A date with some cake…

Or more correctly, a cake with some date.

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 8.47.20 pmIt looks a bit like a coffee iced doughnut, doesn’t it? Or perhaps a bagel spread with peanut butter. But no, it’s a full sized cake. Which is just as well, because I’ve made serious inroads into it. The cake has comforting, Mum’s kitchen-type aromas, and makes me think of family Sunday lunches – the smell reminds me of my mother’s apple crumble, which is the cinnamon and ground cloves at work.

Applesauce Date Cake with Fudge Icing

1 ¾ cups self raising flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp baking powder
¼ cup butter
1 cup firmly packed soft brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1½ cups unsweetened apple sauce
½ cup raisins or sultanas
½ chopped pitted dates
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Fudge Icing:
¼ cup butter
½ cup firmly packed soft brown sugar
3 tblsps  milk
½ tsp vanilla essence
1 cup sifted icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F.
Grease and flour a large bundt or tube tin.
Whisk together flour, salt, spices and baking powder.
Beat together butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Scrape down often.
Mix in the beaten egg. Scrape down some more.
Add first some flour mix, then some applesauce, and continue alternating till they are gone, ending with the flour mix.
Fold in the raisins, dates and if you are using them, the nuts.
Pour into prepared tin, and bake for about 75 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Make icing by melting butter in a pan, adding the sugar, and boil for 2 minutes. Pour in milk and stir until it returns to the boil.
Remove from heat, cool for 5 minutes, and then beat in the vanilla and icing sugar. Spoon generously over the cake. It sets just like home made fudge. Don’t burn your tongue when you lick the spoon…

You can, if you prefer, substitute more dates instead of the raisins, or vice versa. I know lots of people like nuts in cake. I don’t, but I’ve given quantities in case you do!

Now, go and put the kettle on, and cut yourself a generous slice. We’ll see you in half an hour…


50 thoughts on “A date with some cake…

  1. knettycraft says:

    It looks like a “I must try that!” 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s very, very nice, and pretty easy to make. I’ve had two big slices, a cup of coffee, and now I need a big sleep!

      • knettycraft says:

        The only obstacle are the ingredients I don’t have here (like self raising flour)… or the ones I don’t know (like firmly packed soft brown sugar)…

      • katechiconi says:

        Soft brown sugar has a fine texture but is slightly damp and sticks together. It does not flow like ordinary sugar, which is why you need to pack it down in your measuring cup, to ensure there are no gaps. It has a stronger flavour than regular granulated brown sugar, but you can use the ordinary stuff instead! Self raising flour is ordinary flour with a raising agent added. You can use ordinary flour and just add raising agent (backpulver), about 1.5 teaspoons for the quantity of flour in the recipe.

  2. jum…cakes forever! xo Johanna

  3. Conor Bofin says:

    I could just pretend that it is a big doughnut. Mmmmmmmm…..doughnut.

    • katechiconi says:

      I do wish I could persuade you to try some of this stuff…

      • by “this stuff” do you mean baking? I put my baking hours in while my daughter was at school….ain’t never gonna do it no more 🙂

      • katechiconi says:

        That is what I meant… ah well, it’s not for everyone. I really enjoy it!

      • There is much satisfaction to be gained when one gently lifts a successfully risen cake or a perfect batch of brownies out of the oven, but not all my attempts were successful. For me, the element of risk makes it justifiable to buy my baked goods from the bakery down the road 🙂

      • katechiconi says:

        And I prefer to buy my hats from those who make them beautifully! To each her own… 🙂

      • I should tell you that your scrappy blocks around-the-world thing is very inspiring for me, even though I don’t make quilts – my best love is making something from scraps or bits of nothing, so hats and bags are a perfect canvas for this.

      • katechiconi says:

        Well, the ScrapHappy thing doesn’t *have* to be about quilt blocks, it can be *anything* made from scraps. I’m pretty sure we’d love to see what you do with your scraps – inspiration comes from everywhere! Join us next month?

  4. I’m always dubious about the colour that soft brown sugar (or coffee) imparts on icing. Mind you, I really dislike artificial colours, so I just have to close my eyes and enjoy the taste… drool!

