Date Sweetened Cake

In the March Issue of Yoga Journal, Kerri-Ann Jennings had several intriguing recipes that use fruit to sweeten instead of pure sugar. Living on Monhegan Island, of course I did not have every ingredient on hand that Kerri-Ann used, so I came up with this play on her Hazelnut Fig Crisps.

This happens to me all of the time, I often find recipes that inspire me and then look at what I have on hand and create something new. Sometimes the dish no longer resembles the original recipe at all. This is the fun, challenge and creativity I get from being in the kitchen.

From Kerri-Ann’s crisps, I created a Date Sweetened Cake substituting dates for her figs, yogurt for her buttermilk, walnuts and sunflower seed for her hazelnuts. I can serve this as a cake or slice into thin strips and bake in the oven to make her crisps, a versatile and delicious dish.

Reasons this recipe is fantastic:

  • sweetened only from dates (which contain fiber, vitamins and minerals in addition to sweetness; cane sugar just has sweetness and calories)
  • good fats from yogurt, nuts and seeds
  • whole grains from flour
  • protein from flour, yogurt, nuts and seeds
  • cinnamon: cuts your cravings for sugar (see blog Small Doses)


Date Sweetened Nut Cake

date cake

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

(if you want to increase protein or experiment with non-wheat flours, this is a great recipe to do it. try substituting almond meal, teff flour, and/or bean flour)
2 tsp baking soda
1½ tsp cinnamon
2/3 tsp salt
½ tsp finely ground black pepper
1 cup whole milk

1 cup yogurt

8 oz. chopped dates, soaked in water overnight
1 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup sesame seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
Vegetable-oil cooking spray

Combine dry ingredients first. Mix well with a wire whisk.

Add dates, mix well. Add yogurt and milk, mix well. Fold in nuts and seeds. Pour in prepared 8×8 cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Toothpick should come out clean and the top springy to the touch.

cake dough

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