Date cake with milk sauce

July 23, 2012  •  Category:


I love dates and I never tire of them; here in Beirut one finds in all the pastry shops (especially now during Ramadan) dates stuffed with all sorts of goodies and beautifully packaged for gift-giving. This cake is a great way to use leftover dates; you simply chop them up and cook them in a little bit of water (or orange juice) and purée them; then you incorporate the purée into the cake batter. 


  • 1 1/2 cups of dates ( 250 g.), already pitted
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp of rose water
  • 1 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup of sugar (brown or regular)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp of cardamom (optional) or cinnamon
  • 2 1/4  cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp of date molasses or grape molasses or dark honey
  1. Purée the dates: chop them and pit them and place them in a saucepan with water, butter and sugar; simmer gently, stirring from time to time, until the dates soften and the mixture is thick and smooth; you can then purée them with the help of an immersion blender or in the food processor. At this point, add the rose water if you like.
  2. Prepare the dry ingredients: mix in a bowl the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom or cinnamon (or both). In another bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar till thickened; add the oil in a thin stream then the vanilla. Add the dry mixture slowly till incorporated then the date mixture then add the walnuts.
  3. Transfer the cake to a loaf pan(previously greased and floured); bake in a medium oven (350F) till a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. 
  4. Make the sauce by mixing the condensed milk with the date syrup or molasses. Serve in a saucer with the cake if desired. 


19 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Maureen Abood says:

    I love dates and can’t wait to try this! Beautiful too!

  2. Lyndsey@TheTinySkill says:

    Oh my, I don’t think I could resist this! I thought that was sweetened condensed milk just looking at that sauce. I once used it for strawberry shortcake when I didn’t have any whip cream in the house.I can’t wait to make this!

  3. Rosa says:

    What a moist and delicious looking cake! I love that sauce too.



  4. Belinda @zomppa says:

    That sauce is divine!! What a sweet treat this is.

  5. Angie@Angiesrecipes says:

    wow this looks fantastic! Great clicks, Joumana.

  6. Oui, Chef says:

    We NEVER have leftover dates around here, but I’ll make a special trip to the market for some to make this beautiful cake. I think I’d like to bathe in the milk sauce!

  7. A Canadian Foodie says:

    Just seeing the table setting has me relaxed and edified. Beautiful. Love the pic of the sauce being poured. Everything looks so perfect and delicious. Lucky guest!

  8. Nadji says:

    Qui saurait résister à une telle gourmandise? En tout cas, pas moi.
    Dis-moi la sauce : aucune cuisson, juste un mélange entre le lait concentré et la mélasse?
    A bientôt

    • Joumana says:

      @Nadji: oui, c’est un mélange que j’avais fait par hasard et comme ça avait bon goût, je l’utilise depuis!

      @Devaki: You are making me blush! 🙂

  9. DEVAKI says:

    Joumana dear 🙂 What a treat this! I am absolutely making this soon – perhaps for the brunch this weekend with friends. The condensed milk sauce is just too decadent for words. And btw I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this but I am in awe of your photography and food styling skills.

    I can’t believe I’ve missed some of your previous posts! Where the heck have I been? 🙂 Just so you know – your roasted pepper hummus is marvelous and it is one of my faves. Also, those molasses cookies bring me to my knees. You’re the best!

    CHOW 🙂 Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  10. Angel of the North says:

    Can’t work out whether it’s a 1 lb or 2lb loaf tin nor the weight of dates!

    • Joumana says:

      @Angel of the North: I am going to make it again and will give exact weight; my recollection is I used a long loaf pan (2 #). Just eyeball it once the dough is ready and use what you have available or another pan if too small; don’t fill the pan to the rim, just halfway is enough.
      As far as the weight of the dates, 200 g. should be enough. I made this cake several times and when I used 400 g of dates, the cake stayed too moist and was heavy.

  11. Peter says:

    Love the cake and the sauce with condensed milk and date syrup is simple brilliance!

  12. lisaiscooking says:

    Dates are so delicious, and this cake looks amazing with the sauce. How fun to be able to find so many stuffed dates!

  13. Christine @Fresh says:

    I’ve been pretty good about staying away from sweets … that is until I saw this post. I so want a slice of this date cake and that wonderful condensed milk sauce. Delicious!

  14. samir says:

    …need to make this…my aunt used to make a date cake like this sans any serve with coffee and tea,,,lovely..i liked mine with some good vanilla ice cream on the side

  15. Mercotte says:

    pour moi qui suis fan de cakes et de dattes, voilà une bien belle recette ! j’aime aussi l’idée de cuire les dattes avec du jus d’orange

  16. Kathy says:

    Joumana, Such a lovely looking cake…absolutely irresistible!! I am a huge date fan! The Milk Sauce looks amazing!!

  17. s says:

    fantastic recipe, J. i love love love date cake and the milk sauce probably makes it even more delicious. x s

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