Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Date Honey Nut Cake

Ta Da! The Date Honey Nut Cake was born. This tasty loaf cake is a unique take on a traditional Rosh Hashanah honey cake. Dates are actually a symbolic food for Rosh Hashanah, so it’s a great choice for the holiday. In Hebrew, a date is called a “tamar,” which is related to the word “tam” (meaning “to end”) and the word “sheyitamu” (meaning “to be consumed”). Dates are eaten in the hopes that our enemies will be consumed. They also happen to be naturally sweet, which is another good reason to eat them for Rosh Hashanah (as we hope for a sweet new year). And here’s another fun fact– biblical scholars believe that the honey repeatedly mentioned in the Torah likely came from dates (and other fruits), not bees. Yet another good reason to eat dates for Rosh Hashanah!
So, what better way to enjoy dates than in a sweet, delicious honey cake? The dates provide lots of moisture, which makes this a convenient make-ahead dessert—the cake will not dry out if you make it a day or two before the holiday begins. The walnuts add some nice texture and crunch. It’s naturally dairy free, but can be topped with cream cheese frosting for some extra decadence. I hope this cake ends up on your holiday table. It will definitely be on mine. Yummy!


  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) whole dates
  • 1 cup gluten free flour, minus 2 tbls. of the flour and add 2 Tbls. Corn Starch. (Think GF Cake Flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey, (I used local Sonoma County organic wild flower honey)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp GF vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Nonstick cooking spray

You will also need

  • 8- or 9-inch loaf pan, 2 mixing bowls
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Place dates into a bowl and cover them with very hot strong brewed coffee. (Hot water may also be used, if you'd rather) Let the dates soak while you prepare the cake batter.
  • In a large mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, brown sugar, honey, eggs, and vanilla.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir till a thick batter forms.
  • Drain liquid from the dates. Pit the dates, then chop the fruit into small chunks.
  • Fold the walnuts and date chunks into the batter.
  • Generously grease your loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into loaf pan.
  • Place loaf pan in preheated oven. Bake cake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool.

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