In the 1970s, my mother’s close acquaintance, Jane, created a delightful cake recipe that quickly gained popularity among our Western New York community. Her delicious creation was an instant hit, becoming a go-to dessert at picnics, potlucks, and parties. As a result, the recipe was highly sought after, with many ladies in the community requesting it. Over time, this cake has become a local favorite, cherished by many for its rich and flavorful taste. If you’re looking for a dessert that’s sure to impress, give Jane’s cake a try!
- Boiling water – Boiling water is an essential ingredient in this cake recipe. It helps to soften the dates, which add natural sweetness to the batter.
- Dates – The cake calls for 1 cup of pitted and chopped dates, specifically Medjool dates, which are known for their rich, caramel-like flavor. Dates are a great natural sweetener and an excellent source of fiber, potassium, and antioxidants.
- Vegetable shortening – This ingredient adds moisture and tenderness to the cake. It also helps to create a fluffy and light texture, making the cake soft and tender.
- Sugar – Sugar adds sweetness to the batter and also helps to create a golden brown color as the cake bakes.
- Eggs – Eggs are a binding agent that helps to hold the batter together. They also add richness and flavor to the cake.
- All-purpose flour – Flour is the main ingredient in the cake, providing structure and stability to the batter.
- Cacao powder – This ingredient gives the cake a rich, chocolatey flavor. The recipe calls for 1 heaping tbsp of Hershey’s Special Dark cacao powder, which is a high-quality, unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Baking soda – Baking soda is a leavening agent that helps the cake rise in the oven.
- Salt – A pinch of salt brings out the flavors of the other ingredients and helps to balance the sweetness of the cake.
- Sugar – The topping calls for 1/2 cup of sugar, which adds a sweet and crunchy layer to the cake.
- Chopped nuts – The recipe recommends using 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, which add a nutty and earthy flavor to the topping.
- Chocolate chips – 12 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chips are used to create a decadent and rich chocolate layer on top of the cake. The chips should be evenly distributed over the cake and will melt in the oven, creating a delicious chocolate glaze.
In summary, the cake’s batter is made up of several essential ingredients, including boiling water, dates, vegetable shortening, sugar, eggs, all-purpose flour, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt. The topping is made up of sugar, chopped nuts, and bittersweet chocolate chips. Each of these ingredients adds a unique flavor and texture to the cake, creating a delicious and decadent dessert that’s sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.
Medjool dates are a type of fruit that are often referred to as “nature’s candy” due to their natural sweetness and caramel-like flavor. These dates are a rich source of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber, making them a popular and healthy alternative to processed sweeteners.
Medjool dates are grown on palm trees and have a soft, chewy texture that makes them a perfect snack on their own or as a natural sweetener in recipes. They are particularly rich in potassium, which is an essential mineral that helps regulate blood pressure, supports heart health, and aids in proper muscle function.
In addition to their nutritional benefits, medjool dates are also a great source of antioxidants. These compounds protect cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Whether you are looking to add natural sweetness to your favorite recipe or simply enjoy a healthy snack, medjool dates are a versatile and delicious choice. They are widely available in grocery stores and can be used in a variety of dishes, including desserts, smoothies, and savory recipes. So, the next time you’re looking for a healthy and tasty alternative to processed sugar, consider adding medjool dates to your diet.
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Jane’s Chocolate-Date Snack Cake
The dates make it so incredibly moistand it even gets better the second day. The star ofthe cake is undoubtedly the chocolate chip, sugar,and walnut crumble on top. I love that you bake the chocolate chips, yet they retain their shape.Not only does the topping make the cake lookmouth-watering, but it also gives it a sweet touch.Trust me, this cake is a winner, and you’ll be so gladyou’ve added the recipe to your arsenal!
For the batter:
- 1¼ cup boiling water
- 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped I used medjool dates
- ¾ cup vegetable shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 heaping tbsp cacao powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
For the topping:
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup chopped nuts I used walnuts
- 12 ounces chocolate chips I used bittersweet
Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C, and grease or line a 13-inch x 9-inch x 2-inch pan.
Pour boiling water over the chopped dates and set aside about 10 minutes until no longer hot.
Combine shortening, sugar, eggs, and cooled date mixture in a large mixing bowl.
Add remaining batter ingredients and mix until combined.
Pour batter into your prepared pan.
In a small bowl, mix together the three topping ingredients. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the batter and pat it down slightly.
Bake for 35 minutes, and then allow to cool completely before cutting.