Sticky Date + Pecan Cakes

Every holiday season, as I prepare the list of baked goods I want to make, I always go back to family recipes. Many of them hold so many cherished memories. And honestly, isn’t that the real reason why Christmas is so special? I usually find myself sticking to the tried-and-true staples, but also end up trying some new recipes. These cakes aren’t really new: I found the recipe while going through old family recipes. This is one my grandma made, but I can’t actually recall ever eating it! While dates aren’t something we bake with very often, years ago dates were often used in desserts, prized for their sweetness and the fact that they were exotic. Nowadays, come the holiday season, large Medjool dates pop up in stores and I cannot stop myself from buying them. That’s the reason why this recipe is perfect this year! It’s a delicious and super moist cake, almost pudding-like, with a boozy sauce poured over the top and left to soaked in. Need I say more?

Sticky Date + Pecan Cakes
For the cakes
  1. 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  2. 1 cup dark brown sugar
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 2 cups applesauce
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 2 cups flour
  7. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  8. 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  9. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  10. 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  11. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  12. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  13. 1 cup chopped dates
  14. 3/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
For the sauce
  1. 1 cup dark brown sugar
  2. 1/2 cup clear syrup
  3. 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  4. 3 tablespoons butter
  5. 2 tablespoons cognac
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 tablespoon orange zest
For the cakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread pecans on a baking sheet in an even layer. Toast in oven until fragrant, 5-8 minutes. Remove from oven, cool and chop coarsely. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars, 3-5 minutes.
  4. Mix in the eggs until well combined.
  5. Add the applesauce and vanilla. Scrape the bowl and mix to make sure everything is incorporated.
  6. Sift together the dry ingredients and mix them, adding all at once. Mix until no dry streaks remain, 1 minute.
  7. Chop the dates. To decrease the stickiness of the dates, freeze them ahead of time. Additional, greasing a knife blade can help assist the chopping of the date.
  8. Add the dates and pecans, mixing to incorporate.
  9. Grease 8 6-ounce ramekins or one 9x9 inch baking dish. Scoop batter into ramekins and bake in preheated oven until set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. While the cakes are cooling, prepare the sauce. Alternatively the cooled cakes can be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to one month. Before serving, remove them from the freezer, warm for 10 minutes in a 200 degree oven then proceed with the sauce.
For the sauce
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, syrup and orange juice. Bring to a low boil over medium heat and continue to boil for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and add butter, cognac, vanilla, salt and zest. Stir to melt butter.
  3. Poke holes in cakes and slowly pour sauce over the warmed cakes. Allow the liquid to soak in and continue to pour until all sauce has been used.
  4. Add a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Serve immediately.
Wyse Guide

Sticky Date + Pecan Cakes | The Gray Boxwood

Sticky Date + Pecan Cakes | The Gray Boxwood

Sticky Date + Pecan Cakes | The Gray Boxwood

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  • OMG! These look amazing. You are going to have me baking and cooking all of December and I’m not even a good baker. Love your blog, videos and recipes!