Date and Walnut Cake

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Date & Walnut Cake

This cake has appeared in many recipe books since the 1940s, describing it as the favourite cake of the then Queen Elizabeth.

Ingredients: to fill a 9 x 12 (23cm x 30cm) Swiss roll tin

For the cake:

8oz (225g) dried dates, chopped 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda 10oz (275g) plain flour
Breakfast cup of boiling water 1 teaspoon baking powder   
8oz (225g) caster sugar   1 teaspoon salt
3oz (75g) butter

2oz (50g) walnuts, chopped 

 1 large egg, beaten  

For the topping: 

5 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons single cream



  1. Pour a breakfast cup of boiling water over the dates and add the bicarbonate of soda.   Let it stand for the time it takes to:
  2. Cream the butter with the sugar in a bowl, then beat in the egg and vanilla.
  3. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt and add to the creamed mixture.
  4. Add the date mixture and stir well.
    (If using a food processor, place all the ingredients except the date mixture, into the bowl and process until well blended.  Add the date mixture and process until all the dry ingredients have been included.)
  5. Grease and line the bottom of the Swiss roll tin and pour in the mixture, making sure to spread it to the edges.
  6. Heat oven to 180/350F/Gas mark 4.  Bake cake for 35 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
  7. To make the topping:  Put the butter, brown sugar and cream into a small heavy saucepan and put on a low heat until the butter has melted.
  8. Bring to the boil, then boil gently for 3 minutes stirring all the time.
  9. Spread over warm baked cake.
  10. When cool cut cake into slices and store in a airtight tin.

The topping is very sweet so leave it out it you are not a sugar junkie!