My husband absolutely loves this Date And Walnut Cake. I’m not particularly a cake person but this is a cake I deal with comfortably. I always bake it if I can sometime in December. Where I’m concerned, this cake saves me from the famous Kerala Christmastime favourite, the Plum Cake! I have never acquired a taste for boozy dried fruit cakes. The Date And Walnut cake has very fond associations for us. It brings back memories of the years we lived in Goa.
Our favourite bakery in Panjim, was a small family run old fashioned shop called Mr.Baker (estd.1922). They’re quite well known among the locals for the more traditional Goan Catholic bakes they sell. They also have a couple of tables cafe style in the shop so one could stop for a coffee break and fresh Goan snacks like samosas, rissois, patties, etc. They also make and sell a delightful, soft and light date and walnut cake that’s available only around Christmas time.
We would look forward to the end of the year just to buy their Date And Walnut Cake. There have been a couple of instances when we reached the shop just before closing time to find them sold out! One such time, I thought I would try to make a version of the cake at home. Of course, my version is a more moist and slightly dense cake that’s more like Christmas fruit cake.
This is recipe is a good way to go if you are not a fan of spiced boozy fruit cake. It is lower on the fat and eggs but you would never know from eating the cake. You don’t have to wait till Christmas for this cake. Bake it at any other time of the year and it is an excellent coffee cake. If you are looking for a more festive looking Light Alcohol-Free Fruit Cake for the season, please see this recipe.
The New Year is round the corner and I thought I would share this little poem. I came across this very cheerful poem that talks about sentiments that seem perfect for this season.
“Another fresh new year is here . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!
This bright new year is given me.
To live each day with zest . .
To daily grow and try to be.
My highest and my best!
I have the opportunity.
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!”
-William Arthur Ward.
“Wishing everyone a very Happy, Prosperous and Peaceful New Year!”
This post, images and recipe were updated on 5th December, 2017.
Date And Walnut Cake
- 1 cup pitted dates chopped coarsely
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup boiling hot water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 50 gm butter melted
- 1/8 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
- Put the dates in a slightly big bowl (you'll be mixing the batter in this) and sprinkle the baking soda over the dates. Pour the hot water over this so it covers the dates. Keep aside for about half an hour till the dates soften up and the water cools down.
- Stir in the sugar, eggs, butter, milk and vanilla into the date mixture. Sift the all purpose flour, salt and the baking powder together. Add to the bowl along with the walnuts. Gently mix in this in till everything just combines. Do npt over mix.
- Spoon the batter into a parchment lined (bottom of tin only), greased and floured 7" round cake tin. You may use a loaf tin if you choose.
- Bake at 180C (350F) for about 60 minutes till cooked or till a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. If the cake starts browning too quickly, cover it with aluminium foil.
- Let the cake sit in the tin for 5 minutes, then unmould. Cool on a rack and serve with coffee or tea.