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This incredibly moist vintage Date Nut Cake recipe is just like grandma used to make, made with unbleached flour, butter, spices, dates and nuts.
My mom recently gave me a copy of this Date Nut Cake recipe that belonged to my great grandma Stauber. It’s part of the recipe collection that she gave me last Christmas, but got mixed in with her recipes at home. We decided to make this together while she was in town visiting for Christmas. It was fun to be able to work in the kitchen with my mom and try something new.
It turned out really moist and tasty. I love the simplicity of this cake recipe. Perfect with a morning cup of coffee or an afternoon cup of tea.
The amount of baking soda seemed a bit much when preparing, but the end result is perfect. My husband and I agreed that the one thing that would make this incredible would be to soak the nuts in bourbon for a few days (or up to a week….some drunk nuts) and then add the drained nuts to the batter. Of course, what’s not good soaked in bourbon??! We absolutely love the taste, texture and easy preparation of this dessert. I can see how it’s been loved and passed down for several generations.
Date Nut Cake (recipe from the early 1900’s)
If you love dates, then you need to check out these amazing Oatmeal Date Bars. They are another family favorite and so good!!
The original recipe:
Date Nut Cake- Project Vintage Recipes
- 1 lb dates chopped fine pits removed
- 2 tbsp baking soda
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick, softened
- 1 cup natural brown sugar
- 1/2 cup organic white sugar
- 2 well beaten eggs
- 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour King Arthur's brand
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup nuts chopped (I used pecans, but walnuts would be great too)
- Place chopped dates in a large bowl and sprinkle with baking soda.
- Pour boiling water over the dates and let sit until cool.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and both sugars and then add the beaten eggs.
- Mix until creamy.
- Sift the flours with the teaspoon of cinnamon and then slowly add to the butter mixture until all is incorporated.
- Add vanilla, dates (with water) and chopped nuts and stir until blended.
- Pour into two 9 inch greased and floured cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool on wire racks.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
- This can also be served topped with fresh whipped cream.