Eggless Date Walnut Cake (Vegan)

This naturally sweetened Date Walnut Cake makes the perfect tea time cake! This soft, dense and rich cake is also vegan and easy to make for the holidays!
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Naturally sweetened with dates, this Date Walnut Cake is an easy to make cake for the festive season. The addition of walnuts adds a nice texture to this vegan cake.

a slice of date walnut cake cut from the cake and placed on a serving board

I am not a big fan of fruit cakes in general but somehow that changes around the holidays! I love making fruit cake and all other festive treats around the holidays.

This eggless date walnut cake is another favorite of mine which I often make for Christmas and gift to my friends and neighbors here. It’s an easy cake to make and ticks all the boxes which I associate with a nice, rich fruit cake for the season. It goes so well with a cup of tea, coffee or even hot chocolate.

Cake Texture

This vegan date walnut cake is a soft, moist and dense cake. Very similar to how fruit cakes are.

If you are expecting a lighter crumb and prefer those kind of cakes, then this isn’t the cake for you. On the contrary, if you enjoy a slice of those dense fruit cakes with a cup of hot chocolate for Christmas, then you will really enjoy this!

Ingredients

This cake is made with basic pantry staples and sweetened with dates!

ingredients for date walnut cake arranged on a board

Flour: I use a mix of all purpose and whole wheat (atta) for this recipe. I have tried this recipe with 100% whole wheat and thought it was too dense so 50-50 works better.

Dates: this cake is naturally sweetened with dates. Use pitted dates – I get the ones that are already pitted from Trader Joe’s but if you can find them, remove the seeds and then use. The amount of dates can be adjusted, use less number of dates for a less sweeter cake.

Flavoring: this cake is flavored with some cinnamon powder and vanilla extract. You can also use nutmeg, all spice.

Oil: I like using flavorless oil like avocado oil, canola oil or vegetable oil in this recipe.

Step by Step Instructions

1- Heat 1 & 1/4 cup oat milk (or use any milk of choice) in a wide pan on stove-top on medium heat. There’s no need to boil it, just heat it up until warm. Add around 25 pitted dates to it. Turn off heat and cover the pan with a plate/lid. Let the dates sit in warm milk for around 20 to 30 minutes until they really soften.

2- Transfer the soften dates along with the milk to a blender.

3- Blend until you have a smooth paste. Meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 350 F degrees and spray a 8-inch round pan with non-stick spray and set aside. I usually line the pan with a round parchment paper and then spray with non-stick spray.

4- Transfer this dates-milk paste to the steel bowl of your stand mixer (or to another bowl if using hand mixer) along with 1/2 cup oil. Beat using paddle attachment of your stand mixer until it’s all well combined.

step by step picture collage of making eggless date walnut cake

5- Now, add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.

6- Place a large sifter on top of the bowl. Add 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 cup atta (whole wheat flour), 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 & 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and pinch of salt. Sift these ingredients into the bowl and then mix until combined using the paddle attachment.

7- Add 1/4 cup of oat milk and mix.

8- Sift in the remaining 1/4 cup all purpose flour and remaining 1/4 cup atta (whole wheat flour) and mix until combined. Do not over-mix the batter. Add additional 3-4 tablespoons of oat milk here as needed to thin out the batter a little (total oat milk added is around 1/2 cup, this is other than the 1 & 1/4 cup that we had used earlier to soak the dates). It’s a thick batter.

step by step picture collage of making eggless date walnut cake

9- Add in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

10- Fold using a spatula until the walnuts was mixed with the batter.

11- Transfer the batter into the prepared 8-inch round pan. Top with few walnuts pieces.

12- Bake at 350 F degrees for around 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, cover the pan at 30 minutes mark with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Transfer cake onto a wire rack to cool completely. Let it cool for 3 to 4 hours before slicing. This is a dense cake so do not slice it while it’s warm.

step by step picture collage of making eggless date walnut cake

Storage

The cake stays good at room temperature for 3 to 4 days when covered in an airtight container.

Keep it in the fridge and it will last for around 7 days. You can also freeze the cake if you wish to store it for more time.

Cool Completely

I cannot stress this enough but since this this is a dense cake, it really needs to be cooled completely. Let it cool for 3 to 4 hours before slicing. If you cut it too soon, it might be raw in the middle and no one wants that.

Using 100% Whole Wheat Flour (Atta)

I did test this recipe with 100% atta and while it was good as well, it was much more dense. This is a dense cake to begin with and 100% whole wheat just makes it more dense. If you don’t care about that, then sure go ahead and use 100% whole wheat.

You would need 1.5 cups/195 grams of whole wheat flour in that case, since that’s the total amount of flour in this recipe.

