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Date Cake Recipe

This simple date cake recipe creates a cake that is moist and flavorful. The addition of cardamom gives the cake a slightly lemony, slightly spicy flavor that perfectly complements the caramelly flavor of the dates.

I really try to save this cake for dessert, but it is a pretty darn perfect coffee cake for a mid-morning snack…or so I’ve heard.

And while the cake comes together quickly, do allot at least twenty minutes to let the dates soak, per the recipe instructions. This is an important step as soaking the dates in water, and baking soda turns the dates into almost toffee. The process softens the date skins, making incorporating the delightful toffee/date mixture into the cake batter easier. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.

Date cake on a plat and in a baking dish in the background.

While the dates are soaking, you can do the rest of the cake ingredient instructions, such as lining the pan, measuring out the remaining ingredients, and preheating the oven.

variations and substitutions

Gently fold in a cup of chopped walnuts or chocolate chips when you add the second half of the flour to the batter.

Swap out the cardamom for two teaspoons of orange zest or two teaspoons of allspice.

I have included a toffee sauce recipe if you want to drizzle it over the cake. In all honesty, I don’t think it needs it, but if you are feeling ‘extra,’…go for it.

Piece of cardamom date cake on a plate with a bit of the cake on a fork.

ingredients for cardamom date cake

Simple cake ingredients, in addition to the dates and cardamom, are all you need for this moist and delicious date cake.

Ingredients of Cardamom Date CAke.

how to make date cake

How long does date cake last?

This cake will stay at room temperature for about four days and refrigerate for seven days. You can freeze this date cake. If you are freezing it, wrap the date cake slices well in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, and then store them in a ziplock bag or airtight container. Plan to use your frozen cake within three months.

kitchenaid stand mixer

my kitchen workhorse

  • 7-quart capacity
  • 10 speeds range from very slow stirring to very high beating.
  • Makes up to 14 dozen cookies or 8 lb. of dough.
  •  Works with all KitchenAid attachments.

Looking for another date recipe? Try my Grandma’s Date Nut Bars! I jazzed them up just a skosh by swapping the granulated sugar out and swapping in brown sugar. I love the depth that brown sugar provides.

Date cake on a plat and in a baking dish in the background.

Date Cake

Yield: 1 9" by 9" cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

A moist date cake flavored with a hint of cardamom.


  • 2 cups of dates, pitted and chopped (10 ounces)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter ( 1 1/2 sticks) at room temperature.
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • TOFFEE SAUCE (optional)
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Place chopped dates, water, and baking soda in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat off and let the dates soak for at least twenty minutes.
  2. While the dates are soaking, spray a 9" cake pan with nonstick spray and line it with parchment paper.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F
  4. Sift or whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom together and set aside.
  5. Beat butter and brown sugar together on medium speed until light and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add eggs, one at a time to the butter and sugar mixture, beating well after each egg.
  7. Add the vanilla, and the date mixture including the soaking liquid, and beat until incorporated.
  8. With a spatula, fold in half of the flour mixture, then fold in the rest of the flour mixture until just combined. Don't over-mix.
  9. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top.
  10. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes until a cake tester or toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  11. Remove from the oven and cool on the rack.


  1. Place butter and sugar in a medium saucepan on medium heat.
  2. Cook and stir until the mixture turns a deep amber color.
  3. Carefully and slowly stir in cream and vanilla, while continuing to whisk. (Mixture will be bubbly.)
  4. Whisking constantly, cook until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon or until it has reached the desired consistency.
  5. Can be made ahead and warmed n a saucepan over low-medium heat or microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between heatings, until warm.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 258Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 335mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 3gSugar: 36gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

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A slice of cardamom date cake on a white plate.

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