This moist and delicious gluten free date walnut cake is perfect for breakfast with coffee or tea or as a dessert. It is filled with pieces of juicy dates and pecans or walnuts to make this wonderful cake. It is an excellent cake for celebrating Tu B’Shevat, a celebration of the birthday of the trees.

The top view of a round gluten cake with two slices cut.

Have you heard of the celebration for the tree’s birthday? Although it is considered a minor Jewish holiday, it is one of my favorites as it celebrates nature and the bounty we receive from trees. Dates and nuts are just two of my favorite things, and I wanted to combine them into a new gluten free dessert recipe.

Tu BiShvat means “New Year of the Trees” and is considered the Jewish Arbor Day. Surprisingly, the holiday name has several different spellings. Although we honor trees on this day, you can enjoy this gluten free date walnut cake recipe all year! 

Many like to plant trees to celebrate the holiday. Personally, I take this as a great excuse to bake using the bounty from trees like fruits and nuts. You will love baking this Gluten Free Creamy Apple Cake, this Gluten Free Almond Flour Orange Cake, or this fruity Gluten Free Plum Crisp.

A slice of gluten free date nut cake on a light blue colored plate.

If you love cake as much as we do, I have a TON of delicious gluten free cake recipes on the blog that I hope you enjoy.

Why This Cake is Great:

  1. This date nut cake recipe is both gluten- and dairy-free; plus, there is an easy nut-free option, so it is perfect if you have multiple food allergies. You can use walnuts, pecans, or any nuts.
  2. Dates naturally sweeten this cake, so you can cut back on the amount of sugar you use if you choose. You can also use coconut sugar instead of regular sugar if you prefer a low-glycemic sweetener.
  3. You can bake this cake in a cake pan a loaf pan, or frost it to make it a nice layer cake. There are so many options!
  4. This cake freezes nicely so you can make it ahead, then thaw it when you are ready to serve it.

Delicious and easy to make! I had to stop myself from eating the whole thing.”

Justine, Blog comment

Another fun Jewish treat that is perfect for Tu Bishvat is this Gluten Free Mandelbrot Cookies recipe. They are fabulous dipped in coffee or tea!

Allergen Information:

This delicious date cake is gluten-free, dairy-free, oat-free, and soy-free. Make it nut-free by omitting the walnuts.

Reader, Nicole made this cake sugar-free. See her comment below!

I did change the sugar with lakanto monk fruit as a sugar replacement and it turned out great.”

Nicole V. Pinterest User
Photos of the date walnut cake ingredients.

Ingredient Notes:

For the full list of ingredients and amounts, please go to the recipe card below.

  • Gluten Free Flour Blend – Many gluten free flour blends will work in this easy date nut cake recipe. I have tried both King Arthur GF Measure for Measure and Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF Blend in this recipe. Note that if your recipe doesn’t contain Xanthan Gum, you must add 1 teaspoon. My DIY Gluten Free Flour Blend also works well in this recipe.
  • Brown Sugar – You can use this sweetener or coconut sugar. One of my readers told me monk fruit sweetener works well in this recipe.
  • Baking Powder – Use aluminum-free if you can.
  • Nuts – I switch between walnuts and pecans when I make this date nut cake, but you can use any nuts you like.
  • Dates – Be sure to remove the pit before using the dates.
  • Eggs – Use size large.
  • Coconut Oil – You can use another oil if you prefer.
  • Honey – You can use inexpensive honey in this recipe. Just make sure it is 100% honey with no additives.
  • Almond Milk – I used this, but any non-dairy or regular milk will also work.

Tips For Sucess:

  • Do not use a stand mixer for this recipe. A stand mixer will overmix your batter, leaving the cake denser.
  • Add the dates to the dry ingredients and mix them in. This will prevent all of your chopped dates from sticking together. You may need to separate the chunks of dates in the flour with your hands.
  • Add a piece of parchment paper to the bottom of your cake pan. This will help the date and walnut cake slide out of the pan more easily.

Step-By-Step Photos and Directions:

The gluten free date nut cake dry ingredients in a bowl.

Step 1: Add your dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk to blend. If you see clumps of brown sugar (or coconut sugar), use your fingers to break them up. You can also sift the coconut sugar in and use a spoon in the sifter to press the crumbs through.

Add the chopped dates now. See the Tips for Success on why this is important.

Wet ingredients poured over the dry ingredients.

