Mary Berry Date and Walnut Cake Recipe

Mary Berry Date and Walnut Cake Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 5 Mins Cook Time: 1 Hr Total Time: 1 Hr 5 Mins

If you love dates and walnuts, you will adore this cake. It’s moist, rich, and full of flavor. It’s perfect for tea time, dessert, or any occasion. And it’s easy to make with simple ingredients.

Mary Berry Date and Walnut Cake are inspired by the famous British baker Mary Berry, who is known for her delicious and elegant cakes. She has been baking for over 60 years and has written more than 70 cookbooks. She is also a judge on the popular TV show The Great British Bake Off.

In this article, I will show you how to make this cake step by step, with tips and tricks along the way. You will learn how to:

  • Prepare the dates and walnuts
  • Make the cake batter
  • Bake the cake
  • Make the icing
  • Decorate the cake

Let’s get started!

What is Mary Berry’s Date and Walnut Cake?

Mary Berry Date and Walnut Cake is a delicious cake made with dates, walnuts, butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and baking soda. It is topped with a sweet and glossy icing made with butter, sugar, milk, and icing sugar. It is inspired by the famous British baker Mary Berry, who is known for her elegant and tasty cakes.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This Mary Berry Date and Walnut Cake isn’t just another dessert—it’s an experience. Here’s why it might just become a staple in your kitchen:

  1. Timeless Flavors: The classic pairing of dates and walnuts offers a delightful contrast of sweetness and crunch.
  2. Simple Ingredients: Made from everyday pantry items, this cake doesn’t require a special shopping trip.
  3. Versatility: Perfect for any occasion, be it a high tea, a birthday, or just a weeknight dessert craving.
  4. Nostalgia: Inspired by the renowned Mary Berry, this recipe brings the charm of traditional British baking right to your home.
  5. Texture & Moisture: Thanks to the process of simmering dates, this cake boasts a uniquely moist texture, setting it apart from its counterparts.

Mary Berry Date and Walnut Cake Ingredients

To make this cake, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 225 g (8 oz) chopped dates
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) water
  • 100 g (4 oz) butter, softened
  • 175 g (6 oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 225 g (8 oz) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 100 g (4 oz) chopped walnuts

For the icing, you will need:

  • 100 g (4 oz) butter
  • 100 g (4 oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 200 g (7 oz) icing sugar, sifted


You will need the following Equipment:

  • A 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tin, greased and lined with baking paper
  • A wire rack
  • A small saucepan
  • A wooden spoon
  • A large mixing bowl
  • An electric mixer or a whisk
  • A spatula
  • A skewer or a toothpick

How to Make Mary Berry Date and Walnut Cake

Step 1: Prepare the Dates and Walnuts

The first step is to prepare the dates and walnuts. This will make the cake moist and crunchy.

To do this, you need to:

  • Put the chopped dates and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the dates are soft and mushy.
  • Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly.
  • Chop the walnuts and set aside.

Step 2: Make the Cake Batter

The next step is to make the cake batter. This will make the cake fluffy and tender.

To do this, you need to:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan, gas mark 4).
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer or a whisk until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Sift in the flour and baking soda and fold in gently with a spatula.
  • Stir in the date mixture and the walnuts.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.

Step 3: Bake the Cake

The third step is to bake the cake. This will make the cake golden and cooked through.

To do this, you need to:

  • Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a skewer or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool slightly in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 4: Make the Icing

The fourth step is to make the icing. This will make the cake sweet and glossy.

To do this, you need to:

  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter, sugar, and milk over low heat, stirring constantly.
  • Bring to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes, or until thickened.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the icing sugar until smooth.
  • Let it cool slightly before spreading over the top of the cake.

Step 5: Decorate the Cake

The final step is to decorate the cake. This will make the cake beautiful and festive.

To do this, you can:

  • Sprinkle some chopped walnuts over the icing.
  • Cut into slices and enjoy!

How do I Serve the Mary Berry Date and Walnut Cake?

You can serve this cake in different ways, depending on your preference and occasion.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Classic Style: Relish it in its pure form alongside a warm cup of tea or a rich espresso.
  • Decadence on a Plate: Pair the cake with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream for an indulgent treat.
  • Fruity Delight: Top slices with a medley of fresh berries or fruits to add a fresh, tangy contrast.
  • Creamy Twist: Drizzle with a silky custard or smear with luscious cream cheese frosting to enrich every bite.

Variations for Mary Berry Date and Walnut Cake

Tempted to put a personal twist on this classic?

