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Muscovado Date Cake With Maple Sugar Buttercream And A Giveaway

Muscovado Date Cake With Maple Sugar Buttercream

Baking for Bill is easy. It’s actually very enjoyable. He likes everything. He is willing to try it all. He is also very much like an 8 year-old when I bake. He comes to the kitchen five times for the same imaginary glass of water. Goes back to his study with a banana. Comes back to the kitchen to dispose of the banana peel. Sixth imaginary glass of water. You get the idea. I love it. I also love that when I stacked the last layer of this cake, the first words that came out of his mouth were "Oh wow! That cake is huge! Yeah!!" Yes, The New England Cake, is indeed humongous and delicious.

I would not make a cake of this stature on the spur of the moment, just for us and two cups of tea. This is a Reunion Cake, a Birthday Dinner With Friends Cake, a Celebration Cake, a Date Cake! No really, I mean it. It is literally a lovely brown sugar cake filled with dates and iced with maple sugar buttercream. Trust me, you could make this for a first date and end up with a second. And a third.

Muscovado Date Cake With Maple Sugar Buttercream

There were a couple of reasons for this cake to start taking over the kitchen countertop. A family reunion and a book club. The reunion was as typical as can be: tiresome, crazy, at times scary but ultimately fun. Basically, no reason to elaborate on that but to focus on the book club instead. The Edible Word started last year under the initiative of Cath from A Blithe Palate and Stephanie from Dispensing Happiness. I had such a good time doing it that I said yes for this year’s book, "Confections Of A Closet Master Baker" by Gesine Bullock-Prado, a non fiction memoir. I am just a couple of days behind the deadline but I blame it on this cake. And the reunion.

Confections Of A Closet Master Baker traces Gesine’s journey as a Hollywood executive who finds her true calling in baking and decides to pursue her passion by moving to Vermont and opening a bakery in the small town of Montpelier. I devoured the book, all pun intended. So many emotions, "coups de coeur" and fun truths. Her passion is the air she breathed. You can bet I found myself in many of Gesine’s mornings, getting to the bakery at the crack of dawn, leaving after everybody else and never questioning getting to do it all over again the next day.

Muscovado Date Cake With Maple Sugar Buttercream

I also fell in love with Gesine, her writing style and her voice. Fun, honest, visual. Writing is definitely her other talent. She is a cool chick. Each chapter of the book ends on a sweet note with one of her recipes. I had plenty to choose from: Carrot Cake, Plum Tart, Espresso Cheesecake, cream scones, and the list goes on. I went with The New England purely out of necessity. I was given very short notice to bring another dessert and not much time to shop so I did have to match my pantry to one of the recipes in the book.

I did make a couple of changes to her original recipe. The cake calls for brown sugar and I substituted half the amount with muscovado sugar which gave it an even deeper brown sugar flavor and kept the cake ultra moist, even days later. The frosting is a wonderful maple sugar Swiss meringue that would also go very well with any other darker cakes. I did make the executive decision to leave it un-buttercreamed on the outside. I had this vision of the cake growing and growing the more I was spatulating the inner layers. It was also starting to be pretty hefty and I had to travel with this cake. Honestly, it was quite perfect as it was. Impressive and delicious, filled with dried dates and a soft hint of molasses and maple sugar.

Due to copyright restrictions I am not at liberty to post the recipe (although I have stumbled upon a few close recipes with a quick Google search) but trust me, this cake is worth getting the book alone. Wait! Wait! What I do have is one extra, brand new copy to give away to one lucky reader. If I could I’d add a slice of the New England cake with it but I am afraid it won’t work with the post office policies.

To enter the giveaway:
– leave a comment between Thursday September 10th 2009 and Sunday September 13th 2009 (midnight Eastern time)
– One entry per reader.
– no anonymous comment will be taken into consideration. Sign Zorro or X if you must.
– the giveaway is open to all. I’ll ship anywhere in the world.
– the winner will be randomly picked by asking Bill to call out a number from all the entries received.

If you happen to know or have a link to a great date cake recipe, feel free to leave it in the comment. I know I am ready to try more!

