Three things inspired me to make this cake. One: I found fresh dates at the farmers market, which I have never seen in the U.S. before. (They grow in Palm Springs). Two: I have recently returned from a trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi where I constantly ate dates, fresh and dried. Three: I had just been out to dinner at an amazing restaurant where we split of a delicious date cake. I wondered immediately if I could replicate the date cake when I saw the dates at the market. I have never made anything using fresh dates. I hadn’t even eaten any before my trip to UAE. I wanted to make this cake a vegan cake free of refined sugars. I have never done one before without following a recipe, so I must have been in the mood for livin’ on the edge. Thankfully, it turned out to be pretty moist, dense, and well, pretty awesome.
Maple date cake with orange glaze
Ingredients (Serves 6-8)
- 1 c. pitted dates, chopped
- 2 c. water
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/3 c. maple syrup
- 3 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1/2 c. almond milk (or other non dairy milk)
- 1/2 banana, mashed
- 1/2 tbsp. orange zest
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4. tsp. almond extract
- 1 1/2 c. self rising flour
- 2 tbsp. chopped walnuts (optional)
- 2 tbsp. fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup
Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Place chopped dates in a bowl and bring 2 c. of water to a boil. Pour over the dates and add 1 tsp. baking soda. Set aside until tender.
In a large bowl, beat the ingredients from the maple syrup to the almond extract with a hand mixer.
Add the flour 1/2 c. at a time, beating until well combined.
Drain the water from the dates and add to cake mixture. Reserve a scant 1/4 c. to top the cake.
Grease a cake pan with coconut oil. Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Stick a toothpick, cake tester or fork into the middle of the cake and if it comes out clean, it is done. Poke a few toothpick sized holes in the cake for the glaze.
Top the cake with remaining dates.
Combine the orange juice, zest and maple syrup in a bowl and pour over cake.