Sunday, April 1, 2012

Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Caramel Date Cake

For those not in the know, during Pesach, or Passover, it is customary to abstain from eating certain foods, most commonly, anything leavened.  So for the traditional Passover Seder, or meal, you'll usually have an assortment of oddly flavored and textured desserts made of matzah meal, or flourless cakes and cookies.  But you know what?  Most of the GFG desserts I make are pretty much kosh for passover already!

This cake is easy enough to make just to have around the house but also special enough for a big dinner.  I was really eager to try this cake and I just knew it would turn out well- but I made a half batch this time just in case I encountered some hiccups. 

The caramel sauce topping is totally not necessary, but after my success with date caramels, I knew a yummy sugar free caramel sauce was possible.

This came out really moist from all the dates, and it is a bit sweeter than my usual desserts, since I knew that non GFG's would be eating it.  Try it out and see if you like it!

Caramel Date Cake 
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
6 room temp eggs
1/4 cup oil or melted butter (I used grapeseed but melted coconut oil, walnut, or canola would surely work)
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp liquid sweetener (like SF vanilla syrup for sugar free, honey, agave, brown rice syrup, coconut nectar, etc)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 to 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup of chopped dates

for the sauce:
1 cup of water
3 large medjool dates, or 4 or 5 medium ones
2 tbsp butter

In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, and salt.  In a separate bowl, beat your eggs, then add your liquid sweetener, extracts, and oil.  Stir well.  Pour wet into dry and mix.  It will look really really wet at first, but the coconut flour starts to suck up moisture pretty quick.  Then add in your chopped dates and combine.  Pour the batter into a parchment lined, or well greased cake pan.  Bake at 325 and start checking at 20 minutes.  This should rise a good amount.  Bake until the top turns golden brown and a knife comes out just barely clean.

For the sauce, bring a cup of water to a boil and drop in your medjool dates, make sure they have been pitted and smushed up first.  Let the dates boil about 10 minutes.  The sauce will have turned dark brown at this point- use a fork to pick out all the fibrous bits and continue reducing. Once it's thickened up, drop in your butter and stir like crazy.  In fact, you should really stir like crazy the whole time so it doesn't burn.  Remove from heat and spoon over your cooled cake.  Another option would be to use a toothpick to poke lots of holes in the cake and pour the sauce over it, so the cake absorbs it.

I hope you try this cake, it would make a wonderful easter dessert too!  I really feel like the almond extract adds a really important extra layer of flavor, so don't leave it out.  If you wanted to lighten this up a bit, I have a feeling that greek yogurt could stand in for much or even all of the oil.  Or try half flax/chia egg and half real eggs.  Let me know if you do make substitutions and how they turn out!

Don't have any suitable sugar free sweetener?  You can make your own syrup pretty easily by mixing your preferred sweetener, stevia, xylitol, erythritol, etc, with nut milk or water.  Not into dates?  Try canned pineapple, strawberries, cherries, or blueberries!  Happy eating! XoXoGFG


  1. sounds tasty. I will have to try for my kiddos, but without the dates. :)

  2. hi dawn! i've been thinking about maybe trying it with blueberries. let me know what you try it with!

  3. I just made a half-quantity of this which is probably just as well since I have already managed to eat three slices. Delicious. I have been looking for a substitute for my mother's famous date loaf and this is it. Best of all my four year old helped me make it and loves the taste of it. Thank you!

  4. Hey Rachel! I'm so thrilled this recipe worked for you! How fun your little one enjoyed it too! I am happy to be a resource, so glad this worked out. Thanks for visiting!