Ramadan is that period when you find dates of different varieties with colours ranging from honey yellow, red to brown in most shops and supermarkets. It is traditional to break the day-long fast with dates and water followed by a more consistent meal. Dates are also shared not only on the iftaar table but among the poor and needy as well as relatives and friends. I received a whole bunch of juicy medjool dates from one of my patients a couple of weeks back and have been wondering how to put them to good use. This beautiful recipe, from Three and a Half Chefs, has been passed down from mother to daughter to be posted on her blog for the world to view and share.



125 g unsalted butter

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 1/2 cups cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of kitchen salt

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 cup chopped dates, pitted

3/4 cup boiling hot water

1 teaspoon baking soda


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350 F. Lightly grease standard size 7 or 8-inch loaf pan.

  • Place chopped dates in a medium bowl. Drop one teaspoon of baking soda in 3/4 cup hot water.

  • Stir once and pour this mixture over the dates, stir and leave to sit. Cream the butter and sugar.

  • Add an egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and fold in.

  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl till just combined. Carefully fold in  pecans and date mixture.

  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes. Turn out on wire rack to cool.

  • Cool completely before storing the cake in an air-tight container. Slice and serve warm with tea.

Dates & Nut