Walnut-Date Cake with Chocolate Acorn Kisses
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
  • 1½ cups pitted Medjool dates, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1½ cups boiling water
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • Vanilla Bean Buttercream (recipe follows)
  • Chocolate Acorn Kisses (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs
  1. In a medium bowl, combine dates, vanilla bean paste, and baking soda. Pour 1½ cups boiling water over date mixture. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in zests. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce mixer speed to medium-low. Add date mixture, and beat for 1 minute. (Mixture will look curdled.)
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating just until combined. Divide batter among prepared pans. Sprinkle walnuts over batter.
  5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread Vanilla Bean Buttercream between layers and on top and sides of cake. Top with Chocolate Acorn Kisses. Garnish with rosemary, if desired.
Recipe by Southern Lady Magazine at https://www.southernladymagazine.com/walnut-date-cake-with-chocolate-acorn-kisses-recipe/