Maple, date and walnut coffee cake


This should have been a Christmas post, but I discovered it too late. It may be a new tradition for Christmas morning, though, in lieu of stollen bread (which I always mean to make but never actually do). I love this cake.


Sweetened with maple syrup and dates (two of my very favorite sweet things), what's not to love? I used whole wheat pastry flour, but I'm pretty certain a gluten free baking substitute would hold up just fine. The secret is in the coconut oil. Plus the maple, the walnuts, and the dates. Yum.

This originated from an Eating Well recipe that was described as being similar to sticky toffee pudding, a rich, gooey English dessert that holds special meaning because Dave and I had it for our first anniversary dinner, at the same place where we had our wedding. I made too many changes to know if the original recipe does in fact bear a resemblance. The product I came up with does not. But as far as treats go, this one's pretty good for you. And it tastes so good, which such a nice, lightly crisp outside and soft enter made more interesting with walnuty crunch and sweet dates.


Best of all this little cake is easy to make. In keeping with it, I feel this post should be kept short and sweet, too. It's a little late, but merry Christmas. :)

Maple, date, and walnut coffee cake

  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1  1/2 cups  whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • generous dashes of ginger and cinnamon
  • dash salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2  cup pure maple syrup, preferably dark amber (Grade B)
  • 1/3 cup liquid coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • confectioner's sugar, if desired, for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
  2. Place dates in a small saucepan. Pour boiling water over them and simmer, stirring regularly until they are largely broken up like a thick syrup.
  3. Process 2/3 of the walnuts until they resemble coarse meal. Transfer to a medium bowl, and whisk in the flour, baking soda, spices and salt; stir in remaining walnuts and make a well in the center.
  4. Mix together egg, syrup, oil, butter, vinegar and dates and pour into the well in the dry mixture. Combine.
  5. Bake the cake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean,approximately 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake, if necessary, and remove the sides of the pan. If desired, dust lightly with powdered sugar.