This date cake recipe is moist, simple to make, and delicious. Topped with a
butter glaze, it’s spiced with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and clove, and packed
full of dates. Date cakes are popular in Iraq (where I’m from), so I’ve had my fair share!
This cake uses mashed Medjool dates and chopped walnuts. Let’s make it!
Why this cake is so delicious!
This spiced date and walnut cake is so wonderful for many reasons, one is that because it incorporates dates it does not need too much added sugar. You can enjoy this cake with a cup of coffee or tea anytime in the day. Once you try this recipe, check out more of my middle eastern dessert recipes, such as kunafa with mozzarella.
What type of Dates to use for this recipe
Dates are a staple in Middle Eastern desserts. They are naturally sweet and add a deep flavor to any baked good. The dates I use for this date cake are Medjool dates. I love them because they're really moist and are easy to mash into the cake batter. They are also larger than other types of dates so if you're using something else, be sure to weigh them out and use the same amount.
If you can't find medjool dates in your local grocery store, another common type is Deglet Noor. They are more nutty but less sweet then medjool, and tend to be more firm.
Ingredients you'll need
The spices for this cake are cardamom, cinnamon, clove, and ginger. I love every note that each of these spices add so I would encourage you to add all of them. However, if you don't have clove or ginger it would be fine to skip them. The cinnamon and cardamom are necessary though!
How to make this easy date cake
This cake is so simple, and here's how it goes:
- Preheat the oven and soak your dates for 10 minutes to soften them. I use boiling water to make this process faster.
- Mix together the wet ingredients using a stand or hand mixer until they're well combined
- Mix together the dry ingredients then add them to the wet. Mix until dry and wet are well combined, which should only take a few minutes. We don't want to overmix the cake. The batter should end up being quite thick
- Drain and mash up the dates with a fork or potato masher, then add them to the batter with the chopped walnuts.
- Place the batter in a greased and floured pan and bake for approximately 60 minutes at 325F. Start checking the cake at around 45 minutes because ovens tend to vary. Check it by sticking a knife or toothpick in the middle of the cake and it should come out clean
- Prepare the glaze just before serving by melting the butter and whisking everything together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower down to a simmer for a few minutes. It will thicken as it cools
- When the cake has cooled for 15-20 minutes, add the glaze just before serving and decorate it with the walnuts
Watch me make it:
How to make the easy glaze... the best part!
You can really use any type of glaze you like for this cake, I've used a caramel glaze and loved it. But this quick glaze that I typically serve it with is made with melted butter, sugar, and thick cream. It's so good, that I sometimes lick it off the plate. I can't believe I just shared that.
The cream I use for the glaze is the thick cream typically sold in cans and I've found it by Carnation or Puck at most grocery stores. I have not tried it with liquid cream! Make sure you make the glaze just before serving so it doesn't get too thick. When it cools down it gets thicker and will be hard to drizzle all over the cake.
How to serve this date cake
I recommend making the cake ahead of time if you need to, but holding off on the glaze. Simply place the ingredients you need in a sauce pan and leave them. Once you are ready to serve, prepare the glaze which should take about 7 minutes, leave it to cool slightly for just a few minutes, and pour it on the cake right before serving. If you make the glaze ahead of time, it will thicken too much. Leftover cake with glaze on it is perfectly amazing though, so you can store it as is in an air tight container on your counter and you're good to go for a week!
Other recipes you will love
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Spiced Date & Walnut Cake Recipe
- 5 eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups flour level
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom green
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground clove
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 25 large pitted dates or 500g pitted weight (I used Medjool)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts + ¼ cup for decoration
For the glaze:
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons thick cream solid form, typically from Carnation or Puck in a small can
- Start by cutting the dates lengthwise and take out the seeds. You should use approximately 500g of dates in order to ensure a good ratio in the cake
- Add them to a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Leave to soak for 10 minutes
- Preheat your oven to 325F
- Mix your dry ingredients together in a bowl using a spoon or spatula
- In a separate bowl, beat the wet ingredients with the sugar until well combined, about 2 minutes. You can do this using a stand or handheld electric mixer.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 2 portions, and continue to mix well until well combined. The batter will look quite thick
- Drain the dates from the water and mash them with a fork or a potato masher
- Add the dates and walnuts into the batter and mix until just combined using your hand or the mixer
- Grease the 9" round cake pan with butter or oil, then dust it with flour all around, ensuring you get the edges. It helps to tap it against the counter.
