Saturday, October 1, 2016

Walnut Date Bundt Coffee Cake

This old-fashioned recipe is easy to make, requires no electric mixer, and yields a perfect fruit and nut cake. I like to serve this as a morning/brunch cake with coffee, or at tea in the afternoon as it is not overly sweet and very dense. I think you can picture your grandma making this with her favorite wooden spoon.

Julian's Walnut Date Bundt Coffee Cake
I use the bundt pan because I like the way it looks and bakes in this pan. But as you can see, my 10-15 cup large classic bundt pan is only about half full with this recipe. That's another reason I like this pan for this cake. You don't want a big tall piece of this cake with coffee or tea. Rather a smaller, shorter cake is required and my large bundt pan makes an ideal size for this purpose. You could also use a loaf pan, or several small loaf pans for an ideal tea cake size.

Loaded with Dates and Nuts
I sprinkle the top with a little powdered sugar, but that's only to highlight the bundt shape and provide a little decoration. You could of course, drizzle it with some cream cheese frosting or anything similar. If you want to serve this as a sweeter dessert, the frosting may be desirable.

This is a perfect recipe to use up dates and nuts that were perhaps left over from cookie baking. You can substitute walnuts for other nuts if you have them on hand, although a soft nut similar to a walnut is preferred. Raisins, dried figs or prunes could also be subsituted for the dates is that's what you are trying to use.

Chopped dates, soda and butter.
1 pound dates, pitted and chopped
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup white granulated sugar
pinch of salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 egg, room temperature
1 cup chopped walnuts

Place dates into a large bowl with baking soda and 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour boiling water over dates, butter, and soda and stir to combine. Set aside.

Using remaining softened butter, butter and lightly flour a large bundt pan, being sure to coat the center cone. Tap out excess flour so no large clumps appear in the pan. Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees.

When the date mixture is room temperature, combine flour, sugar and salt in a separate bowl. Crack the egg into a small bowl and scramble it with a fork. Stir in the vanilla.

Stir the egg/vanilla mixture into the large bowl with the date mixture. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until well combined. Fold in the nuts. Transfer to prepared bundt pan and bake 45 minutes, or until a pick comes out clean. For individual mini-bundt cakes, baking will only take 30 or so minutes. Use the pick to determine when baking is complete.

Ready for the oven.

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