Thursday, September 25, 2008

Date & Walnut Cake

I have always been skeptical about a cake made with dates. Although I love to eat dates, I just couldn't imagine this fruit being one of the main ingredients in a cake. However, we do have many traditional cookies made with dates. I come from a country where dates are a very popular fruit. In fact, Algeria is known for a variety of dates that is so unique and delicious. It is called "Deglet Nour" or "Nour's dates" also known as "The queen of dates". It is very sweet and tender, but what makes it unique is the fact that it is so transparent that you can see the pit from outside. I, so far, didn't see any other type of dates that has this criteria. I've seen some "supposedly" deglet Nour sold in the US, but I am always disappointed. It doesn't taste like the real thing at all!

Date & Walnut Cake

After this short lesson about Algerian dates history, let's talk about this cake, shall we? Since I never made a date cake, I had to look for a recipe. At my surprise, there were tons of them. Sure, they had all some points in common, but as always, just by reading a recipe, I could figure out that something might be wrong: too much sugar, too little butter...etc so I ended up creating my own recipe! and It came out perfect just the way I expected: perfect sweetness, very moist and full of flavor. It's been a while I didn't make a cake and ate more than half of it! yes, it is that good!

Date & Walnut Cake

Date and Walnut Cake

1 cup chopped dates
1 cup boiling water
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg
5 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange zest
1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1- Preheat the oven to 350 f. butter an 8 in cake pan and cover the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper too. Set aside.

2- Sift together the flours, salt and baking powder. Remove 1/3 cup of this mixture and mix it with the walnuts. Set aside.

3- Put the chopped dates in the boiling water. Simmer for about 5 minutes over medium low heat. Turn off the heat and add the baking soda. Set aside to cool.

4- Beat the egg with sugar, vanilla and orange zest until light and fluffy. Add the date mixture and mix until well combined.

5- Add the flour, butter and walnuts to the egg mixture and fold gently until evenly combined. Bake until a tooth pick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Set aside to cool before enjoying!


  1. wow this is over the top. I m drooling here. walnut, dates , chocolate what could be better than this yummy , Nice photo too

  2. i love your blog, full of tasty recipes and great photos! i've tried dates in cake before and liked it!

  3. snookydoodle: thank you so much for your sweet comments!
    eliza: thank you! I actually loved this date cake, as I clearly mentioned above :))hope to see you often around here!

  4. This cake was simply delicious! Tried it today. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  5. Looks a little dry. Maybe it needs to be more moist.

    Sin cere ly,


  6. love the clicks with simple recipe :)