Date and walnut cake recipe

(2645 ratings)

This date and walnut cake is a real teatime treat - moist sponge dotted with dates and walnuts, topped with a creamy frosting and extra nuts.

Date and walnut cake
  • healthy
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time1 hours 15 mins (plus 10 mins cooling)
Total Time1 hours 30 mins (plus 10 mins cooling)
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories306 Kcal15%
Sugar24.6 g27%
Fat14.5 g21%
Saturated Fat6.3 g32%
Salt0.27 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein4.6 g9%
Carbohydrates40.3 g16%
Salt0.27 gRow 7 - Cell 2

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




  1. Set the oven to gas mark 4 or 180°C. Line a 20cm (8in) round cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Put the dates and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and pour over 200ml (7fl oz) boiling water. Leave for 5 mins.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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Jessica Dady
Senior Content Editor

Jessica Dady is Senior Content Editor at and has over 10 years of experience as a digital journalist, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to baking sets, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends much of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family - particularly for her two lucky children.