Sticky Toffee Date Cake

For Christmas baking last year I bought way too many dates. My calculation from medjool to regular date was slightly off. 3 pounds off it seems! What to do….In my quest to use more of my cook books more often I went on the hunt for a recipe that used a lot of dates at once.

I came across on in Ina Garten’s – Barefoot Contessa – Foolproof that I received for Christmas. Man I wish they showed her show in Canada again.

The recipe is for Sticky Toffee Date Cake with Bourbon Glaze. The bonus is that the recipe calls for 3/4 pound of dates!

Sticky Toffee Date Cake

For this recipe I used:

3/4 Pounds of Pitted & Chopped Dates
1 3/4 Cups of Water
1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
4 Ounces (1 Stick) of Unsalted Butter
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/4 Cup of All Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1 1/2 Tablespoon of Baking Powder

6 Ounces (1 1/2 Sticks) Unsalted Butter
1 Cup of Light Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup of Heavy Cream
1/8 Teaspoon of Salt
2 Tablespoons of Bourbon
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla

Sticky Toffee Date Cake – The Cake Ingredients
Sticky Toffee Date Cake – Buttered and Floured 9″ Pan

I stared by chopping the dates and placing them in a pot with 1 3/4 cups of Water.

Sticky Toffee Date Cake – Chopping the dates

I heated the dates until boiling, stirring frequently to break them up. I let the pot boil for just a minute.

Sticky Toffee Date Cake – Boiling the Dates

Once off the heat I added the teaspoon of baking soda, stirred and set the pot aside.

Sticky Toffee Date Cake – Adding the Baking Soda
Sticky Toffee Date Cake – Foamy after Mixing in the Baking Soda

Next it was time to sift together the flour and salt.

Sticky Toffee Date Cake – Sifting the Flour and Salt

In the mixer I added the softened butter and sugar and creamed it together for 2 or 3 minutes. Until light and fluffy.

Sticky Toffee Date Cake – Creaming the Butter & Sugar

Once the butter was fully creamed I added vanilla and the flour and mixed it in on low until just combined.

Sticky Toffee Date Cake – Carefully Mixing in the flour

Now I added the slightly cooled date mixture in 2 batches. Then I added the baking powder and mixed the batter by hand.

Sticky Toffee Date Cake – Adding the Cooked Dates

Then it was off to the oven for about 30 minutes at 350˚.

Sticky Toffee Date Cake – In the Oven!

Near the end of the baking time for the cake I started in on the Bourbon Glaze.

Sticky Toffee Date Cake – Bourbon Glaze Ingredients

In a pot I combined everything except the Bourbon & Vanilla and brought it to a low boil. The recipe indicates to simmer for about 1 minute. See Baker’s notes.

Sticky Toffee Date Cake – Bourbon Glaze Ingredients ready to Simmer

Once simmered I poured the sauce into a glass measuring cup and added the Bourbon & Vanilla.

Sticky Toffee Date Cake – Adding the Bourbon and Vanilla

Once the cake came out of the oven I poked it all over with a skewer.

Sticky Toffee Date Cake – Properly Poked

Next I drizzled about 3/4 of the sauce over the cake and let it soak in for about 1/2 an hour.

Sticky Toffee Date Cake – The First Soaking with the Glaze

After the 1/2 hour wait I turned the cake out onto a serving place then poured the rest of the Bourbon glaze over the cake to make a nice flat shiny surface.

Sticky Toffee Date Cake – The Final Shot

Then it was time to serve!

Sticky Toffee Date Cake – Moist and Flavourful

So moist and tender and very tasty.

Baker’s Notes:

  • This cake easily feeds a crowd. It uses a larger than normal 9″ pan.
  • The sauce did not really perform for me. After about an hour on the serving place the glaze clouded over – a butter film is the best description.
  • I think my glaze issue could be corrected by rapidly boiling the sauce (rather than simmering it) for 3 minutes. This would require following the cake soaking timing pretty closely in case the last 1/4 of the sauce solidifies. No guarantees though.
  • I have no problem making this cake again!

