Also an overdue Christmas post, here is my great Aunt Esther’s date and pecan cake, with a confession. I hated this cake until I was about 30. Now I can’t get enough of it. I would make it all year, except the dates and nuts make it quite expensive. But it’s awesome.
Date Cake (nb: this recipe is reduced two thirds from the original, so that it fits in my pan. If you have a HUGE bundt pan, increase everything by half)
1 lb. dates
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. butter
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 1/2 C flour
1 t. b. soda
1 1/2 c. pecans
Chop dates and break up nuts and mix together with a bit of flour to keep from sticking. Butter and flour (very well!) a large bundt or tube pan.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs. Mix together flour, soda and salt. Add to butter mix, alternating with buttermilk (starting and ending with flour), just until combined. Stir in dates/nuts. Turn into pan and smooth top. Bang pan on counter. Bake at 325F for at least 1 hour (probably 1 hour 15 min). Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then turn out onto rack. Cool completely (about 2 hours), wrap and cover.
Here it is: