red dates cake


This sponge cake has sunk…failure? Hmm, partially, I guess.

I meant to make a red dates sponge cake, but was unwilling to cut down on the red dates paste. Hence the sunken part. From the looks of this cake, you can already expect what it will look like on the inside.


The somewhat accidental magic custard cake look-alike.

Not exactly magic custard cake, which should have 3 layers. This one only has 2. But the taste is quite nice, hence I decided to post it.

Red dates cake

Red dates paste

  • 200 grams jumbo red dates
  • 400 + 50 ml water
  • 50 grams dark brown sugar


  • 5 eggs (60 grams with shell)
  • 50 grams dark brown sugar
  • 90 grams cake flour
  • 50 grams unsalted butter
  • 110-120 grams red date paste
  • 50 grams water
  • large pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp agave syrup
  1. In a pot, boil red dates in 400 ml of water for 5 minutes, or until skin loosens.
  2. Dish out and cool until lukewarm before peeling off the skin.
  3. Mix paste in a saucepan with 50 ml water and dark sugar. Cook over low fire until combined. Let cool completely. I had slightly more than 110 grams of red dates paste.
  4. Line a 7 x 3 inches square pan with grease-proof paper. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  5. Beat eggs with sugar until ribbon stage.
  6. In the meantime, melt butter in a pot until hot. Turn off the heat and add in flour. Mix well.
  7. Add in water, salt and agave syrup and mix well.
  8. Sift in baking soda and mix well.
  9. Pour 1/3 of beaten eggs into date mixture. Mix well.
  10. Fold in remaining beaten eggs in 2 portions.
  11. Pour into prepared pan and tap once or twice to remove larger bubbles.
  12. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a skewer in the middle of the cake comes out clean. I turned the temperature down to 160 C 25 minutes into baking.
  13. Peel the baking paper from sides of the cake while the cake is still hot.For the bottom, use a knife to slice and separate the baking paper later, when the cake is cool.
  14. Place the cake, baking paper and all, in a plastic bag. Let cool completely before slicing.

This cake has an interesting taste. The fluffy part tastes quite like ma lai gou, the fluffy steamed cake you can get from dim sum places. The custard part tastes like, well, egg custard with a red date taste. Not quite what I imagined my red dates sponge cake would be but I like it.

buttermilk chocolate chip cookies


With the remaining buttermilk, I made these cookies. They are a marvellous way to use up buttermilk!

Buttermilk chocolate chip cookies (adapted from Baking Bites)

  • 256 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 115 grams salted butter
  • 75 grams dark cocoa powder
  • 300 grams sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 167 grams buttermilk *
  • 350 grams chocolate chips/chunks (I used 62%)
  • Maldon sea salt flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 170 C. Line 4 trays with grease-proof paper.
  2. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Melt butter over a pot of boiling water. Remove from heat and add in cocoa powder. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Add in sugar. Whisk until dissolved.
  5. Add in vanilla extract and buttermilk. Whisk until combined.
  6. Pour all the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold to combine.
  7. Stir in chocolate chips/chunks.
  8. Scoop out cookies using a tablespoon onto the prepared trays. Leave a 1 inch space between cookies. Sprinkle a bit of sea salt flakes on cookies.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool completely before storing.

* I didn’t have enough buttermilk to make 167 grams. I had about 103 grams of buttermilk left. So I topped up with full fat milk and added about 1/4 tsp of white distilled vinegar. That might have been why my cookies were thicker.

The cookies are rich, slightly chewy and so chocolatey! Utterly divine. Hard to believe this is an egg-less recipe.

melt-in-the-mouth buttermilk pancakes


I bought a small carton of buttermilk to make whoopie pies for my sister’s party. The next few posts will of course be about buttermilk as I try to use it up before the expiry date. 🙂

A really delightful way to use buttermilk is to make buttermilk pancakes. There are a lot of buttermilk pancakes recipes on the internet. This one caught my eye because of the title.

I halved the recipe and made 7 pancakes of approximately 5 inches diameter each.

Melt-in-the-mouth buttermilk pancakes (from ohsweetbasil)

  • 128 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, slightly whisked
  • 250 ml buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  1. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt into a bowl.
  2. Mix egg, buttermilk and salt in a bowl.
  3. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold to combine.
  4. Melt about 1/2 tbsp butter in a  frying pan.
  5. Pour in 1 ladle of pancake mix in the middle of the pan. Reduce heat to low.
  6. Flip over when pancake turns golden brown.
  7. Serve warm with butter and drizzled with maple syrup.


Were they melt-in-the-mouth? Hmm. They didn’t exactly melt. But they tasted very good! Fluffy with such wonderful fragrance from the buttermilk. This is a super way to use buttermilk.