Date and Walnut Cake – Gluten Free

date and walnut cake

date and walnut cake sliced on a cake rack with a buttered slice and fresh dates scattered

We grew up with date and walnut cake as it was one of Mums favourites. Moist, with a light crumb, loaded with dates and walnuts and scented with the mixed spice. Mum used to makes hers using cylinder cake tins which produced a golden roll cooled and spread with a generous swipe of hard butter. Yum! Date and walnut cake was often in the pantry for after school snacks. Perfect.

We grew up on a farm that had once been a nursery and had the most magnificent walnut tree. As children we were always climbing the long branches and playing games in the tree. Mum would dry the walnuts in the sun for a few days and then pop them in a bowl along with a nut cracker for snacking on.

Fresh versus dried dates 

Weʼve used fresh Medjool dates for this date and walnut cake as they have a rich caramel taste with a soft, chewy texture. Dried dates that you will find in the cooking isle in supermarkets generally need to be soaked in hot water for 10 minutes before using.


Date and walnut cake freezes extremely well.


You can swap out the walnuts for pecans, Macadamia, hazelnuts or pistachio nuts.

If you love nuts in your cakes check out our  Italian lemon almond and white chocolate cake   for another fabulous cake recipe using nuts.

Whatʼs your favourite cake and nut recipe?

Leave a comment below and let us know!

date and walnut cake
Yield: 10 serves

Date and Walnut Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

This moist date and walnut cake is easy to put together and keeps really well. 


  • 7 ounces (200 g) fresh medjool dates (about 10 dates) pitted and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cupe cake flour or all purpose (plain flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup packed soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


  • preheat oven to 325 f (165 c) bake
  • grease a 8-9 inch (20 - 22 cm) rectangular cake tin
  • mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and mixed spice
  • in a separate bowl mix together oil, brown sugar, honey, eggs and vanilla
  • add dry ingredients mixing well 
  • add dates and walnuts and mix thoroughly
  • pour batter into tin
  • bake on middle shelf for 55-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean - see notes
  • set cake tin on cake rack and allow to cool
  • remove cake from tin
  • serve and enjoy!


  • test cake in several places as you may skewer a moist date 
  • cake freezes well

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 331Total Fat 23gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 20gCholesterol 37mgSodium 172mgCarbohydrates 28gFiber 1gSugar 16gProtein 4g

Nutritional information provided here is only intended as a guide.

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  1. Rita Piparo says:

    This cake was very easy to make and enjoyed by the entire family. Often gluten free cakes have a nasty taste or texture, this does not! An excellent recipe, thank you.

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Rita, we’re with you on the gluten free recipes that miss the mark. So glad you and your family enjoyed the cake. Thanks for sharing, Jo and Jen

  2. Hi Rita
    Looks great, thank you for the recipe. Some questions.
    Can you use gf self raising flour instead of plain and baking powder?
    Is the mixed spice essential?
    Can the amount of sugar be halved?

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Rita, the mixed spice and sugar can easily be omitted and halved respectively and as far as substituting the plain flour and baking powder is concerned we really can’t see why you couldn’t substitute them for self raising flour. The results may be slightly different but over all we believe the recipe would still work. Hope this helps, Jo and Jen

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi, you could use olive oil as long as it’s not too peppery or strong tasting. Regards, Jo and Jen

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