Thursday, January 31, 2013

Date Walnut Breakfast Cake

It’s not really my week to make a cake but I’m the only one around so here goes! We’re still low on eggs and I’ve discovered we’re about out of baking powder, as well, so I was looking for ideas that used little or none of each. Also, I wanted to make more of a coffee cake instead of dessert cake beings the guys need something for breakfast.
As mentioned in my Watkins Economy Spice Cake post, we’ve got a ton (ok, that’s a wee bit of an exaggeration) of chopped dates in the freezer. So I was thrilled when I found the Date Walnut Bread recipe in Fresh Fruit Quick Breads by Joyce Middleton. I changed it up some, of course (including the name), but what else is new?


·         1½ c chopped pitted dates
·         ½ c white sugar (recipe called for 1½ cups but I didn’t figure we needed the extra sweet in a breakfast bread full of chopped dates!)
·         1 teaspoon salt
·         2 tablespoons butter (I didn’t measure – just guesstimated)
·         1½ c boiling water
·         1 egg, lightly beaten
·         2¾ c all-purpose flour
·         1 t baking soda
·         1 t cream of tartar (have plenty of this – we use if for poison oak – true story – it works!)
·         1½ t vanilla extract
·         ½ c chopped walnuts (optional – recipe called for a full cup but I’m conserving walnuts, too)


1.       Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
2.       Put the dates, sugar, salt and butter into a bowl. Pour in the boiling water and stir. Set aside until cool and then stir in the egg and vanilla.
3.       Stir the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Pour in the wet ingredients and stir together until thoroughly combined. Mix in the walnuts. (Note: The batter was pretty darn thick.)
4.       Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 60-70 minutes.
5.       Cool for 10 minutes and remove from the pan.

Our Cake-a-Week rating

Do you suppose all my cake-a-week recipes are going to rate about the same? This one came in at 7.5, which is darn close to the rating for the first two. Hmm. Well, only having two raters this time may have skewed the results - one gave it a 9 and the other only 6. Now that I think about it, that's basically been the spread between these two guys each time.

I declined to rate this one because I'm not a morning cake person and didn't want to further skew the results. I did try a bite and tend to lean more toward the 6 rating. Don't get me wrong - it's good. But it's not dessert, especially beings I cut the sugar to one-third. It IS a great alternative to pastry-type breakfast fare, however, and very easy to make.

If you'd like a variety of quick bread recipes, I recommend Joyce Middleton's Fresh Fruit Quick Breads. I know there are several more recipes I'm going to try!

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