This chocolate, date, and walnut cake is a healthier version of an old classic called polka dater cake! The chocolate, date, walnut combination is retained, but we replace white sugar with lower glycemic coconut sugar and white flour with spelt flour. While this recipe is not vegan as written, you can likely veganize it by swapping out the butter for coconut oil and the eggs for flax eggs!
Have you ever had polka dater cake? Funny name aside, this chocolate, date, and walnut cake is an old family favourite that my mom made often when we were kids–though, as an extraordinarily picky eater, I always meticulously picked out the walnuts back then.
Call it what you will–chocolate date walnut cake, or polka dater cake–this is a moist cake with gooey dates mixed in, studded with walnuts and melty chocolate. It’s great as an afternoon snack with coffee or tea, or as a dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. It’s best served warm so that the ice cream melts slightly and your sweet tooth prayers are answered and dessert dreams come true, etc. etc.
To make this cake, you’ll cream together softened butter and coconut sugar, then add eggs and vanilla. Meanwhile, pour boiling water over pitted Medjool dates to soften them. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Drain the dates and mix them into the butter mixture, then add the dry ingredients. Fold in half of the chocolate chips and walnuts and pour into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish, then sprinkle the remaining walnuts and chocolate chips over top.
This cake comes together quickly and makes 12 large or 16 smaller slices, making it perfect for get-togethers or families with hungry teenagers.
I hope you LOVE this chocolate date walnut cake (or polka dater cake). If you make it, let me know: leave a comment and rating below this post, and tag a photo of your creation #upbeetkitchen and @upbeet.kitchen on Instagram!
Craving more healthy dessert recipes? I’ve got you covered:
Chocolate Dessert Pizza with Sunflower Oat Crust
Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies
Fabulous Fudge Pie
Healthy Chocolate Date Walnut Cake (Polka Dater Cake)
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 16 servings 1x
This healthy chocolate date walnut cake is a modern take on classic polka dater cake. Sweetened with dates and coconut sugar and made with spelt flour instead of white flour, this cake is lower glycemic than the original while still maintaining all of the classic charm.
- 1 ¼ cups pitted Medjool dates (about 14), chopped after measuring
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup grass-fed organic butter, softened.
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cups light spelt flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips, divided
- ½ cup chopped walnut halves
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter or coconut oil.
- Place the pitted dates in a heat-proof glass or metal bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Drain through a fine mesh sieve after 5 minutes and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and coconut sugar using electric beaters or a stand mixer. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Stir the softened dates, making sure that they have almost completely cooled to prevent melting the chocolate, into the butter mixture, followed by the dry ingredients.
- Fold in ½ cup of the chocolate chips.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle on the remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips and the chopped walnut halves.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving with ice cream, a glass of your favourite milk, or coffee/tea.
Though I have not tried it, you may be able to make this cake vegan by using coconut oil instead of butter and 2 flax eggs (1 flax egg = 1 tablespoon ground flax plus 2.5 tablespoon water, set aside for 5 minutes to thicken) instead of the eggs.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: chocolate date walnut cake, polka dater cake, date cake, date walnut cake
Dates, walnuts and chocolate combine perfectly in this cake. Thank you for this recipe!
Agreed! Glad you liked it, Gail.
Polka dater cake! I remember that. This one reminded me of that but it’s much healthier. Thank you for the recipe!