Chocolate Date Cake

IMG_5149While our girls were growing up, we always had extra children in the house.  It helped that we were the closest home to the island’s one room schoolhouse.  Consequently I tried to have quick snacks that would refuel them before they’d head out to play on our farm.  Sometimes it was just a snack to eat while curled up on the couch watching a movie on a rainy Saturday.  This recipe was used many times over the years, and was a favourite of the builders who built our house.  The dates give it an honest sweetness, and the simple topping of nuts and chocolate give a crunch and richness to make the cake even better.

I’ve made this cake with regular all-purpose flour and with gluten free flour (I use Cup 4 Cup), and it is light and fluffy whichever you choose to use.  The nuts can be any type you want, or even a combination.  Do use semi-sweet chocolate chips though, as milk chocolate will be too sweet.

Click here for printable version

9 x 13 cake

Ingredients

1¾ c flour (Gluten Free – I use Cup 4 Cup)

2 T cocoa

½ t salt

1 c chopped dates (about 150 gr)

1 t baking soda

1 c boiling water

1 c butter (8 oz or 227 gr)

1 c sugar

1 t vanilla

2 eggs

1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 8 oz or 227 gr)

1 c chopped nuts (150 gr) walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts etc.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt.

Put the dates in a small bowl, and dust with the baking soda.IMG_5117

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Pour the cup of boiling water over the dates, stir, and let sit ‘til cool.

Beat the butter until creamy.IMG_5119

Add in the cup of sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy.IMG_5125

In another bowl, whisk the eggs and add to the butter mixture, along with the vanilla.

Beat until creamy and smooth.

Add in the flour mixture in 3 parts alternately with the date mixture in 2 parts.  Start with the flour mixture, following with the dates.  Do this twice, and then finish with the last third of the flour mixture.

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Spoon into a lightly greased 9 x 13 panIMG_5134

Mix the chocolate chips and nuts together.IMG_5121

Scatter over the top of the unbaked cake.IMG_5136

Press in lightly using the flat of your hand.IMG_5137

Bake for 45 minutes.IMG_5141

Let cool, and cut into squares.IMG_5150

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