Making The Cake Less Dense

If you want to make this date walnut cake lighter and less dense, I would recommend 2 things-

  • use 100% all purpose flour (1.5 cups/195 grams), this will make the texture lighter.
  • cut the amount of dates into half and replace with some white sugar. Although of course then the cake would not be refined sugar-free but again this step will make the crumb lighter.
a small piece from the cake on a fork to show the texture of the cake

Using Other Milk Alternatives

I made this date walnut cake vegan and hence used oat milk. You can use dairy if you don’t care about the cake being vegan. And if you want to keep it vegan and you don’t have oat milk, you can definitely substitute with other non-dairy milks like almond milk and cashew milk.

Baking In Loaf Pan

If you wish to bake this cake in a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, I would suggest reducing the oven temperature to 325 F degrees. Bake at 325 F for 65 to 75 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Check from 65 minutes mark and go from there.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does this cake crack on top?

This cake batter is really dense so the outside of the cake bakes faster than inside of the cake. And when this happens, the inside of the cake rises and hence forms those cracks on top. It’s honestly no big deal!

Can I replace walnuts with any other nuts?

Definitely! Pecans will work well and also hazelnuts, almonds or cashews will be nice. I would definitely recommend some nuts in this cake for texture.

Is this cake very rich/heavy?

This is a fairly dense cake so yes a slice is quit heavy. Best enjoyed in moderation.

Is this Date Walnut cake healthy?

Not really. Sure the cake is naturally sweetened with dates but it’s still sugar and should be enjoyed in moderation.

Can I make this cake less sweet?

Yes, I would recommend using around 250 grams of dates for a less sweeter cake.

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Eggless Date Walnut Cake

a slice of date walnut cake cut from the cake and placed on a serving board
Manali
This naturally sweetened Date Walnut Cake makes the perfect tea time cake! This soft, dense and rich cake is also vegan and easy to make for the holidays!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 257 kcal

Ingredients

To Soak The Dates

  • 1 and 1/4 cup oat milk or use any milk of choice, 10 oz
  • 25 pitted dates around 350 grams, you can use 20 for a less sweet cake. I used medjool dates

For the Cake

  • 1/2 cup oil 4 oz, I used canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour 97.5 grams, divided
  • 3/4 cup atta (whole wheat flour) 97.5 grams, divided
  • `1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2-3 tablespoons oat milk as needed, use any milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 65 grams

Instructions
 

  • Heat 1 & 1/4 cup oat milk (or use any milk of choice) in a wide pan on stove-top on medium heat. There's no need to boil it, just heat it up until warm. Add around 25 pitted medjool dates to it. Turn off heat and cover the pan with a plate/lid. Let the dates sit in warm milk for around 20 to 30 minutes until they really soften.
  • Transfer the soften dates along with the milk to a blender.
  • Blend until you have a smooth paste. Meanwhile pre-heat your oven to 350 F degrees and spray a 8-inch round pan with non-stick spray and set aside. I usually line the pan with a round parchment paper and then spray with non-stick spray.
  • Transfer this dates-milk paste to the steel bowl of your stand mixer (or to another bowl if using hand mixer) along with 1/2 cup oil. Beat using paddle attachment of your stand mixer until it's all well combined.
  • Now, add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  • Place a large sifter on top of the bowl. Add 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 cup atta (whole wheat flour), 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 & 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and pinch of salt. Sift these ingredients into the bowl and then mix until combined using the paddle attachment.
  • Add 1/4 cup of oat milk and mix.
  • Sift in the remaining 1/4 cup all purpose flour and remaining 1/4 cup atta (whole wheat flour) and mix until combined. Do not over-mix the batter. Add additional 3-4 tablespoons of oat milk here as needed to thin out the batter a little (total oat milk added is around 1/2 cup, this is other than the 1 & 1/4 cup that we had used earlier to soak the dates). It's a thick batter.
  • Add in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Fold using a spatula until the walnuts was mixed with the batter.
  • Transfer the batter into the prepared 8-inch round pan. Top with few walnuts pieces.
  • Bake at 350 F degrees for around 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, cover the pan at 30 minutes mark with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning. Transfer cake onto a wire rack to cool completely. Let it cool for 3 to 4 hours before slicing. This is a dense cake so do not slice it while it's warm.
  • Once cooled, slice into pieces and enjoy. Keep leftovers covered at room temperature for 3-4 days.

Notes

  1. Let the cake cool for 3 to 4 hours before slicing. It’s really important to let it cool.
  2. You can use 100% all purpose flour (1.5 cups/195 grams of all purpose flour) for a lighter cake or 100% whole wheat flour (1.5 cups/195 grams of whole wheat flour/atta) for a more dense cake.
  3. Use around 250 grams of dates for a less sweeter cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 257kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 4gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 59mgPotassium: 200mgFiber: 3gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 17IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

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