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Date Walnut & Orange Cake
A moist floral orang cake spiced with cinnamon and a crunchy walnut crust. The dates are like little pockets of flavor running through the cake with a jam like texture.
Date & Walnut Cake is is stashed away as one of those childhood memories of mine. I fondly remember buying the cake from 20th Century in Malad (Mumbai, India) on a Sunday after Church. This cake soon became my dads favorite came to eat.
Every occasion and even regular days were hence forth celebrated with this Date & Walnut Cake. So it is only right that I share this recipe with you as it not only has a sentimental element to it but it certainly satisfies all those taste buds.
It is very easy to make and stores well for upto a week, it can also be frozen and warmed up in the microwave late. Howevr I like to slice and toast it as the outside gets crispy, great to dip into some tea. The equipment needed to make this cake is so basic and still yields a perfect outcome.
A few Substitutes:
Eggless – Substitute 1 egg with ¼ cup yogurt or 2 flaxseed eggs.
Gluten Free – Any gluten free flour mix works well in this recipe, you could just as well use Almond Flour.
Vegan – You can replace the egg with 2 flaxseed eggs and the butter with oil.
Orange – You could use Cointreau liquor, brandy or dark rum in this cake. You could replace the orange juice with water all the way as well.
Sugar – I like using brown sugar as it enhances the caramel flavor in this cake however, you can you any sugar you have and coconut sugar works well here. You could also use any sugar substitutes as well just keep a note of the sweetness as they tend to be sweeter than regular sugar. Also just before baking I like to use some Demerera sugar as it adds a beautiful crunch to the cake but you could leave it out.
Keto Diet – Replace the flour with almond flour, increase the butter to 6 tbsp and reduce the liquid by 3 tbsp. The sugar can be substituted with honey or any sweeteners you use like stevia, agave, etc.
Microwave – The oven can be baked in the microwave in two methods: i) Convection – some microwaves have an oven setting nd allow you to bake in them as you would in an oven. Ensure to preheat your microwave to the desired temperature and only then place the cake inside to bake. Cakes bake faster in a microwave so kindly check your cake after 20 mins and keep baking for 2 mins until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. ii) Regular Heating – this is a regular heating mode where you can heat your food. You can place the prepared cake batter in a microwave proof dish and bake it for 18 mins on heating mode, at this stage keep checking it every 2 mins with a tooth pick. Cakes have a tendency to dry out when baked in a microwave hence you could always brush over some orange juice/sugar water (syrup)/ brandy as well to help moisten up the cake.
Baking tray – i) This massively affects the overall baking time of the cake. If you are using a larger baking tray you cake will be shorter in height and longer in width, this would take 25-28 mins to bake. ii) This batter can be baked into muffins for a breakfast snack as well; they will bake at the same temperature for 16-18mins. iii) I have made this cake in bundt tray and it is beautiful, however you need to spray you bundt tin with baking spray or brush the tin with oil and dust with flour to ensure it does not stick. The cooking time will wary on the size of the tin but for a 1liter bundt tin it will bake for 32-35 mins
I later decided to add orange juice to the batter as it cuts the intense flavors of the cinnamon and dates making it lighter on the palate and even more flavorful. So enough talk and let me take you down my memory lane with this recipe. Happy Baking!
Date Walnut & Orange Cake
- Large mixing bowl
- Baking tin (9inch)
- Heatproof bowl
- 1 cup Dates (pitted and chopped)
- ¾ cup Walnuts (roughly chopped)
- 1/4 cup Walnuts (whole for the top of the cake)
- 1 ½ tsp Baking soda
- ½ cup Water (warmed)
- ½ cup Orange juice
- 2 nos Eggs
- ¾ cup Brown sugar
- 3 tbsp Butter (melted)
- 1 tsp Cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp All Spice powder
- 1 ½ cup Flour
- Pinch of Salt
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a 9 inch cake with oil and then baking paper.
- In a heat proof bowl add the warm water, chopped dates, baking soda and orange juice. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl add the eggs and the sugar, whisk well until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has gotten pale.
- Add the butter and vanilla, whisk briefly.
- Sift over the flour and spices, add the salt and chopped walnuts. Pour the date mixture with all the liquid into the bowl and using the spatula fold the ingredients together until combined.
- Transfer to the baking tin and top with additional walnuts and granulated sugar.
- Bake for 35 – 38 mins until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.