Date Honey Nut Cake

A few weeks ago, when I received a batch of organic dates from a kibbutz in Israel, I found myself wondering what to do with them. These sweet, luscious dates on the vine were perfect for snacking, but how else could I get creative with them? Date nut cake was an obvious choice, but I wanted to do something a little different. With Rosh Hashanah coming up, my mind wandered to honey cake. The thought of sweetening date nut cake with honey seemed like it would be totally delish.

Voila! The Date Honey Nut Cake was born. This tasty loaf cake is a unique take on a traditional Rosh Hashanah honey cake. Dates are actually a symbolic food for Rosh Hashanah, so it’s a great choice for the holiday. In Hebrew, a date is called a “tamar,” which is related to the word “tam” (meaning “to end”) and the word “sheyitamu” (meaning “to be consumed”). Dates are eaten in the hopes that our enemies will be consumed. They also happen to be naturally sweet, which is another good reason to eat them for Rosh Hashanah (as we hope for a sweet new year). And here’s another fun fact– biblical scholars believe that the honey repeatedly mentioned in the Torah likely came from dates (and other fruits), not bees. Yet another good reason to eat dates for Rosh Hashanah!

So, what better way to enjoy dates than in a sweet, delicious honey cake? The dates provide lots of moisture, which makes this a convenient make-ahead dessert—the cake will not dry out if you make it a day or two before the holiday begins. The walnuts add some nice texture and crunch. It’s naturally dairy free, but can be topped with cream cheese frosting for some extra decadence (if you’re not worried about keeping it pareve).

I hope this cake ends up on your holiday table. It will definitely be on mine. Yummy!

Recommended Products

Halawi Dates

Mixing Bowls

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Date Honey Nut Cake

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) whole dates
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Nonstick cooking spray

You will also need

  • 8- or 9-inch loaf pan, 2 mixing bowls
Servings: Makes one 8- or 9-inch loaf cake
Kosher Key: Pareve
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place dates into a bowl and cover them with very hot water. Let the dates soak while you prepare the cake batter.
  • In a large mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, brown sugar, honey, eggs, and vanilla.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir till a thick batter forms.
  • Drain water from the dates. Pit the dates, then chop the fruit into small chunks.
  • Fold the walnuts and date chunks into the batter.
  • Generously grease your loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour batter into loaf pan.
  • Place loaf pan in preheated oven. Bake cake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and set on a wire rack to cool.

Comments (86)Post a Comment

  1. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I made this cake just a few days ago, and, although I followed your recipe exactly, unlike so many of the other posters here, I found this cake disappointing… The problem seemed to be the large amount of vegetable oil in relation to the amount of cake flour called for… Three fourths as much oil as flour does seem to be greatly out of proportion.

    Although the cake had a nice flavor, it was really oily, with some oil being left on the surface of the serving plates.

  2. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Gosh! This turned out amazing! Loved it. I used all purpose flour. The cake is moist n overly sweet. It’s just perfect! Thanks for the recipe. My mom loves dates but this is the first time that I actually loved them.

  3. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I love this recipe. I have used it a lot and just today too. I made this for my friend for her birthday and she loved it. This is a great reicpe!

  4. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Hey Tori… wonderful recipe. I used basic kitchen sugar, plain flour aka maida and almonds instead of the counterparts you have used and the result is brilliant. Thank you for this diary free recipe.. that’s what made it the winner…

  5. The cake looks amazing. Can I substitute the loaf pan to the normal 8 by 8 square cake pan and do I have to double the recipes if I use the 8 by 8 square cake pan? Thanxs

  6. This cake looks delicious! I’ll be doubling the recipe to make 2 loaves this Rosh Hashanah. I bought dates WITHOUT pits – do I still have to soak them in hot water? Thanks much in advance for a quick reply :-)

  7. I just whipped this together and it’s in the oven now! I have never EVER experienced an aroma like this… I’m salivating! And I don’t even like dates! I cannot wait to try this – I’m already convinced it is an excellent recipe.

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