About this recipe:A rich and delicious date and nut cake, soaked in an easy orange syrup. If you didn't have time to make a Christmas cake and let it age, this is a nice booze-free alternative. You can use walnuts instead of pecans.
225g butter, softened
400g caster sugar
420g self-raising flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon extract
300g dates, pitted and chopped
220g chopped pecans
475ml orange juice
420g icing sugar
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Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas 3. Grease a 25cm tube cake tin and line the bottom with parchment. Grease the parchment. Dredge the dates and nuts in the flour, shake off excess and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well. Add flour, alternating with milk, and mix well. Add vanilla and lemon extracts. Fold in nuts and dates.
Pour cake mixture into prepared tin. Bake at 170 C / Gas 3 for 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and pour orange syrup over cake immediately. Cool in tin for 30 minutes, then remove from tin. Let stand upside-down overnight, then turn over and serve.
To make the orange syrup: In a medium bowl, combine orange juice and icing sugar. Mix until smooth.
You can use two 2lb / 900g loaf tins instead of the tube tin. Simply adjust baking time as needed.