Preheat the oven to 350F. Put the dates, half of the brown sugar, 1/4 of butter,and water in a medium saucepan. Stir over low heat until the butter has melted. Still over low heat, bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cool slightly, then stir in the baking soda and vanilla. set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flours. Stir in the pecans. Add the beaten eggs to the date mixture. Add all at once to the flour mixture and stir just until moistened. Divide equally among the cups of a 6-cup muffin pan that has been greased, or sprayed. Bake until the tops spring back when lightly tapped, 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the remaining brown sugar and butter and the cream in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a low boil and boil for 1 minute. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then brush with a little of the caramel sauce. Remove from the pan and serve warm with the remaining hot caramel sauce. Could also add a a dollop of whipped cream.