Whilst cleaning up some paperwork the other day I stumbled on an old notebook with a few recipes pasted in it that I’d torn out of some magazines many years ago. Most of them I never got around to making, but this recipe for Orange & Date Syrup Cake was a winner. It had a few notes I’d added over time adjusting measurements and timings to suit my taste, and before that notebook disappears again into my paperwork vortex, I thought I’d best share it on the blog so I could always access it easily.
It’s a great cake to have with coffee, (I think it would taste amazing with an espresso but sadly I don’t drink it). The addition of warm syrup keep the cake moist and even though it’s sweet, the orange zest balances it out nicely. The combination of syrup and dates reminds me of middle eastern desserts, I’d love to try infusing cardamon into the syrup, I think it would taste delicious.
Just a few tips:
I find Medjool dates are much more moist than regular dates but use whatever dates you have on hand. Prunes would also do in a pinch.
If you don’t have an zester, a fine grater works just fine. Make sure you zest before you cut the orange, it’s less messy.
Rather than trying to measure out half the juice, just juice half the orange and add it to the batter, then juice the other half when you are ready to make the syrup.
The batter should be quite thick. Arrange the dates anyway you like, random is fine too.
- 125g Butter softened
- ¾ cup Caster Sugar (1/2 cup for cake & ¼ cup for syrup)
- 3 eggs
- 1¼ cups SR flour
- Grated rind and juice of 1 large orange (reserve half the juice for syrup)
- 8 Medjool dates, halved and pitted
- Preheat oven to 180C (170C fanforced)
- Grease a 20cm springform pan
- Cream butter and ½ cup of sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time and half the orange juice.
- Fold in flour and orange rind.
- Pour batter into pan and top with dates,
- Bake for about 35min or until inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in tin for 5 min then turn out onto rack and cool for a further 10 min.
- Whilst cooling, mix remaining orange juice and sugar and warm in a pan until sugar has dissolved.
- Transfer cake to plate and pour over syrup mixture.