Dark 'n Nutty Date Cake

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Festival Recipes



  • 8 oz. pitted dates, chopped into small pieces
  • 6 oz. boiling water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6 oz. self-rising flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 extra large eggs, each lightly beaten
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature (plus extra for greasing)
  • 5 oz. dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. black treacle
  • 3 1/2 oz. milk
  • 1 cup walnut halves, taosted then finely chopped


  • 6 oz. light brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces
  • 8 oz. heavy cream (divided)
  • 1 Tbsp. black Treacle
  • 1 cup walnut halves, toasted then finely chopped



  1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Grease a 1 1/2 quart pudding basin of an 8 inch square baking dish.
  3. Put chopped dates in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water.  Leave for 20 minutes, until date peces swell and soften.  Stir in vanilla, set aside.
  4. Sift flour and baking soda into large bowl. 
  5. Mix butter and brown sugar using the paddle attachement of a standard mixer on high until creamy, about 5 minutes.
  6. Lower speed, add eggs individually, mixing throughly after each.
  7. Add treacle and mix well.
  8. Add flour in thirds, following each by a third of the milk.
  9. Mix well and scrape bowl after each addition. 
  10. Fold in the date mixture and nuts.
  11. Pour batter ino basin or dish, bake for 60-65 minutes in basin or 45-50 minutes if using baking dish - until cake is raised and middle is firm to the touch.
  12. Let cool for 10 minutesm then invert onto plate if using a basin or leave in baking dish.
  13. Add sauce and walnuts per insuructions below.

Sauce - prepare while cake is cooling

  1. In small sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter,sugar and half of the cream. 
  2. Raise the heat slightly until mixture boils, stirring constantly, the add the treacle. Stir well.
  3. Allow to bubble for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, let bubbling subside, then stir in remaining cream.
  5. Generously drizzle sauce over cake, sprinkle on walnuts and serve.



2013 Date Festival Winner

Rupert Smith, 2nd Place - Dessert 

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