As I was rummaging through my hand written recipes this morning, an odd shaped piece of paper brought back memories of Aunt Nance. She was Jim’s Aunt, and a very special person. She would often bake this cake and bring it along to family gatherings. The chopped dates in the recipe are undetectable after baking but they are essential as they add great flavor and moisture to the cake.
Years ago, I asked Aunt Nance to share the recipe with me and this is the piece of paper she slipped in my hand as I was leaving the gathering.
When I finally got around to baking the cake, I noticed that mine wasn’t as dark and chocolatey as hers was. After investigating further, I realized that she had forgotten to include 2 tablespoons of cocoa in the recipe. The cake was still quite delicious so I make it both ways and it’s always a crowd pleaser.
1 (8 oz.) package dates, chopped
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Over chopped dates, pour 1 cup boiling water; let cool. Add baking soda and set aside. Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Pour date mixture into dry ingredients, mix well. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips and nuts over batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, and cool cake before serving.