    • katechiconi says:

      I suppose I could have coloured it with fruit or vegetable juice… But it really is the colour of peanut butter. And you know, I think you’d definitely enjoy this one!

  5. This looks incredibly yummy – I want to make it!

  6. dayphoto says:

    Oh, yummm! Another wonderful recipe from you!


  7. EllaDee says:

    I just bought proper digital kitchen scales in my progress towards doing more baking of the kind you tempt me with, and here is an easy cup measure recipe! Now all is need is time and helpful hungry mouths so I don’t eat the lot. Dates remind me of my Nanna’s date loaf slathered with butter.
    You are the guru of punny post titles 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I have spent years carefully crafting puns, and blogging gives me the perfect outlet! This recipe is sooooo worth trying. I had two enormous slices last night, and as I lie here drinking coffee in bed, all I can think about is another piece. It’s not all complicated and fancy, the flavours are simple but deeply satisfying. I reckon it would freeze quite well too. But don’t worry, I’ll have you using those scales!

  8. Yummy. And I could kid myself that because there’s a hole in the middle the slices weren’t really enormous!

  9. tialys says:

    I’m sure it’s gorgeous but I can’t get over the colour of the icing :/

  10. anne54 says:

    You have convinced me to have a Sunday bake session tomorrow. I think I may have all the ingredients, except the apple sauce. We need milk, so I can send the Fella out for the sauce as well. I will pretend that I am making the cake for him. 😉

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ve given up pretending. The Husband knows he’s lucky to be left a half share…

      • anne54 says:

        I made it yesterday, and it is very tasty. The apple sauce gives it a very subtle flavour. I didn’t make the frosting, as It was just a little too over the top for me. 😉I made a little one to take to my Mum’s today. I know she will enjoy it.

      • katechiconi says:

        I find apple sauce is an excellent way of making a cake moist (dreadful word) without having to add lots of fat. Grated zucchini’s another. And you’re right, the flavour is a bonus. I think perhaps in future I’ll be a bit more generous with the fruit, I found myself wanting more raisins and dates. Perhaps a third as much again?

  11. Kirsten says:

    Kind of like a different version of a sticky toffee pudding . . . !

  12. Jen Gardener says:

    Mmmm. My mouth is watering!

  13. Lorij says:

    Hi Kate,
    I love raisins and nuts in cake. I think a coconut icing like the cooked one my mother use to make would be good on this. It’s sort of like the icing for German chocolate cake only no nuts.
    You put 1 1/4 -1 /2 cups coconut, 11/3 cups evaporated milk, 2/3 cups sugar, 1/4 stick butter, dash salt (if butter is salted don’t add salt) in a saucepan. Bring to an easy boil stirring, turn down to medium stirring so as to prevent scorching. Mixture will thicken, when desired consistency is reached remove from heat. Add 1/4 teaspoon almond extract if desired , and mix in well. Should not be so thick that you can’t spread on cake. It’s very good. You can use fresh,frozen or package coconut if you like. I like fine grated or I get the fine coconut powder that is sold at the Indian stores. You can adjust the sugar to your taste.
    I didn’t know coconut icing wasn’t cooked until I was an adult and went some place for dinner and they served cake with butter cream icing and uncooked coconut sprinkled on it.
    I’ll be trying this cake first chance I get.

  14. Lorij says:

    Brown sugar is white sugar that has molasses mixed in with it. To keep it soft it must be sealed in a very tight container or plastic bag

    • katechiconi says:

      Here, soft dark brown sugar is the less refined stuff, which still has some of the molasses in it naturally. Queensland is a sugar producing area, so we get local and very fresh product. I keep mine in airtight containers, just like my other sugars and flours, and it doesn’t dry out too fast.

  15. Lorij says:

    Your brown sugar sounds good. It’s made here in the states but not in this particular area.
    I do hope you’re having a great time.

  16. […] a little one that I made for a friend who lives alone. We ate the other one! The recipe came from Kate, Tall tales from Chiconia. It uses apple sauce and hers had the most luscious looking fudge icing. I had to draw the line at […]

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