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.


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