Date Cake Recipe (Canadian Inspired Dessert)

Date Cake Recipe (Canadian Inspired Dessert) Recipe

This date cake is inspired by a Canadian dessert. My sister-in-law Lya's friend, Haley, recently made a delicious, moist maple cake. It was so good Lya asked if she could have the recipe so I could replicate it for the family. I didn’t have any maple on hand so I made a variation using date syrup and dried dates.

The cake turned out absolutely divine. It's so moist! But the best part is the date syrup glaze that is a great reminder of the flavor of the dessert and a way to seal the cake for extra freshness, even the next day. Ours didn't make it that far!

Date Cake Recipe with Picture


Yields: 8 servings

12 Medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 cup cinnamon-spiced tea, freshly steeped
2 whole eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup crème fraîche (or sour cream)
½ teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup pure date syrup
¾ cup date syrup glaze (recipes follows in the tip section)


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Prepping the dates:

Place the  chopped dates in a small stainless steel bowl and pour a cup of hot cinnamon-spiced tea over them. Soak the dates for at least 15 minutes. Drain all the liquid. Set the dates aside.

Making date cake:

Brush 2 (4-½") mini round non-stick spring-form pans with about 1 teaspoon of oil (optional). Line the bottoms and sides with pieces of parchment paper.

Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl with granulated sugar until they're pale yellow and the texture is thicker. Add the vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Combine the egg mixture and the dry ingredients, alternating with crème fraîche so the batter is smooth. 

In another bowl, combine the butter with date syrup. Add the soft buttery cream to the egg mixture and mix until the cake batter is formed.

Pour the cake batter into the 2 molds. Sprinkle with the chopped dates and let them sink a little using a spoon. Even it out using a spreader or by gently lifting the mold and dropping it several times.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F until the top is crackly. The texture of the cake should be very soft and moist. If you bake the cake in a large pan (9 x 9-inch square mold), you might want to extend the baking time by an additional 5-10 minutes. A skewer or a toothpick inserted into the cake should come out clean.

Assembly time:

Remove from the oven. Cool the cakes for about 15-20 minutes.

Drizzle with the date syrup glaze, making sure the glaze fills every nook and cranny. Spread and level the glaze using a small spatula. Using a butter knife, separate the cake from the wall of the mold. Open the spring-form molds. Remove and discard the parchment papers. Let the glaze set for at least 15 minutes.

Garnish with whole dried dates if you like.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a hot cup of tea.

Bon appétit!


FYI: 1 cup of butter = 16 tablespoons = 2 sticks of butter.

I used Medjool dates for their sweet taste. I recommend not buying the pitted ones as they seem to have less flavor. You could also try other varieties of dates such as Deglet Noor dates (less sweet than Medjool dates), Amer Hajj (small in size with a hint of spiciness) or Empress (they have a distinctive yellow crown, a chewy texture and  are a lot less sweet than the other kinds).

Sifting the dry ingredients helps to get rid of lumps of flour and also to aerate the mixture when liquid is added. It's very important for all of your baking so you get a moist result.

You could also replace the dates with other dried fruits such as dried peaches, raisins or even chopped nuts.

For an adult version, you could drizzle rum over the dates prior to adding them to the cake batter and add some more in the glaze as well.

You could also serve the cake as individual portions baked in a muffin tin.

Making date syrup glaze: In a small bowl, dissolve 2 tablespoons melted butter and ½ cup date syrup in 1 cup powdered sugar. Stir well until combined. You might want to adjust the quantity of the date syrup for the perfect consistency.

Pistachio Baklava Recipe with Picture

I used Organics Are For Everyone brand pure date syrup. You can also use it in baklava and other Asian and Middle Eastern desserts.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on March 15, 2012.


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