This scrumptious home-style cake is loaded with chunks of dates and walnuts. It gets much of its moistness from the brown sugar cream sauce that’s brushed over the just-out-of-the-oven cake and allowed to soak in. Finish it off with a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche.
2 (8-oz.) pkg. pitted dates, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut up
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; sprinkle with flour. Combine dates and water in medium bowl; stir in baking soda. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.
2. Beat 1 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar in large bowl at medium speed 3 minutes or until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and 1 teaspoon orange peel. At low speed, beat in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in dates with their liquid and walnuts. Spread in pan.
3. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, bring cream and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar to a boil in medium saucepan. Add 1/2 cup butter; simmer 5 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the sauce to brush over cake. Simmer remaining sauce 10 minutes to thicken; stir in 1 teaspoon orange peel.
5. Invert cake onto wire rack. Poke all over with a toothpick. Brush reserved 1 cup sauce over surface of cake; cool at least 45 minutes. (Cake can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and store at room temperature. Refrigerate sauce.) Serve warm or at room temperature with warm sauce.
PER SERVING: 555 calories, 32.5 g total fat (16.5 g saturated fat), 6 g protein, 64 g carbohydrate, 110 mg cholesterol, 235 mg sodium, 3.5 g fiber