You can follow Gesine on her blog, Confections Of A (Closet) Master Baker filled with humorous stories, tempting recipes and videos and on Twitter.

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Alexandra September 10, 2009 um 7:17 am

Good Morning! What a way to end my day–12:13a/PST
I love that you left your cake 'topless'!
It looks gorgeous, and so perfect for the transition into Autumn!

Jasline (Foodie Baker) September 10, 2009 um 7:32 am

Oh my god, this cake looks so lovely! I've always loved the goodies that you baked and this is truly yet another masterpiece! (:

Love it!

J September 10, 2009 um 7:43 am

Love the look of this cake!

Liska September 10, 2009 um 7:57 am

The cake looks awesome.
Have a nice day, Helen πŸ™‚

queencake and titangirl September 10, 2009 um 8:28 am

hello from berlin!the cake looks gorgeous, i can alost smell it from here:)and of yourse i would love to have the book, inspiration is always good!have a lovely day,best,anja [email protected]

Eolo September 10, 2009 um 8:33 am

Your baking is truly breathtaking. While I'm fairly new to this blog I keep coming back for me.

Greetings from Portugal,


Miriam September 10, 2009 um 8:55 am

Lovely cake and gorgeous pictures, as usual. I've just had a look at Gesine's site, the book looks very interesting!

Julie September 10, 2009 um 9:07 am

This looks delicious! Julie

zarpandit September 10, 2009 um 9:11 am

omg looks delicious ! yummy cake! it's shouts to me πŸ˜€

β™₯peachkinsβ™₯ September 10, 2009 um 9:14 am

I've been eating dates all afternoon. This looks wonderful!

jokergirl@wererabbits September 10, 2009 um 9:18 am

Ohh, this sounds like an excellent book – and the cake also looks lovely!


Egle September 10, 2009 um 9:19 am

What a wonderful wonderful cake. Your Bill is so lovely πŸ˜‰

amna September 10, 2009 um 9:23 am

The cake looks delicious! and oh my, the lighting of your pics is quite brilliant too πŸ™‚

Anna September 10, 2009 um 9:25 am

Hmmmmm, cake! Eventho im not really a fan of dates this cake looks delicious!

Simo September 10, 2009 um 9:29 am

Che meraviglia di dolce, complimenti!

I spy……. September 10, 2009 um 9:42 am

It looks just the thing for me to try an bake, what with the excess of dates we've received from friends over this month! There's only so much Sticky Toffee Pudding to be done.
Hmm…wondering if I can try substituting the maple sugar with our local palm sugar (type found in Malaysia, similar to the Thai one)which has slightly treacle-like taste. That should be interesting.

Julia @MΓ©langer September 10, 2009 um 9:51 am

I can't wait to read that book. I recently added it to my (ever expanding) wishlist. Love this cake. Beautiful, as always. The best date loaf I've made is from Dorie Greenspan's classic, Baking: From my Home to Yours. I recently entered a state baking competition here in Brisbane and it was a hit! Have you tried that one before? Well worth it. I'm sure your husband would drop into the kitchen come for many imaginary glasses of water when baking that one, too!

Sanpelaio September 10, 2009 um 9:53 am

This cake looks fantastic!!!

miss milki September 10, 2009 um 10:04 am

Looks delicious! I love your blog and your beautiful photos btw! πŸ™‚

aandara September 10, 2009 um 10:18 am

Oh my God what a cake it looks so good

Bea September 10, 2009 um 10:25 am

All your pictures look so wonderful.
Some I put on my favourites and this one is a real favourite.

Diana September 10, 2009 um 10:25 am

Sounds like a delicious cake, I'd like to bake it! Pick me?

Bea September 10, 2009 um 10:26 am

Love your cooking and the pictures of it.

carrieitly September 10, 2009 um 10:27 am

The book (and cake!!) sound fab! Wanna get my hands on it (the book… wanna get my mouth around that cake), but it's not available on Amazon UK, so thanks for the opportunity!

nΓΊria alemany September 10, 2009 um 10:36 am

Your pictures are so inspiring! Love the one with the ready-to-be-filled-with-tea cups, it's so peaceful and Autumn anticipating… Like the idea of The Edible Word, so nice…Congrats!

