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 nuts and is a wonderful cake for celebrating Tu B'Shevat, a beautiful celebration for the birthday of the trees.
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.
Have you heard of the celebration for the tree's birthday? Although 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 really 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 long!
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.
Why this recipe is great:
This date nut cake recipe is both gluten free 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 kind of nuts.
One of the things I love about this cake is the sweetness. If you prefer a cake that isn't as sweet, or if you plan to frost this cake (totally not necessary) you can reduce the sugar a little bit. Mr. Fearless Dining and I tend to make cakes a little less sweet...I think it is so we feel less guilty snacking on it :-).
Another fun Jewish treat that is perfect for Tu Bishvat are these Gluten Free Mandelbrot Cookies. They are fabulous dipped in coffee or tea!
What you need to make this recipe:
- 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 will need to add 1 teaspoon.
- Nuts - I switch between walnuts and pecans when I make this date nut cake, but you can use any nuts you like.
- Honey - You can use inexpensive honey in this recipe. Just make sure it is 100% honey with no additives.
Are you ready to make this easy date walnut cake recipe?
Recipe step by step directions:
Step 1: Add your dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk to blend. Add the chopped dates to the dry ingredients and mix well.
This step 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.
Step 2: In a smaller bowl, add the wet ingredients and mix well.
Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix well. TIP: Try not to overmix your cake batter or your cake will turn out denser than you may like.
Your cake batter will look like this consistency.
Step 4: If you use a cake pan for this cake, spray the pan with coconut oil and then line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
To get the piece of parchment paper to fit 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.
Step 5: Spread the cake batter in the pan and bake at 350º F for 30 minutes until done. (*Note, if you use a loaf pan, your baking time may be a little longer.)
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQ:
You can easily omit the nuts and this cake will be nut-free.
You can easily bake this cake in many types of cake pans. This cake will make one loaf pan shaped date and walnut loaf or one round cake.
I used almond milk but other dairy-free kinds of milk will work but I do not recommend canned coconut milk.
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 needs to bake longer.
Yes, you can replace the sugar with Lakanto. See below where a reader had great success with this substitution.
I did change the sugar with lakanto monk fruit as a sugar replacement and it turned out great."Nicole V. Pinterest User
More Tu B'Shevat recipes:
- Moist Gluten Free Banana Bread makes a delicious breakfast or snack!
- Stone fruit is the star in this Gluten Free Peach Cobbler recipe!
- Why buy granola when you can make this Homemade Cinnamon Granola at home?
- Mandarin oranges bake under the skin in this Roasted Mandarin Chicken and it is so good for dinner.
- Don't stop at your meals with fruit. Why not enjoy fresh grapefruit in this Grapefruit Margaritas recipe!
Gluten Free Date Nut Cake
- 1 cup gluten free flour blend
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup coconut oil melted
- ½ cup honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup almond milk
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup chopped dates pits removed
- Preheat the oven to 350º F
- Chop your dates and pecans, carefully removing the pit in each date.
- In a large 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.
- It is helpful to melt the coconut oil and honey together so the wet ingredients blend together easily.
- 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.
- If your gluten free flour blend doesn't contain Xanthan Gum, add 1 teaspoon.
- Baking time may vary depending on if you use a round cake pan or a bread loaf tin.
- 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.
- This cake will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.
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