This Date Coffee Cake with Walnuts and Espresso Glaze is so rich and full of flavor, you’ll enjoy it with coffee for breakfast or a salad with dinner. Espresso soaked dates and toasted walnuts are the star of the show and the espresso glaze the literal icing on the cake!
Welcome to Progressive Eats , our virtual version of a Progressive Dinner Party. Each recipe in our menu this month features coffee in some form: espresso granules, coffee grounds, brewed coffee, coffee extract, etc. Our host this month is Coleen from The Redhead Baker. When I saw that Coleen had chosen this theme; I was so excited. I honestly love coffee; that ONE cup I have each day is so perfect. I indulge with half and half and some Demerara Sugar and I never feel one moment of guilt; it’s the only cup I have all day and it’s delicious.
The funny thing is that I always loved coffee flavored everything; hard candies, ice cream, pies…you name it and I loved it. I just didn’t love coffee for many, many years. Long ago I discovered that my parents brand of already ground Folger’s was as much at fault as anything and with a good cup of coffee, half and half instead of skim milk, and sugar with a touch of molasses, well, it changed everything.
I still love it in foods and sometimes even find a way to wrap it into a cocktail (Irish Coffee anyone?). I don’t make anything with chocolate that I don’t add at least a pinch of espresso to; if you haven’t tried it you might be amazed at how much it elevates chocolate; I have some favorite cakes that are not coffee flavored at all but the addition of some dry espresso simply makes delicious become, well, amazing.
Just be forewarned…with both coffee and dates; that dark result you see? So not burned. Start testing early since the color of the cake is dark, you won’t be able to use browning as a visual to see if it looks done. Toothpicks to the rescue!
I should probably have mentioned this at the beginning of this article. I might have fibbed a little about this actually being ‘Bread.’ I heard coffee and love coffee cake and that’s where my head went; thinking we could make anything our hearts desired with coffee; we’ve done things like that before to keep this event interesting. When I saw that my smarter friends were still in keeping with a ‘dinner’ preparation I was a bit torn. This might lend itself a bit more to dessert, but not really something I would serve for dessert (does that even make sense?), so I stuck it in the bread category but that is pretty open to interpretation!
I would have this with breakfast all by itself with coffee. For lunch I would absolutely serve a slice next to a nice salad with fruit in it. For dinner though? Well, you just have to be like me and have breakfast for dinner; sometimes frying a quick egg is so easy and gives me the protein I need without having to really do a big meal. As a matter of fact that’s probably where I’m headed tonight as soon as I finish writing; I’ll prove it’s a dinner bread! 🙂
When I say it’s loaded with espresso-soaked dates and walnuts I’m not kidding. This is how I like my ‘breads’ – chock full of the goodness that is advertised. That coffee glaze is decadent in itself and adding some more toasted walnuts on the top, while born mostly from having toasted too many, was a good idea. I used to hate walnuts. Toasting them changed EVERYTHING…who knew I just didn’t like them raw.
One thing I should mention here; I use parchment paper for everything I bake. I also take photos of everything I bake. So trust the recipe…I used it here. I also removed this Date Coffee Cake with Walnuts and Espresso Glaze from the pan, pulled off said parchment and put it back in for photos. I love that loaf pan and it’s just too pretty to have semi-browned parchment hanging over it! If you are not a parchment addict, let me invite you to join the club.
I went for years following directions that for the most part meant either buttering or buttering and flouring cake pans to keep the goods from sticking; always hoping it would actually work and sometimes it did not. That segued many years ago to reading recipes that would occasionally call for parchment paper in the bottom. It worked so well that I’ve just made it my insurance policy. I use it everywhere! For this loaf cake I ran strips both directions and up the sides as well; for most cakes I simply use these precut 9″ parchment paper rounds and they have relieved so much stress; I love them.
I urge you to check out my friends who are participating with me in Progressive Eats this month. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
Make sure to check out of the links after the recipe; my friends make some great creative food and this month it’s all about the coffee!
Date Coffee Cake with Walnuts and Espresso Glaze
1 hr 15 mins
For the Date Coffee Cake:
- 2 1/2 cups chopped dates
- 1 1/2 cusps hot coffee or espresso (I make mine with Medaglia D'Oro dried espresso)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
For Coffee Glaze:
- 2 tbsp. hot water
- 1/2 tsp. instant espresso (see link above for my favorite dried product)
- 2 c. powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp. melted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
For the Date Coffee Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine the dates, hot coffee or espresso, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- Using a mixer beat the butter and sugars together.
- Beat in egg and vanilla.
- Strain date mixture and set dates aside. Add the liquid from the date mixture alternately with the flour mixture (about three times) to the ingredients in the bowl; ending with the liquid. Scrape bowl well and beat just til smooth.
- Fold in the dates and toasted walnuts.
- Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan with butter or baking spray. Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom and sides of the pan and spray the parchment.
- Pour the batter into the greased and parchment paper-lined loaf pan.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan; peel off parchment and put on a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Coffee Glaze:
- Combine the hot water with the dry espresso and stir until blended.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and espresso. If it needs to be thinner, add 1/2 tsp of hot water at a time to get desired consistency.
- Drizzle the Espresso glaze over the cooled bread and scatter the chopped walnuts on top. Let cool until the glaze sets before cutting.
It’s all About Coffee!!
- BBQ Chicken Tamale Corn Pancakes with Coffee BBQ Sauce from The Heritage Cook
- White Chocolate Espresso Martini from SpiceRoots
- Espresso Coffee Cake with Dates, Walnuts and Espresso Glaze from Creative Culinary (You’re Here!)
- Coffee-Rubbed Flank Steak from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Crusty Cheesy Coffee Potato Cups from Mother Would Know