Date and orange cake

This simple loaf cake is ridiculously easy to make and packs a real flavour punch. Rich, sticky dates infused with orange zest and juice make this a brilliant cake for an afternoon energy boost with a cuppa. I’ve decorated it with orange icing and juicy Medjool dates here but you could just as easily make it as a plain cake and smear each slice generously with butter like you would with a malt loaf. Delicious either way. Emma, this one’s for you!

date and orange cake
  • 225g chopped dates (buy ready chopped for ease)
  • Optional: 4 Medjool dates to decorate
  • 125ml water
  • 1 orange – zest and juice
  • 170g soft dark brown sugar
  • 170g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted

To make…

  • Lightly butter a 675g/1 1/2lb loaf tin and line the base with baking parchment. Heat the oven to 170°C.
  • Put the dates into a small saucepan. Add the water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes or so until the dates are soft and pulpy. Stir in the orange zest and half the orange juice.
  • Add the butter and sugar and beat well off the heat. Allow it to cool.
  • Weigh out the flour, allspice and baking powder. Stir to mix it thoroughly.
  • Add the cooled date mixture to a large mixing bowl and beat in the egg. Now stir in the flour mixture and combine carefully. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for an hour and 15 minutes. The top should spring back when pressed lightly with a finger. If it still isn’t quite cooked give it another 10 minutes or so.
  • Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave it to cool in the tin for about 15 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Make the orange icing by placing the remaining half of the orange juice in a small bowl and gradually add the icing sugar until it is smooth and a thick enough consistency to pour onto the cake and stay there . Keep adding more icing sugar if you need to.
  • Pour the icing over the cake and decorate with the Medjool dates cut lengthwise.
  • Wrap the cake in baking parchment for a day. It will soften and go sticky and taste just delicious.

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About Janet Davies @pigeoncottage

Food lover, author, cook!
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