A molecular dating of the phylogenetically basal eudicots (Ranunculales, Proteales, Sabiales, Buxales and Trochodendrales sensu Angiosperm Phylogeny Group II) has been performed using several fossils as minimum age constraints. All rbcL sequences available in GenBank were sampled for the taxa in focus. Dating was performed using penalized likelihood, and results were compared with nonparametric rate smoothing. Fourteen eudicot fossils, all with a Cretaceous record, were included in this study for age constraints. Nine of these are assigned to basal eudicots and the remaining five taxa represent core eudicots. Our study shows that the choice of methods and fossil constraints has a great impact on the age estimates, and that removing one single fossil change the results in the magnitude of tens of million years. The use of several fossil constraints increase the probability of approaching the true ages. Our results suggest a rapid diversification during the late Early Cretaceous, with all the lineages of basal eudicots emerging during the latest part of the Early Cretaceous. The age of Ranunculales was estimated to 120 my, Proteales to 119 my, Sabiales to 118 my, Buxales to 117 my, and Trochodendrales to 116 my.