This simple coffee cake made in a square pan is sweetened with dates and maple syrup and topped with a crunchy walnut crumble and a drizzle of sweet glaze. The cake has a hint of orange, with a cinnamon laced crumble on top . I have adapted this recipe from my all time favourite magazine Bake From Scratch.
a cake or sweet bread often flavoured with cinnamon or topped or filled with cinnamon sugar, eaten usually with coffee
Whether you serve it for breakfast, brunch, an afternoon snack, or dessert, coffee cake is is always a favourite. Coffee cakes are popular because they are easy to make and taste great. Unlike a frosted cake, a coffee cake comes out of the oven ready to eat with its topping already in place, or with just a simple drizzle to add to it. There are so many flavours, your options are endless. Traditionally it is a simple cake with cinnamon, but why keep things simple when you can spice them up to suit your taste. Although this one does have some sugar and maple syrup with it, the sweetening comes primarily from the delicious soft juicy dates.
- FOR THE CRUMBLE
- 63 gm (1/2cup) flour
- 55 gm (1/4cup) light brown sugar, packed firmly if using a cup
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons (35 gm) butter
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 57 gm (1/2cup) walnuts chopped
- FOR THE CAKE
- 128 gm chopped pitted dates
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (bicarb)
- 113 gm (1/2 cup) butter, softed
- 67 gm (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
- 73 gm (1/3 cup) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 188 gm ( 1 1/2 cups) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup full cream milk
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice , strained.
- FOR THE GLAZE (optional and this can be halved if you just want a drizzle of glaze)
- 110 gm (1/2 cup ) light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 57 gm (1/4 cup) butter
- 3 Tablespoons icing sugar
Preheat oven to 175ºC/350ºF and spray and flour an 8in square baking pan.
FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING
In a bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar , cinnamon and salt. Stir in butter and maple syrup until combined and work with your fingers to form the crumble. Stir in the finely chopped walnuts.
FOR THE CAKE
In a bowl soak the dates in the 1 cup boiling water with the 1/2 tsp baking soda. Leave for 5 minutes until dates are tender and soft and drain off all the water.
In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and both sugars at a medium high speed for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add the eggs one at a time. Stir in maple syrup and orange zest.
In another bowl whisk together sifted flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture mixing alternatively with the milk and orange juice, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined. This batter is thin.
Fold in finely chopped dates and pour batter into prepared pan.
Sprinkle with the crumb topping.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when inserting into the cake. Keep checking the cake and near the end loosely cover the top with foil if necessary to prevent excess browning ) You shouldn't have to do this but some ovens can be hotter than others. Cool cake on a rack.
FOR THE GLAZE
Heat brown sugar, butter and cream over medium heat. Bring to the boil and stir making sure that all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Whisk in icing sugar once the sauce has cooled. Drizzle over cake once the cake has cooled.
I have always wondered what constitutes a coffee cake and now I know. Awesome photos – I could easily have a slice of this every day with my morning tea.
I love the flavour and texture dates give to cakes, it’s so nice. Really like the sound of using them with classic coffee and walnut.
Hi Caroline, yes they are so lovely because they are not too sweet. Thank you for commenting.
I love the last photograph. What is the background Ev? Fabric or paper? I am not a big baker but a good eater. Lol Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.
Hi Ratna, The tuile background in the last image is from a wallpaper sample book. I was given a whole lot of old sample books and have cut out the ones that I like and stashed them away in my “props” cupboard. They are only small pieces 15″x 12″ but perfect for small top down shots. You should try and get some they make fantastic backgrounds. xxx