Date and walnut cake recipe

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serves: 12
Skill: medium
Prep: 15 min
Cooking: 1 hr 15 min
(plus 10 mins cooling)

Nutrition per portion

Calories 306 kCal 15%
Fat 14.5g 21%
  -  Saturates 6.3g 32%
Carbohydrates 40.3g 15%
  -  of which Sugars 24.6g 27%
Protein 4.6g 9%
Salt 0.27g 5%
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  • Fruit sponge and a cream cheese frosting on top makes this date and walnut cake impossible to resist.

    Date and walnut cake is a moist cake that brings together the sweetness of the date with the slightly bitter, nuttiness of the walnut in a classic pairing. It’s something of a traditional tea time favourite – in fact this recipe was taken from an old Woman’s Weekly magazine, dating back to 1939. Easy to follow, the results are nevertheless guaranteed to impress friends and family both in terms of taste and presentation. The slight crunch from the walnuts and the chewiness of the date create a great alternative to a traditional fruit cake and is just delicious along with your favourite brew.


    • 175g (6oz) dates, finely chopped
    • ¾ level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    • 60g (2oz) butter, softened
    • 175g (6oz) light muscovado sugar
    • 1 medium egg, beaten
    • 250g (8oz) self-raising flour
    • 60g (2oz) walnuts pieces, chopped
    • For the topping:
    • 125g (4oz) mascarpone or cream cheese
    • 30g (1oz) walnut pieces, roughly chopped
    • 20cm (8in) round cake tin, lined with Bakewell paper


    • Set the oven to gas mark 4 or 180°C. Put the dates and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and pour over 200ml (7fl oz) boiling water. Leave for 5 mins.

    • Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl, beat in the egg and then the date mixture, with the water. Fold in the flour and walnuts and stir lightly until well mixed. Spoon the mixture into the tin and smooth the top.

    • Bake for 1-1¼ hours until risen, and a skewer when inserted comes out clean. Leave for 10 mins, then take out of the tin to cool on a wire rack. Spread mascarpone, or cream cheese, over cake and sprinkle with nuts.

    Top tip for making date and walnut cake

    This recipe is also delicious with the walnuts swapped for pecans.

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