Date Coffee Cake with Walnuts and Espresso Glaze

For the Date Coffee Cake

2 ½ cups chopped dates

1 ½ cups prepared hot coffee or espresso (I recommend Medaglia D’Oro dried espresso)

1 ½ teaspoons baking soda

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter

¾ cup brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

For the Coffee Glaze

2 tablespoons hot water

½ cup roughly cracked roasted chopped walnuts (optional)

2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup of walnuts, toasted and coarsely crushed (optional)


1. Preparing the Dates

Start by placing the chopped dates in a bowl and pouring the prepared hot coffee or espresso over them. Stir in the baking soda, which will help soften the dates. Let this mixture sit for about 15 minutes, allowing the dates to absorb the coffee and become tender.

2. Mixing the Dry Ingredients

In a separate bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk these dry ingredients together to ensure they are well mixed.

3. Creaming the Butter and Sugars

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. This process incorporates air into the batter, which helps create a light and tender cake.

4. Adding the Wet Ingredients

Beat in the egg and vanilla extract to the butter-sugar mixture until well combined. Then, gradually add the date and coffee mixture, mixing until everything is well incorporated.

5. Combining Wet and Dry Ingredients

Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, stirring until just blended. Avoid overmixing to prevent a denser cake. Carefully fold in the toasted walnuts.

6. Baking the Cake

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Prepare a 9×13-inch baking pan by greasing and flouring it, or by lining it with parchment paper. Spoon the mixture carefully and evenly into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

7. Preparing the Coffee Glaze

While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, dissolve the instant espresso in the hot water. In a larger bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract, and the prepared espresso mixture until smooth and well combined.

8. Glazing the Cake

Once the cake has finished baking, let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then, remove it from the pan and place it on a wire rack to cool completely. Once the cake is completely cooled, drizzle the coffee glaze over the top, allowing it to drip down the sides. Sprinkle with additional toasted walnuts if desired.


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