Mary Berry Date and Walnut Cake: A Timeless Treat for All Occasions!

Whenever I think of quintessential British baking, Mary Berry invariably springs to my mind. Her recipes embody the warmth, comfort, and elegance that have become synonymous with the UK’s culinary heritage. One of my absolute favorites from her collection is the Date and Walnut Cake. I’ve put my own little spin on it over the years. But the essence remains the same—deeply flavored dates, the nutty crunch of walnuts, and that ethereal touch of lemon icing.

Mary Berry Date And Walnut Cake Recipe Overview:

This date and walnut cake is a delightful blend of sweet and nutty flavors, complemented by a tangy lemon icing that provides just the right counterbalance. Soft, moist and filled with textures, it’s perfect for any occasion—be it a casual tea time or a special gathering. Total cooking time is around 60-65 minutes. The serving size is approximately 12-14 people.

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 3.5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 10 oz. pitted and chopped dates
  • 13 oz. boiling water
  • 1 and 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 Tbsp. molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 3/4 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 and 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 5.5 oz. ground almonds
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 5.5 oz. chopped walnuts

Icing/Decorating:

  • 2 and 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • hot water, as needed
  • zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • walnut halves for decoration

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease your loaf pan or round cake tin.
  2. In a bowl, pour boiling water over chopped dates. Allow them to soften for about 10 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, cream the butter and dark brown sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Now start beating the eggs. Beat one egg at a time, followed by the molasses.
  5. Take a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Also add salt and cinnamon with flour and baking powder mixture.
  6. Take all the dry ingredients and gradually add them to the butter mixture. Mix well after each addition.
  7. Fold in the ground almonds and chopped walnuts.
  8. Pour in the date and water mixture and stir until combined.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, Or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  10. While the cake cools, prepare the icing by mixing powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add hot water a teaspoon at a time until you achieve a spreadable consistency.
  11. Once the cake has cooled, spread the icing over the top and decorate with walnut halves.

Nutritional Value: (Per Serving)

Calories: 350

Total Fat: 12g

Saturated Fat: 3g

Cholesterol: 30mg

Sodium: 150mg

Total Carbohydrates: 54g

Dietary Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 35g

Protein: 6g

Also Try: Mary Berry Courgette and Lime Cake Recipe

FAQs:

I noticed the cake has both ground almonds and chopped walnuts. Can I adjust the proportions based on my preference or omit one entirely?

Absolutely. The ground almonds add a certain moisture and texture to the cake, while the walnuts provide a delightful crunch. If you’re more partial to one over the other, you can adjust the proportions, such as using more ground almonds and fewer walnuts, or vice versa. If you decide to omit one entirely, just ensure you compensate with the other to maintain the cake’s consistency. However, keep in mind that changes might slightly alter the taste and texture of the finished product.

The recipe uses dark brown sugar. How would the cake change if I used light brown or granulated sugar?

Dark brown sugar contains more molasses than its light brown counterpart, which imparts a deeper, caramel-like flavor to the cake. If you switch to light brown sugar, your cake will be a bit milder in taste but still maintain that molasses hint. Using granulated sugar will give the cake a lighter color and a less molasses-intense flavor. The texture might also be a tad different due to the moisture content in brown sugars. You can make the swap, but be prepared for these subtle changes in flavor and appearance.

I’m not a big fan of lemon icing. Are there other icing options that would complement this cake?

Certainly! While the tangy lemon icing contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the dates, there are other options you can explore. A caramel or toffee sauce would pair beautifully, enhancing the natural sweetness of the dates. Cream cheese frosting could also work, adding a creamy texture and tang without the lemony flavor. Alternatively, a simple dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of honey can be just as delightful.

What’s the best way to store leftovers to ensure the cake remains moist and fresh?

Store it in an airtight container to keep the cake moist and fresh. If you’ve already sliced the cake, place a piece of plastic wrap against the cut side to prevent it from drying out. The cake can be stored at room temperature for about 2-3 days. If you want to extend its shelf life, refrigerate it, but always allow it to come to room temperature before serving for the best flavor and texture.

I’d like to make this cake for a vegan friend. Do you have suggestions for vegan substitutions?

Absolutely! There are a few simple substitutions you can make to veganize this cake. Substitute the unsalted butter with vegan butter or coconut oil. For the eggs, you can use flax eggs (1 flax egg = 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 2.5 tbsp water, let it sit for 5 minutes to gel up). There are also plenty of vegan substitutes for molasses available in health food stores, but if the molasses you have is vegan-friendly, you can stick with it. Lastly, for the icing, ensure the powdered sugar is vegan (some brands use bone char in the refining process) and adjust with plant-based milk if needed instead of water for consistency.

Conclusion:

Baking has always been a journey of exploration for me, and this date and walnut cake is one of those recipes that feels like a trusted old friend. It’s the embodiment of comfort in cake form. Whether you’re making it for the first time or the hundredth, it promises to warm hearts and satisfy taste buds. Enjoy!

Date and Walnut Cake Recipe Mary Berry

Mary Berry Date and Walnut Cake Recipe

Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 14 people
Calories 350 kcal

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 3.5 tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 10 oz. Pitted and chopped dates
  • 13 oz. Boiling water
  • 1 1/4 Cups Dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Molasses
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 3/4 tbsp Baking powder
  • 1 3/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 5.5 oz Ground almonds
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 5.5 oz Chopped walnuts

Icing/Decorating

  • 2 1/4 cups Powdered sugar
  • Hot water as needed
  • 1 Large lemon zest and juice
  • walnut halves for decoration

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease your loaf pan or round cake tin.
  • In a bowl, pour boiling water over chopped dates. Allow them to soften for about 10 minutes.
  • In another bowl, cream the butter and dark brown sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Now start beating the eggs. Beat one egg at a time, followed by the molasses.
  • Take a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Also add salt and cinnamon with flour and baking powder mixture.
  • Take all the dry ingredients and gradually add them to the butter mixture. Mix well after each addition.
  • Fold in the ground almonds and chopped walnuts.
  • Pour in the date and water mixture and stir until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, Or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • While the cake cools, prepare the icing by mixing powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add hot water a teaspoon at a time until you achieve a spreadable consistency.
  • Once the cake has cooled, spread the icing over the top and decorate with walnut halves.

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