Home Desserts Easy Date Cake Recipe With Raisins and Nuts

Easy Date Cake Recipe With Raisins and Nuts

Moist, tender, and bursting with sweet but subtle caramel flavors, this date cake is the ultimate coffee pairing!

It’s chewy, nutty, and to die for. 

Date Cake Sliced Into Square
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Date cake tastes like sticky toffee pudding. But thanks to the raisins and walnuts, it has a much better texture.

It’s perfect if you’re in the mood for something rich, indulgent, and full of natural caramel flavor.

Sticky Date Cake Recipe

Dates are well-known as nature’s sweeteners and are often used to make vegan caramel. 

When boiled and pureed, they bring so much deliciousness (and moisture!) to cakes and other desserts. This date cake is no exception!

It’s a breeze to make and has precisely the right amount of sweetness. The dates’ natural caramel flavor is perfect without being overwhelming. 

Plus, you won’t believe how moist it is! And while the stickiness might be messy, you won’t care. It just tastes too darn good! 

Date Cake Ingredients: dates, raisins. baking soda, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and flour

Ingredients

There are two parts to this yummy dessert: the cake and the topping. Let’s check out the ingredients for each.

For the Cake:

  • Dates and raisins. You’ll soak them in boiling water and baking soda to bring out their sweet, caramelized flavor. This also softens them, which is why the cake is so moist.
  • Baking soda. A bit of baking soda in the dates and raisins will quickly neutralize their acidity.
  • Granulated sugar. For sweetness.
  • Butter. To enrich the cake. Feel free to use salted butter and cut out the extra salt listed below.
  • Eggs. To bind the cake ingredients and help it rise.
  • Vanilla extract. To enhance the cake’s flavor.
  • All-purpose flour. The base of the cake that provides its structure.
  • Salt. To balance out the sweetness. (Exclude if you use salted butter.)

For the Topping:

  • Butter. For a richer flavor.
  • Brown sugar. To enhance the caramelized goodness.
  • Heavy cream. To make it nice and sticky but thin enough to soak into the cake for maximum flavor.
  • Walnuts. For a lovely, crunchy finish
Date Cake With Lots of Nuts and Dates

How to Make Date Cake

This recipe is super simple to make. And while I use a 9-inch baking pan, you can try it in muffin cups, as a loaf, or a bundt if you like!

1. Get ready. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a baking pan with butter, oil, or cooking spray. 

Additionally, line the pan with parchment paper, or dust it with flour. These steps make it easier to remove the cooked cake.

2. Soften the dates and raisins. See the recipe card for complete instructions on how to do this properly.

3. Prepare the cake batter. Beat together the sugar and butter until they’re light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Mix in the vanilla with the final egg.

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4. Add the dry ingredients and date mixture. Add the flour and salt to the creamed sugar and butter. Stir this until it’s about halfway combined.

Then, add the raisin-date mixture. Mix well, but don’t overmix.

5. Bake the cake. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes. Check for doneness using the toothpick test.

Take the cake out of the oven and change the setting to broil.

6. Make the topping. While the cake bakes, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Once it melts, remove the pan from the heat.

Stir in the brown sugar, chopped walnuts, and cream. Mix until the sugar is dissolved.

7. Broil the cake. Spread the mixture on top of the cake. Place the pan back in the oven and broil for 1-3 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned. 

You may need to rotate the cake halfway through to ensure the topping browns evenly.

8. Slice, serve, and enjoy! I like this warm, right out of the oven. But it’s just as good at room temperature.

Date Cake Slices

Tips and Tricks

Here are a few final things to keep in mind:

  • Chop the dates yourself. Store-bought chopped dates tend to be hard and dry. It’s better to chop them yourself. If all you can find are pre-chopped dates, cook them with the raisins to soften them.
  • Coat your knife with olive oil. Doing so helps prevent the dates from sticking when you chop them.
  • Use room-temperature ingredients. This especially applies to the cream. You’ll add it to hot butter. If it’s cold, it’ll start to solidify the butter before the sugar can dissolve.
  • Don’t alter the sugar and date ratios. Some people use less sugar and more dates thinking it’ll balance out the sweetness. It won’t! Altering these ingredients will result in a dry, dense cake.
  • Carefully monitor the broiling stage. Depending on your broiler’s power, the topping may start to burn in as little as 1 minute.
  • Turn it into muffins or a loaf. Use the same recipe for the batter and topping. Just bake it differently. Muffins need 15 to 20 minutes in the oven. A loaf cake will require 45 to 60 minutes.

Flavor Variations

Want to mix things up a bit? Try some of these variations:

  • Make it nuttier. Flavor the cake with almond extract instead of vanilla. You can also mix chopped nuts into the batter instead of just the topping.
  • Give it some spice. Cinnamon pairs beautifully with dates and raisins and will work in the batter and the topping.
  • Add some bourbon. Just a splash in the topping will further enhance the rich caramel flavor.
  • Adjust the topping. Try a classic coffee cake crumb instead of the caramel glaze.
  • Cook the fruit in orange juice. Instead of water, use orange juice to cook the raisins and dates. Doing so will greatly enrich their flavors. Be sure to use a tall pot, as the mixture will froth after adding the baking soda.
  • No dates? No problem! Dried plums and prunes are adequate substitutes. However, your cake won’t have that deep caramel flavor that only dates can provide.
  • Experiment with add-ins. Chocolate chips give the cake a delightful caramel chocolatey flavor. You can also add extra nuts or other dried fruits.

How to Store Date Cake

I highly doubt there’ll be any leftovers, but here’s how to store them, just in case.

  • To store. Tightly wrap the remaining cake with plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for 3 days or in the fridge for 5 days.

Unfortunately, this cake doesn’t freeze well. So use that as an excuse to indulge and avoid leftovers. 😉

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Easy Date Cake Recipe With Raisins and Nuts

Servings

12

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

10

minutes
Calories

366

kcal

Moist, tender, and bursting with sweet but subtle caramel flavors, this date cake is the ultimate coffee pairing! It’s chewy, nutty, and to die for.

Ingredients

  • For the Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 3/4 cup dates, pitted and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • For the Topping
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (room temperature)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch square pan with butter or oil and lightly coat it with flour. Set aside.
  • Combine water and raisins in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the water to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and mix in the chopped dates and baking soda. Mix everything until the baking soda is dissolved. Then, set it aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the granulated sugar and softened butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. About 4 minutes.
  • Next, add the eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla with the final egg and mix until well combined.
  • Add the flour and salt to the bowl. Mix everything gently with a spatula until about halfway combined. (Some streaks of flour should still be visible.)
  • Add the raisins, dates, and water to the bowl and gently mix until there are no more streaks of flour. Do not overmix.
  • Pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside. Then, pre-set the oven to broil.
  • While the cake bakes, make the topping. Add the butter to a small saucepan and gently melt. (Do NOT boil.) Remove the pot from heat.
  • Mix the brown sugar, chopped walnuts, and cream into the melted butter until the sugar is dissolved. Pour this over the warm, baked cake.
  • Broil the cake for 1 to 3 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned. Rotate the cake pan to ensure even browning.
  • Let the cake cool slightly, serve warm, and enjoy!

Notes

  • Keep a close eye on the cake during the broiling stage. It can burn quickly.
Date Cake

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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