Dates cake is one among the tastiest and easiest cake, though being eggless and butter-less it is super rich, moist, soft and very tasty. The spices added makes the cake even more rich and flavorful. This will be another perfect cake just like the fruit cakes for Christmas, New year and any special occasions or even serves best as a snack cake. The procedure is very easy and will yield you the best cake with very little effort. I love these kind of cakes where you do not need much whisking and fuss, it actually delights you in many ways, you don't have to spend much energy, but still you will get the best. I have used black dates for better texture and richer taste, you can use any kind that you get, but I prefer black dates better. Using custard powder makes the cake unbelievably soft and super tasty, but if you do not have custard powder, you can add corn flour too. The same cake can be made in a pressure cooker following the procedure given here.
INGREDIENTSPreparation Time - 20 minutes
Baking Time - 40 to 50 minutes
- All purpose flour / Maida - 150 grams
- Black dates - 20 pieces (nearly 135 grams)
- Milk - 80 ml
- Custard powder - 2 teaspoons
- Cashew nuts - A handful (nearly 20 cashews)
- Cinnamon powder - 1/8 tsp
- Cardamom pods / Elaichi - 2 (You can alternatively use 1/8 tsp of cardamom powder too)
- Nutmeg powder - 2 pinches
- Sugar - 150 grams
- Salt - 1/4 tsp
- Baking soda - 1 tsp + 2 pinches
- Oil - 80 ml
OVEN / OTG SETTINGS
- Heater / Rod select - Both
- Shelf / Tray placement - Center
- Temperature - 175°C (350 F)
- Baking time - 45 to 50 minutes
- Preheat Oven For - 10 minutes
- Remove seeds from dates and chop into smaller pieces, add it into a blender along with some water (50 ml) and grind into a fine paste.
- Now fill a saucepan with 200 ml of water and place on flame, After it starts boiling add the dates paste, crushed cardamom pods, 2 pinches of baking soda and mix well.
- Wait until it boils well and the water content reduces. It should be a thick paste as shown in the above pic.
- Now remove from flame and add cinnamon powder and nutmeg powder. Stir well and set aside until it cools down.
- Preheat an oven to 175 to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degree Fahrenheit) with a tray in the center rack of the oven for 10 minutes.
- Grease a 4x4 square cake pan with oil/ghee and line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment paper or butter paper.
- Take maida, salt, custard powder, baking soda in a bowl and mix well using a hand whisk or you can sieve it twice or thrice.
- Now take another bowl add milk, oil, dates mix, sugar and mix with a whisk. Now pour this mixture into the flour mix and keep whisking. Do not worry if any lumps are forming. Just keep whisking well and you will get a nice smooth cake batter.
- Chop cashews and add it into the batter. Mix well.
- Now pour the prepared cake batter into the greased cake pan. (The batter should not be runny, it should have a consistency slightly thicker than than dosa batter)
- Then place the cake pan on the center of the tray inside the preheated oven and bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes. Mine took 50 minutes to get baked. (the baking time depends on the size of the cake pan, amount of batter and even varies from oven to oven, so just check after 30 minutes to see if your cake is done)
- Now insert a clean knife or skewer into the center of the cake, if it comes out clean it means your cake is ready, if you find batter sticking to the knife/skewer, then slide the pan inside the oven again and bake for 10 more minutes. Check again to see if cake is ready. The cake will leave the edges once it gets baked well. This is another trick to find that your cake is ready!
- Once your cake is ready, remove from oven and place the pan on a wire rack and set aside until it is warm to touch.
- Then invert and tap off the cake from the pan and place on wire rack until it cools down well, remove the parchment paper/butter paper gently from the cake.
- Slice into pieces and serve!! The cake can be served even when it is warm. (This cake keeps well for a week)
TIP 1: As I always mention, the baking time depends on the oven, the capacity of your cake pan and also the quantity of batter. So check after 30 minutes to see if your cake has been baked.
TIP 2: Always insert the skewer or the knife in the center of the cake to see if the cake is baked completely, the sides may get baked soon, and the center may remain unbaked so its better to check in the center.
TIP 3: I have used whole cardamom pods here instead of the cardamom powder, this will incorporate a better flavor into the cakes, but it is purely optional, if you do not want to feel the cardamom pods while enjoying the cake it is better to stick to the powder.
Tastiest, moist and soft Dates Cake is now ready!! Serve or wrap it up for your friends and beloved ones!!