Jasmin September 10, 2009 um 10:38 am

Looking at this beautiful cake alone made me drool. Reading on about the ingredients you used made it worse. I really need to make this cake sooner than later. Seems like a perfect combination of my favourite ingredients!

Anonymous September 10, 2009 um 10:42 am

Always an inspiration!

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 10:42 am

as good as the cake looks I love the cake stand just as much!!

Erika September 10, 2009 um 10:47 am

I love this naked cake because you can taste the inside without any invasive taste. It looks amzing!

Bombay Foodie September 10, 2009 um 10:51 am

First comment from a long time reader and fan…gosh! that cake looks gorgeous. But then, everything on your blog does.

Do you think you can cheat and just give me the book? πŸ™‚

Either way, I am putting this down as a book to read for our "online" book club. We call it "This Book Makes Me Cook"

sharon September 10, 2009 um 11:04 am

Well, the book really sounds interesting. And the cake really looks yummy. I love the flavor of brown sugar.

Dental Girl September 10, 2009 um 11:04 am

I have a packet of dates sitting in the pantry all lonely. This cake looks like it would do them justice.

Romy September 10, 2009 um 11:15 am

Here is my book-wishing comment! And I love your cake stand. πŸ™‚

The Atheist Cartographer September 10, 2009 um 11:15 am

I've always been partial to date bars–but a date cake?!! That's almost too delicious to endure! It looks lovely, though.

Pia Cocco September 10, 2009 um 11:18 am

It looks delicious and perfect for the autumn weather we're having right now. I love dates.

Southern Gal September 10, 2009 um 11:21 am

I've been reading/drooling over your site for a while. I think it's the first time I've commented though. Maybe if you FROZE the cake slice and then shipped it? I'm grasping at straws here to get a piece of that gorgeous cake!

My son's 18th birthday is Sunday. He LOVES chocolate cake. I'm searching your archives for a great chocolate cake for him.

SousChef to YummySoup! September 10, 2009 um 11:23 am

ME! ME! ME! I love your blog and I love books… and I love dates as well πŸ™‚

Elodie September 10, 2009 um 11:23 am

I just discovered your blog today and what a great post, this cake looks amazing!

Rachel September 10, 2009 um 11:24 am

Brown sugar, dates and a maple sugar buttercream…..nice!

Amicus Cupcake September 10, 2009 um 11:24 am

What a wonderful cake. I want that book if only for the recipe!

Elizabeth September 10, 2009 um 11:31 am

oh my gosh delicious!

Dominique September 10, 2009 um 11:34 am

Je partagerais bien un morceau de gΓ’teau avec toi! je veux bien apporter le thΓ©…

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 11:36 am

Love the look of this cake, will have to look for something similar. The book sounds like one I would like, love cookbooks that tell a story along with recipes.

Jennifer September 10, 2009 um 11:40 am

Oh …my….what a perfect cake!! The flavor combination throughout sings songs from my foodie heart! What a lovely giveaway!!
Beautiful photos πŸ™‚

tj September 10, 2009 um 11:41 am

…Hello, I found you via Pioneer Woman and I am so glad that I did – I truly enjoy your site! :o)

…And that cake is just absolutely spectacular!

…Thank you for the giveaway and blessings to you too… :o)

annec September 10, 2009 um 11:41 am

This cake looks fantastic! Even a simple stack of cakes can look amazing when so much love and care are put into it.

Spinnitter September 10, 2009 um 11:49 am

Love the look of the cake! Love the story that goes with it! Would love to have a copy of the book!

Anh September 10, 2009 um 11:55 am

Oh my the cake looks wonderful! I would love to get that book, too!!

Lazyboo September 10, 2009 um 12:01 pm

Great post – cake looks amazing, and post made me laugh – spatulating? Awesome

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 12:03 pm

Actually I'm usually not a fan of lots of frosting so this cake looks perfect with just the inside layers frosted.

Diana September 10, 2009 um 12:13 pm

I love the idea of not frosting the cake and letting the layers show. Beautiful!

Kate September 10, 2009 um 12:15 pm

Spatulating is a fabulous word, Helen!

