Boiled date cake

This easy cake, made in a single saucepan, is delicious served warm with cream, custard or ice-cream, cold with butter, or just on its own.

  • 50 mins cooking
  • Serves 10
  • Print


Boiled date cake
  • 185 gram butter, chopped
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 3/4 cup (150g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (145g) coarsely chopped seeded dried dates or prunes
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 1/2 cup (225g) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten lightly


Boiled date cake
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease 20cm baba pan well (it's important to grease the baba pan well; sugary mixtures such as this tend to stick to the pan).
  • 2
    Combine butter, milk, sugar and dates in large saucepan. Using wooden spoon, stir over heat until butter melts. Bring to a boil; remove from heat, stir in soda. Stand 10 minutes.
  • 3
    Quickly stir in flours and egg. Spoon mixture into prepared pan.
  • 4
    Bake cake in moderate oven about 40 minutes. Turn cake onto wire rack to cool.


Chopping dates is made easier by using kitchen scissors instead of a knife. The baking soda not only helps soften the fruit, but also gives the cake a beautiful golden colour. This cake can also be baked in a deep 20cm-round cake pan. Grease the pan and line the base. Bake in moderate oven about 55 minutes. Cake will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days at room temperature or up to 1 week in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Cake can be frozen for up to 3 months.

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