Make Ahead

Take to the Lake Cake

November 23, 2020
0 Ratings
Photo by Jane Herman
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 9x13 cake pan
Author Notes

As a kid, our family spent summer weekends at a lakeside campground, boating, water skiing, swimming. The night before leaving, my mother, Rosemary Patten, would make this cake to bring along, as it was simple, moist, and with no frosting, could be eaten out of hand. If I feel it needs embellishment, caramel sauce, whipped cream or applesauce are my favorites. My mother's version was called "Choc-bit Nut Cake" but I amped up the dates, used butter instead of shortening, and omitted the nuts. —Jane Herman

What You'll Need
  • 12 ounces Dates cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup Boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon Baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Cocoa powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces Chocolate chips
  1. Spray 9 x 13 cake pan with non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut up dates into 1/2 inch pieces. Dipping scissors into hot water makes it quick. Discard pits. Pour 1 cup boiling water over dates and let sit till lukewarm. Then add 1 t. baking soda to dates.
  3. Cream butter and sugar in mixer till fluffy. Add cocoa powder and mix till incorporated.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping bowl occasionally.
  5. Combine flour and salt and gradually add to batter till incorporated. Scrape down beater and sides. Add vanilla extract.
  6. When date/water/baking soda mixture is lukewarm, gradually add to batter on slow speed. Mix till just combined. Pour into greased cake pan
  7. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of batter. Don't mix them into the batter. You want them to just sit on top.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
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