This Coconut Date Pudding Cake has an incredibly moist date cake layer topped with caramelized coconut topping — be sure to serve it with a scoop of ice cream!
So I was asked to bring a dessert to my in-laws for Thanksgiving.
That’s pretty normal, except for the one time my mother-in-law accidentally asked me to bring a salad. I was a little confused, but I wasn’t going to ask her what she was thinking, so I made a salad. I’m sure I used a recipe and everything.
She’s never asked me to bring another salad.
Not that it was a bad salad, but I think when she said “salad” she meant “dessert”, and she’s never made the same mistake again.
So my husband asked me what I was thinking of bringing, some new idea I was going to try out?
I said, “No, something I’ve made before –“
“What?! You don’t make things twice.”
“Actually, I’ve made this recipe two times, but not for quite a while. You probably won’t even remember it. It’s a date coconut cake, I know it sounds kind of lame –“
“No! It doesn’t sound lame. I remember that cake! It’s like all warm, and gooey….”
“Yeah! It’s more like a pudding-y cake, and we ate it with ice cream..”
For real. These are the things we talk about.
I didn’t even make up that conversation just to have something somewhat interesting to say to you before I hand over the recipe. I wish you could have seen his eyes light up when I told him what I was going to make.
We both get pretty excited about our dessert.
And just food in general.
If you’ve never baked with dates before, there’s no reason to be afraid or weirded out. The dates don’t have a really strong flavour, they add such incredible moisture and a mild, fruity flavour to the cake. Just make sure you pick up pitted dates, and all you have to do is chop them up and soften them in some water. They will be pretty dense and chewy before you soak them — that is nothing to worry about!
The cake is so rich and moist, and then it’s topped with a coconut and brown sugar topping that is out of this world. Can you even believe this is light? You could eat it plain, and it would be totally amazing.
Me? Mine looks a little more like this.
But it’s less than 300 calories a piece, so I can top it with whatever I want, right??
*This post was originally written in November 2014 and the photos and recipe have been updated. My apologies for all that stuff about my life 😉
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Coconut Date Pudding Cake
- 1 cup chopped pitted dates
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 tbsp butter
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour I do about 50% whole wheat
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 tsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9″ springform pan (you can use a regular 9″ pan as well).
- In a small pot, combine dates, water, baking soda, butter and salt and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Set aside for 10 minutes for dates to soften.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, vanilla and egg. Pour in date mixture and whisk until combined. (I like to mash my dates a little with the whisk as I go).
- Spread into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare your topping. Combine brown sugar, coconut, butter and milk in a small pot (I use the same one from the dates, and just wipe it out a little). Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 1 minute.
- Pour brown sugar mixture over cake and bake another 10-12 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool 5 minutes before running a knife around the edge and loosening the sides of the pan. Serve warm or cool completely before serving.
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Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. says
This look amazing, and I generally am not one for date filled desserts. Or dates in general! But this looks so good I think I need to try it! Love the melty ice-cream in that last photo!
I’ve used them in cakes and puddings a few times and I just love how much moisture they give! You should definitely try it out 🙂
Allie | Baking a Moment says
Lol sounds a lot like me and my husband! We have the same kinds of conversations. I can’t believe this is less than 300 cals a slice, girl how’d you do that!? It looks like a sticky toffee pudding only better because coconut 😉
Well, I didn’t do it. Cooking Light did it — but I am so glad they did! Lol.
Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel says
Dates are my fave! And this cake sounds amazing. My hubby would probably think date cake sounded weird too, but he’d try it and love it!! This is so much better than salad. 🙂
I totally agree Jess! Thanks 🙂
Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction says
Love the coconut brown sugar topping! My family would love this, especially with a scoop of ice cream!
Thanks Jessica! It’s pretty irresistible!
Cyndi - My Kitchen Craze says
How cute are you and your husband! It sounds just like my hubby and I. It seems like all we talk about is food now a days. This cake looks so good, then add the ice cream and carmel. I’ve never cooked or baked with dates, but I like them. Here in the dessert where I live we actually have date farms. I need to get on this band wagon asap! 🙂
You definitely need to give them a try Cyndi!
Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust says
LOL, I would have thought vegetable salad too…dessert never would have crossed my mind. And this cake? GOOEY to the max, love it!
I think she was talking about a vegetable salad Dorothy, but I think she maybe forgot who she was asking momentarily… Lol. I’m not known to be a really big salad maker or eater! Thanks!
I don’t think I’ve ever baked with dates before. This cake looks and sounds amazing. It must be if you’ve made it more than once! I am the same way. Only remake things that I really, really, really like.
It is really good Christin! I don’t bake with dates very often, but they add such incredible moisture — we love it!
Rachel @ Bakerita says
Wow, this looks amazing! And I love how lightened up it is. Dates add such a lovely flavor to cakes, but I always forget about them. Can’t wait to try this!
Thanks Rachel! I don’t use them very often, but I found this recipe on Cooking Light a few years ago and we really liked it!
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely says
One of my favorite things about cooking is my husbands reactions. He just loves food! Sounds you and your mister are similar. This cake sounds amazing!
Haha, oh yeah, he is NOT complaining! He does a pretty good job as taste tester 🙂
Kelly - Life Made Sweeter says
I love coconut and dates and can’t wait to try this cake! It look so gooey and amazing! I’m with you, since it’s lighter that definitely means you can top it with ice cream and caramel! Totally the best way 🙂 Pinning!
Thanks Kelly! It all balances out, right 😉
Nora @ Savory Nothings says
Love this recipe Ashley! And the conversation could have been at our home the exact same way 😀
Annie @Maebells says
My mom used to make a date cake that we all loved! I haven’t thought about it in years though! I love the addition of the coconut…and the ice cream…and the syrup..basically I just love it all!
Thanks Annie! They add such great flavor and moisture!
Shashi @ runninsrilankan says
Oooh – I AM excited about this cake! Dates are phenomenal to bake with – adding so much decadent moister and richness to a cake! I am drooling over here! Happy Thanksgiving btw!
Thanks Shashi! Dates are totally underappreciated!
Oh my gosh, THIS I have got to try! I absolutely adore dates and coconut, and this ooey gooey cake is making me drool! I think I fall into that last category along with ‘ya with ice cream AND caramel sauce atop my (extra-large) piece!
Thanks Sarah! You really can’t skip the ice cream!