A low sugar, rich dense date cake topped with a sweet peanut butter frosting! Ideally to be enjoyed with a warm cup of coffee or tea.
Us Maltese are kind of obsessed with dates! Apart from eating them on their own, we use them in so many of our desserts; such as in the imqaret, cakes and various tarts!
Focus on the dates
The base of this cake is made from the dates themselves. As the dates are quite naturally sugary, I didn’t include any additional sugars. However, if you want to add an extra touch of sweetness, I recommend to add some honey. Before starting baking the cake, a date paste is made.
Simply, you chop up the dates, add them to a saucepan and let them melt in some water. Once they are all nice and goey, you can add the spices and the zest of an orange together with its juice. It’s important to let the paste rest and cool before adding it to the other ingredients to make the cake batter. This is because you don’t want the hot mixture to start cooking the eggs while mixing the batter.
Best dates to use
For this recipe, any dates can be used. However, medjool dates have a richer taste and are sweeter, thus your cake will have a stronger taste of dates and it will be sweeter. Although, normal dates will work just as well. Either way, it’s important to remember to remove the stone from inside the date.
This cake is not your typically light and fluffy cake! On the contrary it’s quite a dense filling cake. For this reason, I topped it with a light frosting to balance it out. As peanuts go wonderfully with dates, a peanut butter frosting seemed the best option! All that is needed for this frosting is cream cheese and peanut butter. You can also add a tablespoon of sugar if you want it more sweet, however this will mostly depend on which type of peanut butter you want to use. If you want to enjoy the cake as is without any frosting; I recommend to add some nuts in the mixture such as walnuts or peanuts, to give it a nice crunch.
Whatever you choose, this cake is a perfect treat to enjoy in the afternoon with a cup of coffee or tea! I can’t wait for autumn now to make this frequently when the weather starts getting cooler
Date Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
- 250 g self raising flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 300 g dates pitted
- Zest and juice of an orange
- 250 ml water
- 1 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp aniseed
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup oil
- 2 tbsp honey optional
- 60 g walnuts optional
Peanut Butter Frosting
- 250 g cream cheese
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp sugar optional
For the cake
- Preheat the oven to 160°C or 320°F. Spray a 20cm cake tin with neutral oil and line with parchment paper.
- Chop the dates into small pieces and place in a bowl of water for about half an hour.
- Remove the dates from the water and place them in a pot on low heat. Reserve the water and set aside.
- Together with the dates add all the spices, orange zest and juice, and cook gently on low heat. While constantly mixing the mixture add the water. Keep cooking until the dates break down and a thick mixture is formed. Set the mixture to the side and let cool.
- In a mixer combine together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
- Slowly start adding, the eggs and date mixture until everything is incorporated. You can add the honey and nuts here, if you want to include them.
- Fill the cake tin with the cake mixture. Bake the cake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean once inserted in the middle of the cake.
- Leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring the cake to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Peanut butter frosting
- In a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and peanut butter. Add sugar according to your liking.
- Spread the frosting over the cooled down cake. Sprinkle some chopped nuts on top of the cake.
If you have any questions, feedback or comments on this recipe, please leave a comment below. Please also rate this recipe by double clicking on the stars below. If you did make this recipe, tag @apronandwhisk and hashtag #apronandwhisk, as I’m curious to see what you create!
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