Date Cake – Revisited

    This is my second attempt to bake Ricki’s date cake recipe from her Diet, Dessert, and Dogs  blog in a gluten-free version. Let me say this in my defense: those warnings on antihistamine packages do not go far enough when they say not to operate machinery while on the medication. Neither should you attempt sewing, knitting, or baking of new recipes. It will take several days to undo the damage. However, Mrs. K’s Date Cake is now a fabulous success!
    Some of where I went wrong previously include grabbing the chia seed instead of the flax seed, using quinoa flour that I had not tried before, blenderizing the date mixture in a pathetic attempt to disguise the dates so that possibly someone else in the house would sample the cake, and finally, forgetting lessons learned about the differences in Dutch and regular cocoa powder. Is it any wonder the cake consistency was somewhere between brownie and fudge?
    Ricki warned about allowing the cake to cool before cutting. For this one it should be cold and mellowed in the pan for an hour or so. I had a piece before dinner while it was barely warm and another after dinner. (It is not unusual for me to do dessert before dinner but usually not before and after!) The second time the flavor seemed much richer. This is a phenomenon that I’ve encountered before with gluten-free baked goods and one that I do not understand. Nevertheless, here is the successful version. (Notice the toasty golden coconut!)

DD&D Date Cake Success!

DD&D Date Cake Success!

heaping 1/2 cup finely chopped dried (unsweetened) dates
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup Sucanat
2 Tbsp. finely ground flax seeds
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
(This is the gluten-free substitution for the spelt flour)
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour
1/3 cup potato flour (NOT starch)
2 Tbsp. coconut flour
1/2 tsp. Xanthan gum
1 heaping Tbsp. dark cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt

2 Tbsp. Sucanat
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350* F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan, or line with parchment paper.

Place the dates in a medium bowl and pour the boiling water over them; stir briefly. Add the Sucanat, flax seed, milk, oil, and vanilla, and whisk to blend. Allow to sit until room temperature, about 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour mixture, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and stir to blend. Turn into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Sprinkle the topping ingredients over the cake: first, sprinkle the Sucanat evenly over the surface of the batter. Cover with a sprinkling of the coconut, and end with the chocolate chips. (The coconut gets all golden and toasty during baking – ummm)

Bake for 35-40 minutes, turning the pan once about halfway through to ensure even baking, until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan before cutting. (Makes 9 large or 16 snack-sized pieces.) May be frozen.




  1. Ricki said

    Yay! I love that there is now a successful GF version of this cake! I’m going to try it–can’t wait! 🙂

  2. Mom said

    And it is successful – it means so much to me when friends who are not gluten impaired rave about a recipe and they are really loving this one! Thanks so much for your original version of Mrs’ K’s Date Cake!
    PS – Amazon just shipped my copy of Sweet Freedom – soon there will be even more inspiration . . . .

  3. Clara & Jenna said

    Absolutely scrumptious! Thanks for the generous sample — amazing flavor & texture! Can you give me guidance on where you’re finding your ingredients in/around Georgetown?

  4. […] It is especially good in breads.    My favorite sweet baking blend is found in my recipe for Date Cake – Revisited, my gluten free adaptation of Ricki’s Mrs. K’s Date Cake found on her Diet, Dessert, & Dogs […]

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