Do you remember “date bars?” Back in the 60’s and 70’s you could buy these little treats, ready to be made, at the local grocery store. The brand was Betty Crocker or Pillsbury, I don’t quite remember. But they were so yummy. As I was making them, I would eat the ingredients right out of the box, the oats, brown sugar and the dates were so delicious. But that was a different time. In that era, processed and pre-packaged foods were the new way to cook. Now we know better…baking can be healthy, fresh and even more delicious than back then.
One of the blogs I follow is by Tammy Twinkle at mrs-twinkle.com. Tammy posted a recipe for date cake. By the way, you’ll want to visit her blog, her recipes and photography are amazing. This cake looked delicious, very warm and inviting, especially for the holidays. So I asked her if she would mind if I posted her recipe, after tweaking it a little, of course. She was delighted. Here’s my version of Tammy’s “A Date Cake?” It’s not the same as my childhood indulgence of the “date bar” but it is healthy and quite tasty, especially if you like dates.
Honey Date Loaf
- 3/4 cup whole dates (I use dates rolled in coconut)
- 1/3 cup brown rice flour
- 2/3 cup blanched almond flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg, if you like, it can be omitted
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup grape seed oil
- 1/2 cup sucanat or turbinado sugar
- 1/4 cup honey (I use ambrosia honey)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 8 or 9 inch loaf pan or 4 small loaf pans with unbleached parchment paper or line muffin tin with muffin liners and set aside.
If using regular dates – place dates in a bowl and cover them with very hot water. Let the dates soak while you prepare the batter.
In large bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, and cinnamon, add nutmeg if using.
In medium bowl, whisk eggs until frothy add applesauce, oil, sugar, honey, and vanilla and whisk together.
Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until mixed and thickened.
Drain water from dates. Pit the dates, then chop the fruit into small chunks. If using coconut rolled dates chop into small pieces. Fold pecans and dates into the batter.
Pour batter into pans of choice. Place in preheated oven. Bake loaf for about 1 hour, small loaves for about 30 minutes and muffins for about 20 minutes. Check to see if done by inserting toothpick in center of loaf. If it comes out clean it’s done, if not cook for 2 minute intervals until done.