Spiced date cake

Neil Perry
Serve with vanilla ice-cream, whipped cream or custard.
Serve with vanilla ice-cream, whipped cream or custard. Photo: William Meppem

Make a baking date with this delicious cake spiced with cinnamon, clove and ginger. It is lovely with vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream if custard is not to your liking.


380g dried, seeded dates, chopped

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

90g unsalted butter, chopped, softened

1 cup light brown sugar

3 whole eggs

225g (1 1/2 cups) self-raising flour

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch ground cloves

pinch ground ginger

light pouring custard or crème anglaise, to serve


Preheat oven to 180°C.

Grease a deep 24cm round cake pan, line base and sides with baking paper.

Combine dates with 300ml water in a small saucepan. Bring to boil then immediately remove from heat. Stir in bicarbonate of soda and allow to stand for 5 minutes. With a blender, process date mixture until smooth.

Cream butter and sugar in a small bowl with electric mixer until well combined, then beat in eggs one at a time.

Sift flour with spices. Gently fold into the creamed butter and sugar mix then fold in cooled date mixture. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for about 50 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer (the skewer should come out cleanly when inserted into the cake).

Stand cake in pan 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

Serve with light pouring custard or crème anglaise.

TIP: If the date cake starts to over-brown during baking, cover it with foil.


Photography by William Meppem. Food styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Nick Banbury.