August 4, 2021

Salted Maple Date Cake

This Salted Maple Date Cake was inspired by an old recipe I found in a family cookbook. About ten years ago, I assembled favorite family recipes from my mother’s side of the family into a cookbook, which I gifted to everyone for Christmas that year. This year, I’ve been revisiting a lot of those recipes, especially baked goods, and I discovered an old-fashioned date coffee cake recipe.

My mom loves dates, and she was thrilled to enjoy a recipe from her childhood. Over the past few months, I began tweaking the recipe, playing with additions and substitutions. The whole time, I had my mom in mind, so I continued to play with some of her favorite foods and flavors, until I landed on this final version. Maple and pecans are two ingredients that immediately make me think of my mom, and sure enough, this Salted Maple Date Cake was a winner!

Most of the sweetness in the cake itself comes naturally from the dates, but the addition of a small amount of brown sugar gives the cake moisture. The original recipe did not have a glaze, but it’s what sends this version over the top with flavor. It also gives this cake a flair of fall seasonality, making it the perfect cake to celebrate my mom’s birthday this week.

The only thing my mom and I haven’t decided is whether this cake is a coffee cake to enjoy at breakfast, or if it’s a dessert. I’ll leave that up to you to decide! I’m sure my mom would tell you that she’ll eat it any time of day, especially on her birthday!

Assemble your ingredients.

Cream the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Then add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla.

Whisk your dry ingredients to combine.

Alternate adding dry ingredients and almond milk to help your cake become moist and tender.

Spread your cake batter into a prepared 9x13" baking dish. Top with half a cup chopped dates and the pecans before baking.

While the cake is baking, make the salted maple glaze.

Once the cake has cooled, drizzle glaze over the top.

Original publication date: November 12, 2020

Salted Maple Date Cake

Salted Maple Date Cake combines old-fashioned recipe inspiration with modern flavors for an autumn treat to enjoy any time of day!


Kira Freed - The Joyful Plateful











2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. sea salt

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

3 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 cups pitted, chopped dates, divided

1 cup pecan pieces

For the glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

5 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

3/4 tsp. sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13” baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon. Whisk to combine, and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate fully after each addition. Add vanilla and beat to combine. (Alternatively, if you do not have a stand mixer, this step can be done in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer.)
  4. To the creamed mixture, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients, and mix gently to combine. Once incorporated, add 1/2 of the almond milk to the batter, and mix to combine. Repeat - add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, mix, then the remaining half of the almond milk, mix, and end with the final 1/3 of dry ingredients.
  5. Gently fold in 1 1/2 cups of the chopped dates (reserving 1/2 cup for the top of the cake).
  6. Pour batter into prepare baking dish, and smooth it evenly in the pan. Scatter the reserved 1/2 cup chopped dates over the top of the cake, then scatter the 1 cup pecan pieces evenly over the top.
  7. Place cake in the oven to bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake; if it comes out clean, the cake is done.
  8. While the cake is baking, make the glaze. Combine powdered sugar, maple syrup, and salt in a bowl and stir until smooth. Set aside.
  9. Once the finished cake is cooled, drizzle the salted maple glaze over the top.
  10. Slice cake into squares to serve! Enjoy with a hot beverage such as coffee or tea.
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November 4, 2023
Jana Schroeder
Kira made this dish for a bridal shower I hosted. She decorated it with skewers of cucumelons. It not only looked delightful, but tasted wonderfully refreshing! So much flavor!