Future Grown-Up September 10, 2009 um 12:16 pm

I've been hearing raves about this book…what a great giveaway.


Blair Buras September 10, 2009 um 12:16 pm

This cake looks delish…I must win (or buy) this cookbook!

La Table De Nana September 10, 2009 um 12:22 pm

You just made me want to buy the book even more..I watched her video clip and loved it..This cake looks perfect for your Jacques.

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 12:23 pm

Your cake looks fabulous!!!


Kat September 10, 2009 um 12:39 pm

Nothing better than a book that is wonderful and inlcudes recipes that are wonderful.

Andi September 10, 2009 um 12:39 pm

This cake looks wonderful! And your book review makes me want to run out and buy the book now! Andi

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 12:46 pm

Oh, wonderful!
One of my New Years Resolutions has been to bake 1/month, and this would help me for a 2nd year in a row!

-Emily Lauren

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 12:47 pm

I am always looking for brown sugar cakes. This one looks scrumptious!

storyscribe September 10, 2009 um 12:49 pm

That looks delicious and I love how you left it unfrosted on top. I wish more bakers did that. It lets the cake itself shine rather than just the buttercream.

Dee baker September 10, 2009 um 12:50 pm

The cake looks delectable and so are all of your creations.

Each time after looking at your posts, it does makes me want to try doing them myself but of course my result is never the same as yours.


ballisticjaguar September 10, 2009 um 12:52 pm

The cake looks delicious!

Finla September 10, 2009 um 12:53 pm

Reading about bill indeed he is lik a kid when there is baking going on.
It is indeed a huge cake , as always it looks gorgeous.

sampling September 10, 2009 um 12:54 pm

It looks wonderful! I love your website with all the beautiful photographs and inspiring recipes!!!!

LizNoVeggieGirl September 10, 2009 um 12:55 pm

Bill is a lucky recipient!! πŸ™‚

PΓ’mela September 10, 2009 um 12:57 pm

Yummy, this cake looks tasty and it is beautiful, great job πŸ™‚


Aparna Balasubramanian September 10, 2009 um 12:57 pm

I think your decision to leave the cake plain on the outside is a good one.
My husband is just the same, whether being easy to bake for or the "checking out" of the kitchen. πŸ™‚
Wish the postal department would change its policies regarding shipping cake!

Jo September 10, 2009 um 12:58 pm

Who could have asked for a better combination – dates and muscovado sugar! Absolutely delicious.

Lydia September 10, 2009 um 12:59 pm

Looks like the perfect cake to serve at girls' tea time when my mother-in-law comes to visit! Beautiful as always.

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 1:03 pm

Wow lovely cake with healthy Dates.

shaz September 10, 2009 um 1:04 pm

Love all the earthy sweetness in this cake: the dates, the muscovado and the maple syrup sound like such a wonderful combo. Yum!

Tracy September 10, 2009 um 1:13 pm

The cake looks delicious!

LadyWild September 10, 2009 um 1:16 pm

Yum! Tasty!

Jenny September 10, 2009 um 1:18 pm

I'd love to get my hands on that recipe, that cakes look delicious!

Anonymous September 10, 2009 um 1:20 pm

I am so excited at the possibility to not only get my hands on this recipe, but also read the book. After such a stellar review, who could NOT be excited?

I must agree with Alexandra about your "toplessness" being the way to go with the cake. I've never been much of an icing person for the very reason of it usually overpowering the subtle flavors of homemade cakes. Can't wait to try this one out!

Thanks so much for the giveaway πŸ™‚

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 1:21 pm

OMG this cake looks soo good! I've been following Giselle since the longest time, I love reading her posts πŸ™‚ I'm waiting for her book to release here!

Julia September 10, 2009 um 1:22 pm

the cake is gorgeous and looks so yummy (as usual! Love your blog!). The book looks so cool, I hope my number gets picked!

Sarita September 10, 2009 um 1:23 pm

I'm in love with anything that has dates πŸ™‚

Anonymous September 10, 2009 um 1:29 pm

So simple and so gorgeous, I can almost, the muscavado even makes it look moist.