- Add the batter to the pan and place it in the oven.
- Bake the cake for approximately 60 minutes. However, you should start checking your cake at the 45 minute mark because ovens vary. Check the cake by inserting a knife or toothpick in the middle of the cake and ensuring it comes out clean
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes then remove it to a cake stand
- Prepare the glaze just before serving by melting the butter in a saucepan, then whisking it with the sugar and cream until combined
- Bring it to a boil on medium heat, then lower it to low and allow it to simmer for 2-3 minutes. It will thicken as it cools down.
- Add the glaze to the cake and sprinkle it with chopped nuts. Enjoy!
- Medjool dates will work best for this cake because they are really sweet and soft. However, other date varieties will also work, just ensure you add the same amount (500g)
- You can also chop the dates into smaller pieces and this will help with mashing them. However I find that using boiling water when soaking them softens them enough to make the mashing process easy.
- I used a 9" springform cake pan, but you can use any pan size as long as it's a similar volume as a round 9" pan.
Hello Amina , thank you for sharing this recipe. I made this beautiful cake last night,and glazed it today. And wow! It tastes amazing. The spices all come together for the most flavourful cake. The lavender on the glaze takes it to a whole new level. This recipe is a keeper.😊👍 ( wish I could post a pic of the lovely cake.)
Amina Al-Saigh says
So wonderful to hear Seerat! I love this cake so much, so I'm glad you agree it was delicious!
Hi, I would love to make this cake but want to know if this is an eggless cake as eggs are not listed in the ingredients list.
Hi! The eggs are listed under "wet ingredients" 🙂
Hi I made the cake and I can tell it’s going to be delicious. The batter was yummy and not too sweet. I’ve never made a glaze before. You say to glaze before serving but if I glaze ahead of time will it be ok and stay the same? Most of the glaze recipes seem to call for confectioners sugar. Will this make a difference in appearance or taste? Thanks.
Hi Wendy! I love the glaze warm on the cake hence my suggestion. If you make it ahead of time and glaze it, it'll be totally fine! The glaze will solidify a bit over the cake and it won't be warm but I've done it this way too and it's delicious. Enjoy!
Hello, I plan to make it for my mom for iftar. She is a diabetic. If I use 1/4 cup of sugar, would it make too much of a difference in taste due to the sweetness from dates?
Also, will sweetened condensed whitener work for the glaze?
Amina Al-Saigh says
Hello! I think 1/4 cup sugar will be fine - it will be less sweet but still tasty! As for the glaze, I've never used sweetened condensed whitener but I think it will work, it just won't be as thick as the table cream. I would try a bit and see how the glaze turns out. The cake is great without a glaze too by the way - so worth a try!
I see in the video you used 4 eggs and 1 yolk but in the recipe, it calls for all 5 eggs. Can you please tell me which you prefer?
Amina Al-Saigh says
Please follow the recipe guidelines! Sorry about that!
Looks amazing! Could you tell me what have you used for decoration apart from walnuts please?
I used some dry cornflowers just because of the pretty colour! You can do rose petals too 🙂
My oh my. This cake is a super hit at our home, once again approved by the kids and all the way up to the grandparents! We are hooked to say the least. This cake is perfection. I also made this with oat flour and used only 2 tbsps of sugar once, and it was great if your family likes their cakes a little less sweet! Even if you skip the glaze, the cake is literally so versatile you can have it for breakfast, lunch, second lunch, early dinner, late dinner and midnight snack. And it's healthier that way! Great with tea and coffee. The recipe is also veryyyy easy to make! I love that it doesn't need butter! SO MOIST! I CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF IT! ( YES CAPS NEEDED)
I am so glad to hear this Sarah - thanks so much for the review!
Holy moly I have no words to describe how delicious this cake was! I am NOT a good baker but this turned out amazing! It made me look like an amazing baker in front of my neighbours, as I sent some over for the holidays. They absolutely loved it!
So good! Tried it a few days after you post your video on Instagram. Family loved it!
So great to hear Alissar! Thanks for the feedback! 🙂
This looks so pretty and I won’t be able to recreate your stunning masterpiece, but I’ll try! ???? Give me a week or two and I’ll report back. I always love the details you provide in your recipes!
Haha I'm sure you'll make it beautiful!! Thanks LindaLee! 🙂