Easy Date, Ginger and Walnut Cake Recipe

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“Variety’s the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavour.”
~ William Cowper


What am I doing this morning? Well, as soon as this blog is done I’ll be making a nice cup of tea, cutting myself a slice of this cake and sitting down with my journal for an hour or so. Today is a powerful time for dreaming, planning, birthing and manifesting our heart’s desires into the world, riding on the back of this incredible new moon and solar eclipse energy. If you can find some time today, I highly encourage you to take a little time too to envision your dream life, and what you most want to be, do and create in the world over the coming years.

But I digress. Back to cake!

This cake is a firm favourite in our household. It’s easy to whip up, using just one saucepan and a wooden spoon. The cake can be made with traditional or gluten-free flour, both with great results. You can enjoy this cake eaten warm as a dessert, or cold as a proper cake. It has great keeping qualities, and most importantly, it is divine with a cup of tea or coffee.

The cake begins as a light, fluffy creation when first made, but over the ensuing days becomes heavier, and it will keep for about a week. I often serve it sliced and buttered for smoko at the farm.

I sometimes ice this cake with a lemon icing too. That was my intention when I made this one, as our niece was coming to visit for a few days and I wanted to surprise her with something a bit special.

But yesterday, with the cake just out of the oven and the whole house smelling of spice and sugar, the local excavator operator and his off-sider called in to say hello and have a cuppa. And then the energex workers who were working down on the river flats clearing trees from under our power lines turned up too. Result? Cake demolished, with no time to turn it into something pretty.

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1 cup of pitted dried dates, 1/2 cup crystalised ginger, 1/2 cup walnuts, 125 grams (1/2 cup) of butter, pinch of salt, 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1 cup of cold tea (your favourite black or herbal ginger is fine. I usually use French Earl Grey but it’s fun to experiment), 1 teaspoon bicarb soda, 2 teaspoons of powdered ginger, 1 large egg – beaten, 1 and 1/2 cups self-raising/all purpose flour or your preferred self-raising/all purpose gluten-free flour mix.

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Preheat oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit) and prepare a deep 9 inch/22 centimetre round or an 8 inch/20 centimetre square tin by lining it with baking paper.

Chop the dates and walnuts into small pieces, and chop the ginger quite finely. It tastes better and gives the cake a better texture having the ginger in smaller pieces.

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Place the dates, chopped ginger, butter, salt, sugar and tea in a large saucepan. Trust me – use a largish one as this will eventually become the cake mixing bowl. Isn’t it lovely when you save on washing up!

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Place over medium heat and bring to a strong boil, stirring occasionally so that nothing sticks. Turn off heat and allow to cool for five minutes. Add in the bi-carb soda. This will make the mixture foam – don’t panic – it’s perfectly normal. Stir well, and then place aside to cool down some more.

When the mixture is cool enough that you can comfortably stick your finger in, toss in the walnuts then sift in the flour and ginger. Stir well with a wooden spoon and then add the beaten egg and stir through gently to combine.

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Spoon into the prepared tin. Eat the rest of the batter stuck to sides of saucepan. Yum! 🙂

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Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Cake is baked when it springs back when lightly pressed in the centre or when a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

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Cool in tin for ten minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


2014-10-23 13.49.50And with messy slatherings of butter for the second offering, after the hungry workers ate the first plate of cake in 2.5 minutes flat! Cake now cool enough that butter didn’t slide off. LOL! (Butter looks very pale here – it was freshly churned a few hours before by a neighbour and was DELICIOUS!!!)

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And if you do want to get fancy and use a lemon icing on it, there’s a good recipe here, with the outstandingly good Lemon Slice recipe.


Hi! I'm Nicole Cody. I am a writer, psychic, metaphysical teacher and organic farmer. I love to read, cook, walk on the beach, dance in the rain and grow things. Sometimes, to entertain my cows, I dance in my gumboots. Gumboot dancing is very under-rated.
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16 thoughts on “Easy Date, Ginger and Walnut Cake Recipe

  1. Made this cake in the UK so had to work out cup to gram conversions. I didn’t have crystallised ginger so substituted with stem ginger in syrup (4 lumps of) and added some of the syrup in the heating stage. And it’s fab! I wasn’t sure about the texture on the first day as it was so crumbly but it gets better after a day or so and is delicious.

  2. I am so frustrated because I have checked my cupboards and have everything except the dates. It’s a long time since I’ve had to worry about not having any dates!
    I will however, file this and have a go as soon as possible. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Hi Nicole, I just made your fabulous Date, ginger and walnut cake. WOW! I am not a baker. But again, WOW. My hubby, being a country boy raised on good cooking and plenty of it suggested entering this cake at the local show! Ha. Never gonna happen. But thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe with all of us.

  4. Reblogged this on Natures Healing and commented:
    Why is it when you’re cleansing, that all you read about is food?? Enjoy this delicious sounding, and looking cake. The ginger in it makes it special to me, ginger being a beautiful healing food from nature.

    Ginger has been used in healing in Asia since the earliest of times, it brings great relief in times of nausea and is also very important in regards to the circulatory system. It’s also great for warming up the system when you have a cold.

    Enjoy the cake

  5. Wow what a wonderful description and a wonderful cake .I am sitting here with a bowl of cornflakes and I want cake . Cake and dreams go together hand in hand …thank you my lovely I’m up for both .

  6. Wow…This recipe brings back memories…my mom used to make this back when I was a kid! When she would have the neighbour ladies over for tea! 🙂

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