Step 2: Add the wet ingredients to a smaller bowl and mix well. If your coconut oil is hard, melt it until it is warm (not hot).

Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and add the nuts. Mix these gently. You do not want to overmix your cake batter.

A photo showing the gluten free date nut cake batter in a bowl.

Step 4: Your cake batter will look like this consistency. Note that every gluten free flour blend is different. Depending on how starchy your gluten-free flour blend is, you may need to add more liquid.

📢 Sandi says: Every gluten-free flour blend has a different starch-to-grain ratio. The brand of gluten-free flour you use will affect the moisture of the batter. If your cake batter is too runny, add more flour, and if it is too thick, add more liquids.
Read Why Gluten-Free Flour Blends Vary to learn more about this.

A cake pan lined with parchment paper.

Step 5: If you use a 9-inch cake pan for this cake, spray it with gluten free baking spray or an oil spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. You can also do this step if you use a loaf pan.

To fit the piece of parchment paper in the bottom of your cake pan, cut a square of parchment paper out, then place the cake pan on top. Use a pencil or pen to trace the bottom of the cake pan. Use scissors to cut it out.

Spread out cake batter in the cake pan, ready to bake.

Step 6: Use a large spoon to spread the cake batter in the pan. Bake the date cake at 350º F for 30 minutes until done. (Note: if you use a loaf pan, your baking time may be slightly longer.)

To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the cake must be baked longer.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you make this cake nut-free?

You can easily omit the nuts, and this cake will be nut-free.

What kinds of non-dairy milk can you use?

I used almond milk, but other dairy-free kinds of milk will work. I do not recommend canned coconut milk.

Can you use a monk fruit sweetener?

Yes, you can replace the sugar with Lakanto.

A slice of date nut cake on a light blue plate.

You may also love this simple Gluten Free Cherry Cake recipe.

More Tu B’Shevat recipes:

Love This Recipe?

If you made and enjoyed this recipe, I would be incredibly grateful if you could leave a comment below. Please include which flour blend you used. This will help others know this recipe is delicious. Thank you!

Gluten Free Date Nut Cake

Sandi Gaertner
A delicious gluten free date nut cake that is perfect for Tu B'shevat or any time. Simple to make as a cake or a loaf.
5 from 8 votes
gluten free allergy icon
soy free allergy icon
vegetarian icon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Gluten Free Cake Recipes, Gluten Free Dessert Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 291 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup gluten free flour blend
  • ½ cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup coconut oil melted, other oils are okay too.
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • cup almond milk or another milk
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • ½ cup chopped dates pits removed

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350º F. Set the oven rack to the middle position.
  • Chop your dates and nuts, carefully removing the pit from each date.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
  • Add the chopped dates to the dry ingredients. Toss to coat, breaking up any chunks of dates that stuck together. The flour is good to keep all of the sticky pieces from clumping together.
  • In a smaller bowl, add the wet ingredients and whisk to blend.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and add the pecans. Mix until the batter is just mixed. Try not to over mix the batter.
  • Spray coconut oil in a baking dish. Line the bottom of the round cake pan with parchment paper.
  • Spread the cake batter out in the cake pan. You can also use a loaf pan if you prefer.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until done. Insert a toothpick in the center of the cake to test doneness. If the toothpick comes back clean, the cake is done baking. If there is batter or crumbs on the toothpick, you will need to bake it a little longer.
  • Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack.

Video

Notes

  1. It is helpful to melt the coconut oil and honey together so the wet ingredients blend together easily.
  2. I have tested this recipe with King Arthur Measure for Measure GF, Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 GF blend, and Authentic Foods Multi Blend in this recipe. That doesn’t mean others will not work, I just have not tested other flours.
  3. If your gluten free flour blend doesn’t contain Xanthan Gum, add 1 teaspoon.
  4. Baking time may vary depending on if you use a round cake pan or a bread loaf tin.
  5. To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the donut. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the donuts need to bake longer.
  6. This cake will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.

SPECIAL NOTE

Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn’t test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 291kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 3gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 47mgPotassium: 123mgFiber: 2gSugar: 25gVitamin A: 43IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @FearlessDining or tag #FearlessDining!

Nutrition Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.

This post was updated with more information from an older January 2020 post.

5 from 8 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This cake was so delicious! I found I had what looked like a lot more batter than it appeared you did; I needed to bake the cake for close to an hour. Next time I think I will put most of the batter in the cake pan and a little bit in muffin tins. Thanks for a great recipe!