This date syrup cake makes for a stunning and delicious dessert! It's almost identical in taste to classic English sticky toffee pudding, but using date syrup instead of whole dates makes for an all around quicker and easier recipe. It's an unbelievably flavorful and moist cake topped with a sticky and velvety caramel glaze!
Another recipe idea brought to you by a wonderful suggestion from Instagram!
This date syrup cake is basically sticky toffee pudding's not-so-evil twin because it's quicker and easier than the classic English dessert!
I know I say this a lot, but this is a seriously, SERIOUSLY moist cake. The date syrup helps insulate the cake from over baking and drying out, and makes for an ahhhhhmazing cake!
And is it maybe too early to start phasing out of fresh fruits and summer baking? Maybe. But I'm SO ready and SOOO excited to move onto fall, so the fall train has officially started on Eats Delightful!
While I ADORE the date syrup in this recipe, I know a lot of you may not have it on hand and aren't looking to buy any (although I highly, HIGHLY recommend you do).
Either way, no problem! You can replace it with an equal amount of honey or maple syrup. The flavor will be different, but it's still a pretty darn good cake!
what is sticky toffee pudding?
I mentioned above that this cake is VERY reminiscent of sticky toffee pudding! If you're not familiar with sticky toffee pudding (also called STP), let's do a quick introduction.
STP is an ultra moist cake made with chopped dates and drizzled with a sweet (and sticky!) toffee sauce. It is NOT a diet friendly food, but it IS so. so. good!
This version has about the same flavor going on as a classic STP, but instead of chopped dates, we're using date syrup in the cake. And instead of topping the cake with a toffee sauce, we're topping it with a caramel glaze.
date syrup cake ingredients:
• baking powder + baking soda
• salt: salt is super important (in all dessert recipes) but ESPECIALLY in this one! We have a lot of sugars and syrups going on, so salt really helps calm down the sweetness and round out the whole dessert!
• butter + oil: I love a butter / oil combo in cakes! Butter adds flavor and oil keeps everything moist and tender!
• brown sugar: brown sugar adds a light molasses flavor and adds moisture. If needed, granulated sugar works well in this recipe too
• date syrup: I reaaaalllyyy recommend buying yourself a bottle of date syrup - it really makes the entire flavor profile of this cake. Buuuut again, you can swap it out for honey or maple syrup. The flavor will be different though. Delicious, but different!
• sour cream
• caramel sauce: you can make your own homemade caramel sauce or use a store-bought bottle
• milk or heavy cream: to thin the glaze as needed. Some powdered sugars absorb more liquid than others, and not all caramel sauces will have the same consistency - so you may need a bit of added liquid for the glaze or you may not need any.
• powdered sugar
• pecans: optional, but a delicious pop of crunch!
how to make date syrup cake:
Make the date syrup cake:
1. Whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside to prep the wet ingredients.
2. Cream together butter, oil, and sugar. Mix together until well combined and you no longer see any large bits of butter. It should be relatively smooth, but some graininess from the sugar is totally fine and normal.
3. Add eggs in, one at a time. Whisk well after each addition before adding the next egg.
4. Whisk in vanilla and date syrup.
5. Alternate adding dry ingredients and sour cream to date syrup mixture. Mix in about half of the dry ingredients, followed by all of the sour cream. Then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Take care not to over mix - just whisk until you no longer see any streaks of dry flour. Some clumps are fine.
6. Pour batter into greased Bundt pan & bake.
7. Cool cake in pan for about 15 minutes, then turn onto wire rack and set aside to cool completely.
Make the caramel glaze:
1. Mix together caramel sauce and powdered sugar. If needed, gradually add in some milk or heavy cream to thin to your desired consistency.
2. Pour over cooled date cake and sprinkle with chopped pecans.
date syrup cake storage:
Store your cake in an airtight container, and it will keep for up to 4 days at room temperature or about 1 week in the fridge.
The caramel topping is QUITE sticky (which is a blessing and a curse in this case!) On the one hand, it's deliciously toffee like, on the other hand, storage can be a bit tricky. Best case scenario is you'll use a cake server with a lid so nothing is touching the glaze.
But it's not really a common household item (I mean, you see how many cakes I make? I don't even own one!) So another option is to use a container with high enough sides that go over the top of the cake.
If all fails, it's really not the end of the world if you cover it with plastic wrap touching the cake and the glaze. But be emotionally prepared to have it stick and not really look the same as you left it!
For that reason, I prefer to reserve glazing the cake until right before I want to serve it. This cake was gone in a flash, so storage wasn't much of an issue with us lol
Check out these other recipes!
Date Syrup Cake Recipe
For the date syrup cake:
- 2 & ½ cups (300g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick / 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ¼ cup (60mL) vegetable oil or any other neutral flavored oil
- ½ cup (100g) packed brown sugar, light or dark
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (180mL) date syrup * see notes for substitutions
- ¾ cup (180g) sour cream
For the caramel glaze:
- ½ cup (120mL) caramel sauce (homemade or store-bought both work fine)
- 1 cup (130g) powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- milk or heavy cream, as needed to thin the glaze
- chopped pecans (optional - for topping)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 inch Bundt pan with vegetable oil or butter, and set aside.
- Make the date syrup cake: In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine, and set aside to prep the wet ingredients.
- In a large bowl, combine butter, oil, and sugar. Using an electric mixer fitted with the beater attachment, or a whisk by hand, cream together until relatively smooth and pale in color. The mixture will still be grainy, but you shouldn't see any visible clumps of butter. This will take about 30 seconds with an electric mixer set on medium speed, or 1 minute by hand.
- Whisk eggs into the butter mixture one at a time, mixing well after each addition, until fully combined. Whisk in vanilla extract and date syrup until fully incorporated.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients and sour cream to the wet ingredients. Start by mixing in about half of the dry ingredients until combined. It's ok if there are a few streaks of flour in the batter at this point. Add in sour cream and whisk until combined. Finish by adding in the remaining dry ingredients, and mix until just combined and there aren't any visible streaks of flour. Take care not to over mix! The batter should be a bit clumpy.
- Pour the batter into your greased Bundt pan. Use a spoon or spatula to smoothen the top into an even layer.
- Bake the date syrup cake in the center of your preheated 350°F oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean of batter. If you find the cake is browning too quickly, loosely tent the top with aluminum foil to finish cooking the cake through the center.
- Cool the cake for about 15 minutes in the pan, then turn onto a wire rack and set aside to cool completely to room temperature.
- Make the caramel glaze: In a medium bowl, combine caramel sauce and powdered sugar. Whisk together until smooth and pourable. If the glaze is too thick, gradually whisk in some milk or heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Pour the glaze over the cooled cake and sprinkle chopped pecans over top. Slice and serve!