Ina’s Old-Fashioned Banana Cake

I made this on a busy Sunday. We had friends over for dinner the night before and we were having another over for dinner on the Sunday.I chose not to recycle the Coconut Cream Pie from the night before so I needed to make something new.

One of my kitchen new year’s resolutions was to be mindful and use our vast collection of cookbooks.

I had not used Barefoot Contessa – How Easy Was That? Simple high flavour recipes. This was the aim Sunday.

I had a bunch of bananas just ripened so I made the Banana cake with Cream Cheese Frosting with a couple of tweaks. I decided to make 2 cakes – one for dinner and one to send off to work!

Banana Cake

For this recipe I used:

6 Ripe Bananas

Old Fashioned Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
6 Ripe Bananas
1  1/2 Cups of Whey Low Granular (Sugar Substitute)
1 Cup of Whey Low Gold (Sugar Substitute)
1 Cup of Vegetable Oil
5 Large Eggs
1 Cup of Sour Cream
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
Grated Zest of 3 Small Mandarin Oranges
2 Teaspoons of Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Cup of Chopped Toasted Pecans

12 Ounces of Light Cream Cheese
12 Ounces of Butter
2 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
Juice of 1 Mandarin Orange
5 Cups of Icing Sugar
Segments from 2 Mandarin Oranges

Banana Cake – Ingredients

I started by zesting the mandarins using a micro -plane.

Banana Cake – Zesting Mandarins

In my mixer I mixed the Bananas and sugars until well mixed.

Banana Cake – Bananas and Sugars

Next I added the rest of the wet ingredients (oil, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and mandarin zest) and mixed it all until smooth.

Banana Cake – Mixing in the Wet Ingredients

Taking the bowl off the mixer I placed a sifter over the top of the bowl and added the flour, the baking soda, and the salt. I  shook the sifter over the banana mixture then put the bowl back on the mixer and combined everything until just mixed.

Banana Cake – Sifting Dry Ingredients
Banana Cake – Ready to Mix

After every thing was just combined I took the bowl off the mixer and finished mixing by hand with a big spatula. I added the pecans and mixed them in by hand as well.

Banana Cake – Finishing By Hand
Banana Cake – Adding the Pecans

It was time for the oven. I divided the mixture between 2 floured 9″ pans and put them in a 350˚ oven for 45 minutes. This recipe cooked quickly because of the Whey Low Sugar substitutes.

After the cakes were out of the oven and cooling I mixed up the cream cheese frosting.

I added the cream cheese and butter, both room temperature, to the mixer and mixed it on medium for 5 minutes. Be sure to mix all of the cream cheese lumps out.

Banana Cake – Cream Cheese Frosting

Once the butter and cream cheese were mixed I added the icing sugar, vanilla, mandarin juice and mixed everything for another 5 minutes on medium.

Banana Cake – Finished Cream Cheese Frosting

Once the cakes had cooled, at least an hour, I frosted one cake with 1/2 of the cream cheese frosting and place the mandarin segments on top. Then it was off to the fridge until desert  time.

Banana Cake – Finished!

For the second cake that was going off to work, I split the cake in half then spread the rest of the frosting of the bottom layer and put the second layer on top. The cream cheese frosting in the middle made it easier for work consumption!

Bakers Notes:

  • very easy recipe
  • 1 recipe of the cake makes a big cake. Great for a crowd. Serves 16 easily.
  • 1 recipe of the frosting makes a lot! Make 1/2 or 3/4 of a recipe.
  • replace mandarins with any citrus to change it up!
  • this stays moist and very good in the fridge for a week
  • June 2020 – just a note on Micro Planers – my experience is try to ignore the handled versions. Replace every 2 – 3 years – more often if you use it a lot

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