For our Sunday suppers I almost always bake dessert, and then have the leftover cake or cookies with tea the next day. I photographed this cake on Tuesday evening, that’s why there’s only a third of it left.
It had been awhile since I baked a date cake and found two recipes that I had previously made but couldn’t remember which one I liked better. To complicate it further, I pulled out the Joy of Cooking and compared its date cake recipe against the two I had and it was different. So I figured I will simply post 3 date cake recipes and we can figure out our favourites.
I use date paste from Sudan (thank you Patricia!). The only thing that I added that is not in the recipe is some pine nuts that were about to expire.
I love the taste of this cake the following day—it somehow hints at a fruit cake (in my mind anyway).
- 250 grams (8oz) dates
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- 125 grams (1/2 cup) butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind/zest
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
DirectionsGrease the baking tin and dust with flour. Preheat the oven to 170°C or 375°F.
Weigh out 250 grams dates into a medium bowl and add 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda and pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Let it stand until the dates soften.
In a large bowl, beat 125 grams butter and 3/4 cup sugar until pale in colour and fluffy. Beat in the 2 eggs one at a time until well-incorporated. Add the 1 Tablespoon molasses, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
Into the bowl with the butter mixture, using a spatula or wooden spoon, add the softened dates. Make a well in the centre and measure in 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Gently incorporate it into the wet ingredients, until just blended.
Pour into the baking tin and bake for about 40 minutes, or until knife when inserted in the centre, comes out clean.