Toffee Cake with Dates

Toffee-Torte mit Datteln

Warning, you will only be able to eat a small piece of this decadent toffee cake with dates. I find the combination of sweet dates with sticky toffee sauce so endearing. This is rich, this is soulfood. The cake layers are sweetened with dates, the buttercream contains toffee sauce and of course the whole cake needs to be soaked in toffee sauce. I decided to sprinkle this cake with a little bit of coarse salt to cut the sweetness a bit. This is a prefect cake for a gloomy November day or any day that needs some comfort food.

Toffee-Torte mit DattelnYou may be wondering what the difference is between toffee and caramel. Caramel in its purest form is actually just melted sugar. Whereas caramel may have additional ingredients added at a later point of time, toffee is usually made with brown sugar instead of white sugar and you will only need to combine all ingredients and bring them to a boil to simmer for several minutes. So basically it is a bit easier to make. But regardless of how you call it, this is liquid gold. So be warned, this is by no means a healthy cake. It is in fact sweet and comforting. I like the fact that the dates keep the cake layers moist and fresh.

Toffee-Torte mit Datteln

Toffee Cake with Dates

Serves: One 20 cm/8inch ∅ springform
Prep Time: 1hr 30min Cooking Time: 30min Total Time: 2hr

This toffee cake with dates is real soul food. The Swiss meringue buttercream also contains some toffee sauce.


  • Cake Layer
  • 340 grams of fresh dates
  • 480 grams of boiling water
  • 170 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 375 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder

  • Toffee Sacue
  • 115 grams of butter
  • 220 grams of brown sugar
  • 160 grams of heavy cream

  • Swiss meringue buttercream, how to make it is explained in this blog post
  • 6 egg whites or 180 grams, I like to use this one
  • 100 grams of regular sugar
  • 360 grams of butter at room temperature



For the cake layers line three 20cm (8inch) bake pans with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.


Pit the dates and chop into small pieces, then soak in boiling water. Meanwhile beat the butter for a few minutes until light and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and the first egg and beat for about 30 seconds. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Then add flour, baking soda, and baking powder and add about half of the date water. You may wish to cover your bowl with a towel as at this stage there may be some splashing. Beat until combined, then add the remaining water and dates and only beat briefly. Pour evenly into the prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes. I only have two forms, so I divided the batter into 1/3 and 2/3 and baked the 2/3 ten minutes longer. An inserted toothpick should come out clean.


While the cakes are baking, prepare the toffee sauce. For this melt the butter in a pot on the stovetop, then add the remaining ingredients and let boil, while stirring. Let it simmer for a few minutes until a bit thicker in consistency. Set aside.


Poke your warm cakes with a toothpick or similar and spread about half of the toffee sauce on your three cake layers. I prepared both components a day in advance and covered everything tightly in the fridge.


For the buttercream dissolve the sugar in the egg whites in a water bath. If rubbing between your fingers, you should not feel any crystals anymore. This usually takes a few minutes. Then beat the warm mix until you have a glossy and stiff meringue, this may take 10 minutes. Once done, add butter by the spoonful. If your mixture does not combine and looks grainy, you will need to heat some part gently and try again, if it looks soupy, it is too hot and you first have to cool it off. Once you have a silky and creamy buttercream, add about four tablespoons of the toffee sauce and beat until combined.


Prepare your three cake layers and spread about 1/3 of the buttercream of the first layer, place the second on top, repeat and then place the third layer on it. I usually put the last cake layer upside down so that you get an even and smooth finish. Spread the remaining buttercream on the top and one the sides, this is a semi-nakes cake, so you will see some of the cake layers still. Chill until further use. Shortly before serving, drip the toffee sauce on top. In case your toffee sauce is already too solid, gently reheat just a bit. I first create the drops with a spoon and then spread the rest on the top. If you would like, you can sprinkle with a bit of coarse salt. This cake keeps for a few days if chilled. You will only be able to eat a small slice as it is very rich and decadent.


No idea what to do with the leftover egg yolks? Check out see this blog post including how to freeze them properly.

Toffee-Torte mit Datteln

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