I learned how to make date cake recipes in my early adult life. I have always loved these recipes or anything else made with dates. I have shared with you before about driving to Cincinnati as a kid with Mom and Dad and going to a bakery owned by close family friends (They could have been related). Anyway they made wonderful baked goods using dates. The date bars were my first taste of this fabulous fruit. I was overwhelmed and never forgot that taste.
As a kid we never had dates in the house; I think they must have been too expensive. We usually had raisins so there had to be a reason Mom did not buy dates; we all loved those date bars. Now knowing a little about the history of dates and that they have been used for eating and cooking in the Middle East for thousands of years, it must have cost too much for preserving and shipping.
The first recipe is my favorite. It has been on my list of Christmas cake recipes for many years and it is delicious. As you are learning how to make this date cake recipe you may hear some refer to it as the Brazil nut cake; I still cake it date cake. It doesn’t matter what the name is, the Brazil nuts and dates go very well together. Then add the great flavor of Maraschino cherries; how delicious!
When adding to my holiday recipes, I always look for good fruit and nut recipes. I am always wanting to learn how to make date cake recipes and add new ones to my collection. These along with a variety of flavors and spices seem necessary for my holiday baking. (Maybe it is the aroma that I like.) Many people say they don’t like fruit cake recipes but there are so many completely different tastes and textures.
The Potica cake is another form of fruitcake or date cake recipe. It is totally different from what one here in the United States classify as “fruitcake”. It is very popular in Eastern Europe and is made with yeast dough. The date filling is rolled up in the dough jelly roll style producing a wonderfully flavored cake.
I personally love most fruit cakes especially the date cake recipes. I usually make several at Christmas, cut them in small pieces and place them on my trays filled with a variety of cookies. They are firm and heavy and make a nice appearance on the trays. The various fruits and flavors help me to round off all the taste which I like to include in my holiday baking.
Preheat oven to 300F degrees; grease and line with wax paper a loaf pan 9X5X3 inches.
Combine nuts, dates and cherries in a large bowl.
Combine and sift over the fruit mixture the sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; stir to coat fruit.
In another bowl beat eggs until foamy; add in vanilla.
Stir egg mixture into the fruit and nut mixture until blended; spread into prepared pan.
Bake 1 ½ to 2 hours; cool 10 minutes and remove from pan.
Cool completely; sprinkle with whiskey and then wrap in whiskey soaked cheesecloth.
Over cheesecloth wrap with aluminum foil and store in refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.
The following date cake recipe is called a Potica cake. It is a traditional holiday cake for the Slovenian countries. Unlike most of our cake recipes it is made with yeast dough. It is made in layers but during the baking it all becomes one cake. And very delicious!
Heat butter and milk until butter melts.
Mix yeast in lukewarm water
Sift flour, sugar and salt together.
Stir the beaten egg yolks into the milk mixture; add to the flour mixture.
Add the yeast mixture to the milk and flour mixture; beat well and refrigerate overnight. (Dough is very sticky)
Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Combine dates, nuts, cinnamon, 3 tablespoons sugar and milk over heat stirring to a paste; cool.
Beat egg whites until stiff gradually beating in 1 cup sugar; fold in the cooled paste.
Roll out ½ of refrigerated dough into 20 inch square; spread ½ of filling over dough.
Roll dough up like a jelly roll and place into greased tube or bundt cake pan.
Repeat same with remaining ½ dough and filling; place over other roll in pan.
Bake 65 minutes; sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar.
Nut Filling for Potica Cake
Dough Ready for Potica Cake
Bundt Pan used for Potica Cake
Dough Ready for Filling
Spreading Nut Filling
Rolling Up Potica Dough
First Roll in Bundt Pan
Second Roll in Bundt Pan
Preheat oven to 350F degrees; grease, line with wax paper and flour an 8 inch square pan.
Cover the dates with the boiling water; cool to lukewarm.
Cream together shortening and sugar thoroughly; add egg and vanilla and beat well.
Add the date mixture to the creamed mixture.
Sift together flour, salt and baking soda; add to the date and creamed mixture.
Stir in nuts; spoon batter into prepared pan.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until pick comes out clean.
Remove cake from pan and cool completely; wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
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