Vegan date cake (Νηστίσιμο γλυκό με χουρμάδες)

Vegan date cake (Νηστίσιμο γλυκό με χουρμάδες)

Vegan date cake (Νηστίσιμο γλυκό με χουρμάδες)

 

Make no mistake, dates feature very prominently in this cake.  If you are not sure that you like dates, or if you think that you would not like dates, you should probably give this cake a try.  Truly.  The only reason you should pass on it is if you are 100%, definitely and absolutely, a date hater.  And even then, unless you are deathly allergic to dates (or any of the other ingredients in this cake), you should give it a go.  Dates are an incredible fruit, and frankly, we think that this is an incredible cake.

Vegan date cake (Νηστίσιμο γλυκό με χουρμάδες)

The species name of the tree which bears the date fruit is dactylifera or “date-bearing” and comes from the Greek words daktylos (δάκτυλος), which means finger, and fero (φέρω) which means “I bring”.  Apparently this nomenclature was used because dates were felt to resemble fingers.  We don’t really think that they do, but dates have been around for so long, with fossil evidence of date trees going as far back as 50 million years, that perhaps fingers looked different then.

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Mainly composed of sugar, dates are a great way to satisfy a sweet craving.  But there is more to dates than sweet stuff; they also contain protein, fiber, and trace elements, particularly potassium.  This may be why people who try this cake remark that they can enjoy it without feeling too guilty (although if you ask us, no cake should ever make you feel guilty).  This cake is not only good, it tastes like it might be kind of good for you.

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Helpful hints

There are many varieties of dates available, usually classified as soft, semi-dried and dried.  Whenever we can, we like to purchase the soft Medjool dates for snacking and cooking / baking with.  This variety of date tends to be more expensive than others, but they are worth it.  Medjool dates are quite large and they are absolutely delicious, and addictive!  If you cannot find Medjool dates (or any other soft variety), a semi-dried variety such as Deglet Noor would work well here too.

Most dates you purchase will have a stone (seed) in them.  Before you start chopping your dates, split them in two and remove the stone.

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Chopping dates is tricky, and sticky!  Because dates are sticky (lots of natural sugar in dates), your knife ends up getting gooey quickly into the chopping.  To help address this problem (really, we hope this is the biggest problem you encounter in your day!), we like to use a small serrated knife.  By sawing through the dates, the process tends to be a bit smoother (ironically).  Also, remember that your dates don’t need to be beautifully chopped.  The dates going into the glaze will turn into a paste, and those in the cake will be mixed in with all the other lovely ingredients making their chopped size and shape inconsequential.

We like to use slivered almonds in this recipe, but we have also made this cake with whole, unpeeled almonds which we have just coarsely chopped.  Either is fine.  In fact, you can even substitute the almonds for another kind of nut.  Pecans would work well here, as would chopped walnuts or hazelnuts.

Vegan date cake (Νηστίσιμο γλυκό με χουρμάδες)

When mixed with water, ground flaxseed is a great alternative to eggs in baking. Just as in our vegan banana bread, this particular recipe does not suffer from the lack of eggs; the cake is moist and perfectly delicious without them.  We like to buy whole flaxseeds and grind them ourselves in a coffee grinder we reserve for grains and spices.  This way, we only grind up what we need (although we often like to keep some ground flax ready in the refrigerator to top oatmeal or Greek yogurt).

When making the glaze for the cake, you will notice that your chopped up dates mixed with sugar and water will turn into a paste-like substance after cooking for about 5 –  10 minutes over medium heat.  This will not be an entirely smooth paste and you may still have small bits of date that have retained their shape.  This is perfectly fine.  Only when you have reached this state will you remove the glaze from the heat and add in your nuts.  Adding the nuts too soon can soften them, and you want to keep a bit of the crunch.

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what the glaze consistency should look like

Vegan date cake (Νηστίσιμο γλυκό με χουρμάδες)

Vegan date cake (Νηστίσιμο γλυκό με χουρμάδες)

Vegan date cake (Νηστίσιμο γλυκό με χουρμάδες)

Vegan date cake (Νηστίσιμο γλυκό με χουρμάδες)

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Mia Kouppa: Vegan date cake

  • Servings: 1 cake
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Author: miakouppa.com

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound whole pitted Medjool dates, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup (250 ml) boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) ground flaxseed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (37 ml) water
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) grated orange peel
  • Vegetable oil for greasing the pan
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 cup (250 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 pound whole pitted Medjool dates, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) slivered almonds

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the chopped dates into a small bowl and pour the boiling water over them.  Ensure that all the dates are submerged in the water.  Set aside and allow to cool completely.
  • In a small bowl combine the ground flaxseed with 2 1/2 tablespoons water.  Stir and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and sugars.  Add the vegetable oil, slivered almonds, grated orange peel, flaxseed and water mix, and the soaked dates (including the water).
  • Mix well until everything is combined.  You can use a stand mixer for this if you like, or use a wooden spoon.
  • Pour the batter into a greased 9-inch springform pan.  Bake on the middle rack of your oven for about 35 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of your cake comes out clean.
  • Meanwhile, while your cake is baking, prepare the glaze.
  • In a small sauce pot combine the orange juice, sugar and dates and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally for between 5 – 10 minutes.  You will notice that your dates will almost dissolve and you will end up with a thick paste-like mixture. You may still have bits of intact date; this is fine.  When you have a paste, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the slivered almonds. Set aside.
  • When your cake is out of the oven, immediately spread the glaze over top (leaving your cake in the springform pan).  Use the back of a spoon to spread the glaze evenly over the cake.  When your cake has cooled, remove the ring from the spring form pan carefully and serve.
  • Enjoy!

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11 thoughts on “Vegan date cake (Νηστίσιμο γλυκό με χουρμάδες)

    1. Hi Conni! We are in love with the glaze, but definitely, the cake can stand on it’s own without it. It would be less sweet, less rich (less calories!!) yet still delicious! Another option would be to make the glaze and serve it on the side, warming it up right before serving. That way, those who want glaze can have it, and those who don’t …won’t 🙂 Just a thought! Would love to hear how you like the cake if you try it 🙂

      Like

      1. Thanks, that’s a great idea about making the glaze and leaving on the side. I will let you know how it turns out, I will be making it the week before easter.

        Liked by 1 person

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