This is a rich cake that hits the spot for festive holidays. Or serve as we did in the fall for our September 2012 dinner show.

Sticky date cake with caramel, vanilla ice cream & pineapple slices


  • For the cake:

  • As needed butter and flour to butter pans
  • 1 cup dates, pitted, chopped fine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

    For sauce

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • pinch of salt


Prepare pan by buttering and flouring six coffee cups, muffin top pan, or 9 inch round; set aside.

Prepare the dates:
Simmer dates in water using a heavy sauce pan until soft, approximately 5 minutes; remove from heat and add baking soda, covered an steep additional 5 minutes.

Make the batter:
Beat together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy on high speed; beat in egg until combined. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add flour mixture to first mixture and mix on low speed just until combined. Fold in dates and any water if left; mix just to combine. Divide batter between the 6 cups, or muffin pan or 9″ round, and bake 350° F until cake is cooked through, approximately 15-20 minutes. Rest on cooling rack 10 minutes before removing cakes. Meanwhile make the sauce.

For sauce: Blend butter sugar and water and pinch of salt in sauce pan and simmer about 8 minutes. Be sure to have this warm sauce ready when the cakes are out of the oven and just out of the pan. Then poke holes in the top of the cake(s) and pour warm sauce all over the cake. Serve immediately while warm. This cake is best served warm. When cooled, sauce may become brittle and sugary. Use Bob’s caramel sauce if you must wait to serve cake when cold. This sauce will not become sugary.

Alternative 1: Make a traditional recipe for banana foster and pour over the warm date cake at service.

Alternative 2: make the date cake chocolate flavored by adding 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder with the dry ingredients.


printable page