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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.61 / 5 (49 votes)

Prep time:
10 min
Cook time:
40 min

The sweetness of dates and maple syrup combine with the glorious crunchiness of three different types of nut in Rachel Allen's ultimate teatime treat


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4, then butter the sides and base 23cm spring-form or loose-bottomed cake tin and dust with flour. If you’re using a spring-form tin, make sure the base is upside down, so theres no lip and the cake can slide off easily when cooked.

2. Tip 100g of the nuts into a food processor and whiz for a couple of minutes until fine. Add the butter and sugar, then whiz briefly until the mixture is soft and fluffy. Add the eggs one at time, pulsing just to combine, then add the dates and pulse a few times to combine.

3. Tip the mixture into a large bowl, then sift in the flour, folding in just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared tin, then carefully arrange the remaining nuts in a circle or band about 5cm wide around the edge of the cake, leaving the centre free of nuts otherwise they’d weigh down the centre of the cake.

4. Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown on top and well risen – a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Remove from the oven and immediately brush the nuts and top of the cake with the maple syrup.

5. Allow to cool for 20 minutes, then loosen around the edges using a small, sharp knife and carefully remove the sides of the cake tin. Place on a wire rack to cool down fully, then use a palette knife or metal fish slice to loosen the bottom of the cake from the base of the tin and, with the help of the knife or fish slice, ease the cake onto a plate to serve.

Text © Rachel Allen 2012. Photography © Philip Webb 2012.
Recipe from:


  • 225 g mixed whole almonds, brazil nuts and walnuts
  • 200 g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 200 g brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 150 g pitted dates, chopped
  • 150 g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50 ml maple syrup

Tips and suggestions

When using walnuts, make sure to taste them before you add them to a cake, as if they are rancid or bitter they will affect the cake’s flavour.

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Latest Comment


I made this with mostly hazelnuts as I had a lot in my cupboard and it was fantastic. I'm trying not to eat it all at once as it's quite fattening, but can you tell me how long it would keep in an airtight tin, or would it freeze well?

brrm brrm brrm brrm  Posted 26 May 2013 11:10 PM

Suzukie Suzukie  Posted 01 Mar 2013 10:42 AM

Is the weight of the nuts correct? After making the cake, putting in 100g of nuts and decorating it I had lots left over.

Suzukie Suzukie  Posted 28 Feb 2013 11:27 AM

I made this last night and it turned out perfectly in my opinion. One thing I forgot to do was glaze the cake after cooking,nonetheless it did not deter my husband pouring Maple syrup on his portions which made it very sweet,I had without Maple syrup,and the taste was equally lovely with out being too sweet it spelled more to me. Delicious cake and fairly easy to make.I rate it five stars.

Patti C36706 Patti C36706 Posted 10 Dec 2012 12:05 PM

I've just started to learn to bake and thought I'd try this. I didn't read the recipe correctly and put the Maple syrup in the cake!! Then poured more on top to glaze it. I took it to work and it promptly disappeared. Everyone thought it was lovely.

KOSOVO KOSOVO Posted 20 Oct 2012 3:19 PM