These wonderfully moist little cakes, smothered in sticky caramel sauce, are perfect autumn sweets.

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Serves 8

You will need:

For the cake:

15 fl oz milk

12 oz pitted dates, coarsely chopped

1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds removed

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 oz softened butter

1 cup super fine sugar

3 eggs

1 1⁄2 cups self-raising flour

pinch each of ground allspice and ground cinnamon

For the Caramel Sauce:

1 1⁄4 cup sugar

3 fl oz water

6 fl oz heavy cream

2 oz unsalted butter

pinch salt

  1. Combine milk, dates, and vanilla seeds in a saucepan, stir over medium heat, until mixture boils.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and set aside to cool, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  4. Grease and line 4”x4”x3” deep round cake tins.
  5. Place butter and sugar into a mixing bowl, beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  6. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  7. Fold in sifted flour and spices, alternately with date mixture.
  8. Stir until just combined, spoon into prepared tins, bake for 45–50 minutes, until cakes are golden and spring back when touched in the center.
  9. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan, stir over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  10. Bring to a steady boil then cook without stirring until a dark caramel color, about 10–15 minutes.
  11. Remove from heat immediately and carefully add cream, butter, and salt (be careful as hot caramel will spit), stir until sauce is smooth.
  12. Set aside to thicken and cool at room temperature.


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