Date, Pistachio and Cardamom Cake

TOTAL TIME: 75 hr 35 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: 72 hr
Cook: 3 hr 15 min
YIELD: 8 servings


  • 1 pound pitted dates (about 30 dates)
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup whole unsalted pistachios, shelled
  • 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander, optional
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup fine sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Powdered sugar, for serving
  • Whipped cream, optional for serving
  • Minced pistachios, optional for serving
    • Special equipment: 8- by 3-inch round springform pan
      recipe tools


      Coarsely chop the dates in a food processor. Transfer to a 32-ounce jar. Add the brandy, pistachios and ginger. Seal, and then shake until well combined. Store the mixture in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight for 3 days, shaking once a day.

      Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Spray an 8- by 3-inch round springform pan with cooking spray and line the bottom and sides with wax paper. Have the wax paper go a little taller than the sides of the pan.

      In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cardamom and coriander (if using), and reserve. In a stand mixer, or using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually whisk in the eggs, one at a time, beating in between additions, until combined. Add the molasses, vanilla extract, salt and brandied fruit mixture, and gently beat until well combined.

      Add the sifted flour mixture, a little at a time. When it is all mixed in, beat at high speed for about 10 seconds. Pour into the prepared springform pan.

      Place a metal brownie pan on the floor of your oven. Fill with water; this will keep your cake moist.

      Pop the cake into the middle of your oven, and cook for 3 to 3 1/4 hours, turning once halfway through. You'll know the cake is cooked when a skewer pushed into the center of the cake, all the way to the bottom, comes out clean.

      Remove from the oven, and allow to rest in the pan on a cooling rack. Once completely cool, remove the cake from the pan, but keep covered in the wax paper to keep moist.

      To serve: Make a snowflake out of a piece of paper like you did in primary school (you can also use a doily for this). Place it gently on top of the cake. Spoon a little powdered sugar in a strainer and dust the surface of the cake. Remove the paper to reveal a powdered sugar snowflake. You can serve with a dollop of whipped cream and minced pistachios too if you like.


      Cook's Note: Cake is best 3 days after baking.


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