Williams Sonoma's date and walnut cake

It’s the first time I try one of Williams Sonoma’s recipes. So I went for a date and walnut loaf. This cake keeps well because of the existence of dates which keep it moist. It's orinally made using alcohol. But since I don't touch alcohol, I added orange juice instead.

Cake by Williams Sonoma

This cake is also healthy in a way you don’t have to put in a lot of fat, not to mention the goodness from dates and walnut.

The date and walnut loaf from different angles

Serves 10 to 12
prep: 15 min – baking: 50 min
  • 1 cup pitted dates, meaty and sweet preferably
  • 1 cup walnuts, lightly roasted and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup of currants, pre-soaked (my addition)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ cup of boiling water (original recipe calls for ¾)
  • ¼ of orange juice + zest of 1 orange (my addition)
  • 3 tbsp of butter, melted and brought to room temperature
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup of warm water

Orange syrup
  • ½ cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ¼ cup of orange juice


Preheat oven to 170 C.

Making the cake

Butter a 21 cm by 11 cm loaf pan (the medium-size one).

Soak the chopped dates in the orange juice for about 10 min.

In a large bowl, using a rubber spatula, stir baking soda and salt in boiling water and pour over dates with the orange juice. Add the chopped nuts, the melted butter, the vanilla and orange zest.

Mix eggs with sugar with a fork and add them to the previous mix. Finish with flour.

Bake for about an hour or until cake tester comes out clean. The cake will puff and darken.

The orange syrup

Mix all ingredients and let simmer over medium-hight heat for about 12-13 min. let cool on the side. 
You can also make orange syrup ahead of time. It keeps well in the fridge for weeks.

Finishing the cake
Prick the cake with a fine blade (a knife) in many places. Pour over an orange syrup or warm honey. This will add moist to the cake and a bit of shine.

Allow cake to cool.

This date and walnut cake keeps well for at least 3 days.

Note: While this cake is still nice. I'm still looking for THE recipe of a date cake like the one I used to have in Dubai..Unforgettable. It's true that the 100s of types of dates have something to do with it..


  1. Ciao Nada, how r u doing?! I had the chance to read your comments just a few days ago .. thank you so much! About this recipe, I just can say that it looks fantastic as all your posts!

  2. Beautiful looking cake - really moist and delicious. Looks a bit like a nicer version of an English Christmas cake... just not so darn dense and fruity.

  3. Incredible cake,looks super moist and nutty.

  4. Hi Serena, good to see you back! Thanks for your sweet words.

  5. Hi Charles, It was moist indeed and less dense than the Christmas cake.

    But sometimes we need something rich and dense like a good English Christmas cake..It's unbeatable.

  6. cake looks so great. delicious recipe

  7. Thanks Spice up the curry!

  8. lovely Recipe with beautiful pictures.

  9. Thanks a lot Rimli. SO sweet of you!


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