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International Cake Day - Date Loaf

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July 20, 2014 / Cake / By
Nicola

In honour of International Cake Day, which falls on 20th July (today!) I thought I'd share one of my favourite recipes. It is the first recipe I ever remember learning, as it has been passed down through the generations of my family. I have baked it with both my grandmother and my own mother, and it has become a firm family favourite.

I'm talking about date loaf.

This is more of a tea time treat than a big, traditional cake that you might serve on a birthday - that said, I'd be over the moon if someone made this for me on my birthday! It's really unusual, but if you like dates then you'll love the flavour of this.

It's incredibly simple to make. As I said, I made it loads of times as a youngster, even well before the age of ten, so if I could do it then, anyone can do it!

Ingredients:

250 g of dates (without stones!)

1/2 cup of sugar

1 tablespoon of butter

1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

2 cups of flour

3 teaspoons of baking powder

1 cup of boiling water

1 egg

Method:

Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F).

Chop the dates and butter into small pieces and combine them in a bowl with the sugar and bicarbonate of soda. Pour the boiling water over these ingredients and mix well. Set this bowl aside and allow it to cool properly.

I, BrokenSphere [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Meanwhile, sift the rest of the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder). Once the wet ingredients have cooled completely, add the sifted dry ingredients to the bowl. Add the egg, and beat the mixture well. At this point, the mixture should be relatively runny, rather than the thicker mixture that you'd expect if you were making cupcakes.

Pour the mixture into a greased, lined loaf tin and bake in the oven for one hour. After the time is up, you can test to see whether it is cooked properly by sticking a knife or skewer in and seeing whether it comes out clean (taking into account any dates that you may stick it through!). Turn it out onto a wire rack and leave it to cool.

When you're ready to tuck in, cut the loaf into slices, a similar thickness to slices of bread. They're delicious to eat on their own, but they're great topped with a very thin layer of margarine, too. This is a really quick, simple recipe which will give you something a little different to at tea time, so why not try it for International Cake Day today!


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