This old fashioned delicious recipe for a simple moist Date and Walnut Cake is an easy to make dessert and is a perfect treat for tea time.
This Date and Walnut Cake is a light, moist and tender cake studded with sweet dates and crunchy walnuts. A touch of brewed coffee and ground cinnamon add more flavor to this delicious cake and make it the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee or tea.
A favourite thing about this date walnut cake is that the natural sugars in the dates help sweeten this cake naturally which means we don't need to add too much sugar to the cake. The toasted walnuts add texture to the cake which is a nice contrast to the soft dates.
If you love baking with dates, this Pear, Date and Walnut Loaf Cake which is baked in a loaf pan is a popular recipe on this blog.
How to Make it
The best part of an easy recipe is the short list of ingredients. I think you'll find the list of ingredients needed to make this Date and Walnut Cake isn't very long compared to other cake recipes and are rather basic, so if you have a well stocked pantry you may already have everything you need, if not they should be easy to find in your local supermarket.
You'll find the ingredient amounts and step-by-step directions for this easy date cake recipe in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- Walnuts. Toasting the walnut halves before incorporating them into the batter helps to bring out their flavour.
- Dried dates. If the dates aren't pitted, make sure to pit them before chopping them. You can chop them by hand or in a food processor.
- Hot brewed coffee. If you don't enjoy the taste of coffee, you can use tea or hot water as a substitute.
- All-purpose flour
- Whole wheat pastry flour. You can substitute this ingredient with all-purpose flour.
- Ground cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Unsalted butter. You'll need to bring the butter to room temperature before using it in the recipe.
- Brown sugar
- One egg. For best results, make sure the egg is at room temperature.
- Vanilla extract
I think you'll find this cake rather easy to make. If you would like to prepare ahead of time, you can toast the walnuts and chop them. Simply set the walnuts aside a small bowl until you're ready to make the cake.
- Start by preheating the oven. Toast the walnuts for about 10 minutes or until they are fragrant, let cool and chop coarsely.
- When making this cake it's important to soften the dried dates in a hot liquid, I chose half a cup of hot coffee.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
- Using your electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat until smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
- Add the soaked dates and coffee. Beat Beat on low speed to combine then add in the flour mixture. Beat until well blended and mix in the chopped walnuts.
- Spread the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out dry.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out of the pan and transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
This lightly sweetened moist cake is perfect for serving as a casual dessert or as an afternoon snack. Serve this cake with a light dusting of icing sugar, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or simply plain with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
Once cooled to room temperature, cover the cake and store it at room temperature. Leftovers should be store in an airtight container and can be left at room temperature for up to five days.
How to Freeze
To freeze the date and walnut cake, wrap it well in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. I like to place the wrapped cake in a freezer bag or an airtight container if there's a risk the cake will break in the freezer. You can freeze the cake for up to three months.
Thaw the cake overnight in the refrigerator. Remove the cake from the refrigerator about one to two hours before serving.
If you're looking for similar recipes, this Pear, Date and Walnut Loaf Cake which is baked in a loaf pan is a popular recipe on this blog. And if you're looking to use up leftover dates, this Maple Pecan Granola is a delicious and nutritious breakfast.
More Cakes to Try
- Plum Upside-Down Cake
- Fresh Peach and Blueberry Cake
- Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Classic Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Date and Walnut Cake
- ¾ cup walnut halves Toast and chop before proceeding with recipe
- 1 cup coarsely chopped dried pitted dates
- ½ cup hot brewed coffee or tea or hot water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1-½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ⅔ cup brown sugar packed
- 1 egg large, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place a rack in the centre of your oven and preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Toast the walnuts in the oven for about 10 minutes or until they are fragrant, let cool and chop coarsely.
- Butter and flour a 9-inch round baking pan, tap out extra flour.
- In a small bowl, pour 1/2 cup of hot coffee over the chopped dates. Add baking soda and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
- In another bowl, whisk together both flours, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined.
- Add in dates and coffee mixture all at once, the batter will look curdled at this point but that's ok.
- Beat the batter for 30 seconds and then add the flour mixture. Beat until well combined and add the chopped walnuts. Stir until walnuts are just mixed in. Do not over beat. The batter will be thick.
- Evenly spread the batter into the pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.
- Turn the cake out of the pan and transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Toasting the walnuts in this recipe will enhance the texture and flavour of your cake. You can toast walnuts halves in a 350ºF oven for about 10 minutes or until they are fragrant. Let cool and chop coarsely.
Saturday 12th of April 2014
Yum! This looks really delicious!! :)
Sweet and Savoury Pursuits
Saturday 12th of April 2014
Thank you! Its actually one of my favourite cakes!
Thursday 10th of April 2014
This cake seems lovely, it reminds me of a cake my grandmother used to make.
Sunday 25th of July 2021
@Sweet and Savoury Pursuits, 1930s old fashioned? That's my wardrobe you're talking about!! I just made the cake and it is delicious.
Sweet and Savoury Pursuits
Friday 11th of April 2014
Hi Natasha, yes date and walnut cakes are old fashion, they were actually very popular in the 1930s!