts and dates

paper cupcake holders, or a creased cupcake pan


1. First make the sauce: Heat the butter, sugar, water and half the brandy and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes.
2. Remove from the heat and add rest of the brandy and vanilla. Keep aside.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 180 ºC.
4. To prepare the cupcakes: Place the dates in a glass bowl, add baking soda, the cover with boiling water and brandy. Leave to soften and cool.
5. Cream the butter and sugar and then add the eggs little by little.
6. Add the date mixture to the butter, sugar and egg mix. Beat until mixed through.
7. Sift the flour and baking powder together, then add the nuts to the flour.
8. Finally add the flour and nuts to the date mix.
9. Fill the cupcake forms about ¾ of the way. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven.
10. Add 10 ml (2 tsp) of the sauce on top of each cupcake. Set aside to cool.
11. Whip the cream until stiff and add the castor sugar.
12. Decorate the cakes with cream, topped by a pecan nut and a date.