Tre is my Sister in Law’s sister, and a more generous and loving person you might not meet on this earth. A couple of years ago, in the mad mad lead-up to Xmas, I was holidaying on an island that is not very far from her place – just a ferry ride. It is a remote island without power, just gas bottles and solar energy, on a mountainous island with no amenities. Just beach. Water and sand. Small shacks on the hilltops. Privacy. Great views. No shops, parks or amusements of any kind. It was bliss.
Tre sent over, via ferry, a wonderful date loaf, so fresh it was still warm as it arrived, wrapped in foil and still in the tin. My heart melted. Such thoughtfulness and love in the midst of her family pre Xmas chaos. Not only that, as I returned from the island, refreshed and peaceful, she took me and my family into her house for 5 days of Xmas celebrations and cheer. My heart overflows.
This is Tre’s Date Cake. Easy, delicious and full of love.
We so rarely bake, there are no other cakes on this site to share with you!! In over 2,000 recipes – no cakes!!! 😱 🤨☹️
Dark and moody, and utterly delicious.
Tre’s Date Loaf
1 cup pitted dates
0.5 cup orange juice
1 apple, grated
1 cup brown sugar (not tightly packed)
1 tspn baking soda
1.5 – 2 cups plain flour (depends on flour and location)
2 tspn cinnamon powder
1 tspn baking powder
Heat the oven to 180C.
Soften the dates by soaking in the orange juice – you can microwave for 30 second increments to shorten the time.
Put the dates, apple, sugar, butter and baking soda in a bowl and pour over 1 cup boiling water. Leave to cool. (Tre says she doesn’t always leave to cool if she is running short of time, but I find that it helps the cake if it is cooled a little.)
Mix the remaining ingredients into the date mixture and place in a prepared loaf tin and cook in the oven for approx 40 mins until a skewer comes out clean.
Serve thickly buttered with a cuppa.
recipe notes and alternatives
Add 60g walnuts.
To darken the colour, add a tea bag with the boiling water, then remove before mixing in the flour.
Use 3 Tblspn golden syrup in place of the sugar.
Add a little cardamom powder with the cinnamon.
Leave the dates to soak overnight for really soft dates.