Date Cake with Coconut Topping

Dates are a good way to lower the fat in desserts-they have a buttery taste when puréed and provide the moisture that fat would supply. Dates are a good source of protein and iron, too. To chop dates easily, use kitchen shears-or cook whole pitted dates and use a food processor to mash them after they’re cooked. Chopped, pitted prunes can be substituted for the dates.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch square cake pan with cooking oil.

2. For the cake, place the dates and water in a saucepan and bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook, stirring often, until the dates are soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Set the pan aside to cool for 10 minutes.

3. Mix the oil and granulated sugar in a large bowl or food processor. Beat in the eggs. Add the cooled date mixture and mix well.

4. Combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl, mixing well. Stir the flour mixture into the date mixture until everything is just blended. Pour into the prepared pan.

5. Bake in the center of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out dry. Cool in the pan on a rack.

6. For the topping, combine the coconut, brown sugar, milk and oil in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until the sugar dissolves. Pour the topping over the cooled cake and cut into squares.

12 oz pitted dried dates, chopped (2 1/2 cups)
1 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup 2 percent evaporated milk
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Nutritional Analysis per Serving

Calories 217
Protein 3g
Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 2g
Carbohydrates 41 g
Cholesterol 27 mg
Fiber 2g

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes

Make Ahead: Store covered at room temperature for 2 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.

Serves 16