{Cassandra} September 10, 2009 um 1:30 pm

This sounds like a wonderful book! I would love to add {and the recipes} to my collection!!

mimi1214 September 10, 2009 um 1:32 pm

I'm a new visitor to your site, via Pioneer Woman – love your blog and your photography. Fingers crossed for a fun new book.

Mireya September 10, 2009 um 1:34 pm

That cake looks delicious – and the buttercream, wow!
Thanks for the giveaway πŸ™‚

Erica September 10, 2009 um 1:36 pm

Oh, that cake looks delectable! Would love to win this book. πŸ™‚

Robin September 10, 2009 um 1:37 pm

That cake looks wonderful, i would love to make it or just try it. I wonder if the bakery is still open in Montpelier. We are going to Montpelier tomorrow.

-Robin (from Hippo Flambe)

Anita September 10, 2009 um 1:43 pm

That sounds like such a fun book.

Carmen September 10, 2009 um 1:44 pm

beautiful cake!! πŸ™‚

Calvine September 10, 2009 um 1:48 pm

The cake looks delicious and your pictures are particularly stunning this morning. Thanks for the giveaway!

ailouron September 10, 2009 um 1:48 pm

That cake looks divine…


Jessica September 10, 2009 um 1:50 pm

I love Gesine's blog as well and really wanted this book when I saw it was coming out.

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover September 10, 2009 um 1:58 pm

I never try to bake a cake with dates, I wish I can have this book to give it a try. Anyway, your cake look really yummy and awesome shoting as usual.

Rosa's Yummy Yums September 10, 2009 um 2:02 pm

A perfect afternoon tea cake!



Flying Lessons September 10, 2009 um 2:02 pm

Love the cake stand!

Nisa-mom September 10, 2009 um 2:03 pm

I always adore your baking tallent, and pretty picture is always become a precious bonus πŸ™‚

Parita September 10, 2009 um 2:03 pm

The cake does sound fantastic! never tried with a date little sis is just liek your hubby πŸ™‚

Jaynie September 10, 2009 um 2:03 pm

This morning the field behind my house was full of geese taking a pit-stop on their way south and now this lovely cake. I am definately in the mood for fall.

Nirvana's Kitchen September 10, 2009 um 2:05 pm

How beautiful! Thanks for hosting this giveaway

Phoo-D September 10, 2009 um 2:05 pm

Another stunningly beautiful creation! This sounds warm and comforting. Wish I had a piece right now!

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 2:11 pm

let me eat cake!!

Kellie September 10, 2009 um 2:12 pm

Mm, that looks delicious!

Erin September 10, 2009 um 2:12 pm

That cake is beautiful! That cake stand is gorgeous as well.

lgk September 10, 2009 um 2:16 pm

Oh, how I love date cake! I've yet to find a good recipe, and I've tried tons of bad ones!

Nicole September 10, 2009 um 2:18 pm

This looks amazing! I love the look with no frosting outside.

Julia September 10, 2009 um 2:19 pm

maple sugar buttercream sounds amazing!

jessicajlee September 10, 2009 um 2:22 pm

This looks amazing – we do nearly everything at home with maple sugar.

Jeannette September 10, 2009 um 2:23 pm

i've been wanting to experiment with dates but i'm rather intimidated, i don't know why but i take one look and i turn away. *shrugs* but your cake makes me want to conquer my fear πŸ™‚

strawberriesinparis September 10, 2009 um 2:24 pm

We made a date mousse on Labor Day for my cookbook club! beautiful looking cake there helen!!

Amy from She Wears Many Hats September 10, 2009 um 2:27 pm

May we all have the kahunas to follow our passion(s) as Gesine did.

Sylvia September 10, 2009 um 2:33 pm

The cake looks wonderful! I'd love to see the book πŸ™‚

Christina September 10, 2009 um 2:35 pm

I was hoping for the recipe so I can give it to my Mother-in-law who has a fig tree and likes making frosting. Therefore I should win. πŸ™‚

Amy September 10, 2009 um 2:39 pm

I cannot wait to read this book and beautiful cake.

Corey September 10, 2009 um 2:39 pm

One of my dreams is to run off and start a bakery. Maybe someday. Hopefully someday. πŸ™‚

h. hart September 10, 2009 um 2:39 pm

Ohh I TOO am a closet baker…though maybe "master" is stretching it. What a lovely book.

