Date and almond cake

You would never know this incredibly rich cake was made without butter or refined sugar. 

  • Dairy-free
  • Refined sugar-free
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus cooling
  • Cooking time: 60 minutes
  • Total time: 70 minutes, plus cooling

Serves: 10 - 12

Ingredients

180ml sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
100g pitted medjool dates, plus 3 more to decorate
4 eggs
260g ground almonds
40g polenta
2 tsp baking powder
150ml maple syrup
2 lemons, zest
2 tsp vanilla extract
Handful whole blanched almonds, to decorate 

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170 ̊C, gas mark 3. Grease a deep 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin and line the base with baking parchment. Blitz 100g dates with the eggs in a food processor until smooth. In a clean bowl, mix with the remaining ingredients (except the blanched almonds) and a pinch of salt until incorporated.

2. Pour into the tin, level, then decorate with the whole dates and blanched almonds. Bake for 1 hour, covering with foil after 30 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then serve warm (or at room temperature), with soya, coconut or low-fat natural yogurt and a splash more maple syrup, if liked.