Would anyone like a little cake with their dates and nuts? This is the cake my mother made every Christmas! I don’t believe we had it any other time during the year – perhaps that’s one reason it was so special! I have added my own twist with the orange zest and orange juice!
My job as executive assistant to the superintendent at the school board has included many different duties! The first 18 years we had a small Christmas open house for the staff. My mom would help with making cakes – this one was always the favorite! – along with mountains of country ham and chicken salad on bakery buns, pasta salads, potato salad, veggie trays, fruit trays – and always my hot apple cider!
Mom has Alzheimer’s now and could not follow even the simple instructions of this recipe. I’ve gone from the role of child to parent – quite an odd experience. Mom still knows us – the Date and Nut Cake I’m not so sure she’ll remember. But, since it is a memory from long ago it may strike a chord with her and bring this cake to the forefront. If not, we’ll just enjoy it as a new experience!
Date and Nut cake
- 4 cups whole walnuts
- 1 pound chopped dates
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- zest of two large oranges
- juice of one orange – about 1/2 cup
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a bundt pan. Layer nuts and dates in pan. Beat eggs on medium speed for two minutes. Add sugar. Turn mixer to low and add flour, baking powder and salt. Scrape sides of bowl. Add vanilla extract and orange zest. Slowly add orange juice. Mix well. Pour over dates and nuts. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool for about 15 minutes before carefully taking cake out of pan. Enjoy!