spiced sticky date, caramel and star-anise cakes

  • 20 soft fresh dates (400g), pitted and chopped
  • 1½ cups (375ml) boiling water
  • 1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of (baking) soda
  • 150g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 1 cup (175g) light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cups (225g) self-raising (self-rising) flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 1⅓ cups (400g) store-bought thick caramel or dulce de leche
  • star-anise, for decorating
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Line 2 x 12cm round cake tins with non-stick baking paper, allowing 2cm of paper to sit above the edges. Place the dates, water and bicarbonate of soda in a medium heatproof bowl and allow to soak for 10 minutes. 
  2. Place the date mixture, butter and sugar in a food processor and process until well combined. Add the eggs, flour, cinnamon and mixed spice and process until just combined. Divide the mixture between the tins. Bake for 55 minutes – 1 hour or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
  3. Trim the tops from the cakes, using a large serrated knife. Place each cake onto a cake stand or plate. Using a small palette knife, spread the caramel evenly over the top and sides of the cakes. Decorate with star-anise+. Serves 6–8

+ The star-anise in this recipe are simply for decoration – you can remove them from the cakes before eating.

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donna hay team

Hi Chrissy,  the cake tin should be 2 x 12cm round cake tins as the recipe suggests. We do however say in the recipe to line the tin 2cm above the rim of the cake as it is a generous amount of cake batter to bake a tall cake. The DH team

Hanri Delanty

I found that the mixture didn’t fit into 2 x 12cm tins, is this right?

Chrissy Denison

Can someone please confirm the Tin size? I think there is too much mix for 2x13. I made 3x 10 and 1 x20. tastes amazing anyway.

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