Here are some ideas to inspire your culinary creativity:

  1. Nut Swaps: Trade walnuts for pecans, almonds, or hazelnuts for a different crunch and flavor profile.
  2. Fruit Additions: Mix in dried fruits like cranberries, apricots, or figs to introduce new textures and tastes.
  3. Spice it Up: Add a pinch of ground cloves or a splash of vanilla extract to the batter for enhanced aroma and flavor.
  4. Toppings: Drizzle with caramel sauce, and melted chocolate, or sprinkle with desiccated coconut for an extra layer of indulgence.
  5. Vegan Twist: Substitute butter with coconut oil, eggs with flaxseed mixture, and milk with almond or oat milk to craft a vegan version of this delightful cake.

Tips and Tricks

To master the art of baking this date and walnut cake, keep in mind these tried-and-tested tips:

  • Versatile Ingredients: While dates like Medjool, deglet noor, or ajwa are recommended, ensure whichever variety you pick is pitted and finely chopped.
  • Nutty Variations: Walnuts are great, but don’t shy away from experimenting with pecans, almonds, or even pistachios for a unique crunch.
  • A Dash of Spice: Elevate the cake’s warmth by sprinkling spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom into the batter.
  • Storage Insights: To keep the cake fresh, use an airtight container. It stays perfect at room temperature for 3 days, refrigerated for a week, and can be frozen for future indulgence for up to 3 months.

How do I store and freeze the Mary Berry Date and Walnut Cake?

This cake can be stored and frozen easily, so you can enjoy it later.

Here is how to do it:

  • To store the cake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil and place it in an airtight container. You can keep it at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to a week.
  • To freeze the cake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil and place it in a freezer-safe bag or container. You can freeze it for up to 3 months. Make sure to label the bag or container with the date and name of the cake.
  • To thaw the cake, transfer it from the freezer to the fridge and let it thaw overnight. You can also thaw it at room temperature for a few hours.

How do I reheat the Mary Berry Date and Walnut Cake?

Whether you’ve just stored your cake or you’re serving it a day later, you might want to bring back that freshly baked warmth. Here’s how you can achieve that:

Oven Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 160°C (140°C for fan ovens, or gas mark 3).
  • Place your cake or its slice on a baking sheet.
  • Drape a piece of foil gently over the cake to prevent drying.
  • Let it warm for about 10-15 minutes. The goal is to heat it, not bake it further.

Microwave Method:

  • Slice the amount of cake you want to heat.
  • Lay it on a microwave-safe plate.
  • Place a damp paper towel over the slice, ensuring it doesn’t touch the cake directly. This helps retain moisture.
  • Warm it on medium power for about 10-15 seconds. Adjust the time based on your microwave’s wattage and your desired warmth.

Toaster Oven Method:

  • Slice the piece of cake you intend to heat.
  • Set it on the tray of your toaster oven.
  • Toast it in a medium setting for 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye to ensure it warms evenly without becoming too dry.

Nutritional value

One slice of cake (about 100 g) has the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 324
  • Carbohydrate: 53 g
  • Fat: 11.2 g
  • Protein: 5.1 g
  • Fiber: 2.4 g
  • Sugar: 29.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 23.3 mg
  • Sodium: 594.9 mg
  • Saturated Fat: 1.7 g

Other Mary Berry Cakes Recipe


What kind of dates should I use for this cake?

You can use any kind of date you like, such as Medjool, Deglet Noor, or Ajwa. Just make sure they are pitted and chopped.

Can I use brown sugar instead of muscovado sugar?

Yes, you can use brown sugar instead of muscovado sugar. However, muscovado sugar has a richer and deeper flavor, so you may want to add some molasses or honey to the brown sugar to enhance the taste.

How can I tell if the cake is done?

You can tell if the cake is done by inserting a skewer or a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If it has some crumbs or batter on it, the cake needs more time.

Why is my icing too runny or too thick?

The consistency of the icing depends on the amount of icing sugar and milk you use. If your icing is too runny, you can add more icing sugar to thicken it. If your icing is too thick, you can add more milk to thin it.

How can I make this cake vegan or gluten-free?

You can make this cake vegan by replacing the butter with vegan margarine, the eggs with flax eggs, and the milk with plant-based milk. You can make this cake gluten-free by replacing the flour with gluten-free flour and adding some xanthan gum to help with the texture.


I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make this delicious date and walnut cake. It’s one of my favorite recipes and I’m sure you will love it too.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. I would love to hear from you.

If you liked this article, please share it with your friends and family. It would mean a lot to me.

Thank you for reading and happy baking!

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