Anonymous September 10, 2009 um 2:44 pm

This cake is just gorgeous and sounds delicious! No wonder your husband was thrilled as it was erected πŸ™‚

Asha @ FSK September 10, 2009 um 2:51 pm

I don't think the P.O will object to some macarons though!! :))) I Love macarons and yours looks delicious!

Karine September 10, 2009 um 2:51 pm

Hello Helen, Love the cake. So good to have more recipes for dates.
Dates are so good for you and they taste divine. As a young girl living in Egypt (now living in Canada) I used to eat a big variety of dates. They are so common there, that you almost forget they could be a treat else where in the world. My Syrian grandmother used to make us this amazing dessert with dates. I would be happy to share it with you and all Date lovers. It is so simple yet so delicious. Beware of calories though.
MΓ©mΓ© Lola Date Bomb:
– 5 big meringues
– About 1 lb of Black or brown fresh dates (pitted and skinned) – you can use dried dates that you have soaked in warm water to tenderize
– 1 cup CrΓ¨me Chantilly (or whipped cream)
– ΒΌ cup fine sugar
– 1 or 2 table spoons of rhum or brandy (optional, but oh so good)

Whip the 35% cream with sugar till it gets fluffy. Add the rhum and beat for 1 min more.
Cut the dates in quarters or to bite size pieces.
Break the meringues in pieces.
Mix all the ingredients together and serve in a big glass bowl. Serve immediately. Bonne appΓ©tit.

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 2:53 pm

What a beautiful cake!

Dana Treat September 10, 2009 um 2:54 pm

That is a beautiful cake and while I would normally reach for chocolate, I might change my mind here. I have never heard of that book but I'd love to read it.

Dragana September 10, 2009 um 2:58 pm

Dates are my all-time favorite snack. I must bake with them more often. Thanks for the chance to win the cookbook!

Dolce September 10, 2009 um 3:00 pm

That surely should be a great book, given the blog of the author…
And the picture of the cake is a great preview of what it will be indeed!

trishki September 10, 2009 um 3:03 pm

This book just got added to my "to read" list, what a coincidence! That beautiful cake makes me want to snag the book even more!

Brienne September 10, 2009 um 3:10 pm

The cake looks and sounds delicious. Your photography is just beautiful.
I've been searching for my next book to read and I think I may have found it. I think I could definitely see me in her journey, as I dream for the day I can leave my engineering job to open a bakery.

Naomi September 10, 2009 um 3:14 pm

I'd love a new book!

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 3:17 pm

De-lurking for the first time to say how much I adore you blog. Mouthwatering goodness on every page!

Anne-Cecile September 10, 2009 um 3:18 pm

This cake looks 'trΓ¨s savoureux'! I would love to powder a little sweetness on my life these days. πŸ™‚ Merci!


Hilda September 10, 2009 um 3:19 pm

WANT! C'est bôôôôôô. I love cakes with dates in them 'cuz I love dates, unripe, ripe, you name it. And I think it looks even better without the outside buttercream. Such lovely pictures. Can I be you when I grow up?

Evelyn September 10, 2009 um 3:20 pm

Beautiful pictures, as ever!

Rik September 10, 2009 um 3:20 pm

I would love this!

Mary Ann September 10, 2009 um 3:21 pm

I love the photos you produce! I don't think my shoddy camera skills, nor my tiny digital camera, can produce anything as lovely:)

Beth September 10, 2009 um 3:22 pm

This looks wonderful!

Anonymous September 10, 2009 um 3:25 pm

I have never baked with dates but this cake might change my mind, it looks wonderful!

My comfort food network September 10, 2009 um 3:27 pm

I love anything and everything that has dates. So this is definitely my kind if cake. Love it, Love it, Love it.

Claire September 10, 2009 um 3:30 pm

Who doesn't need a date cake that calls for a second?
Now Bill, work with me on that one!

MollyCookie September 10, 2009 um 3:32 pm

You have such beautiful pictures, and I love your cake plate! Great post.

Anonymous September 10, 2009 um 3:33 pm

Hope I win, but even if I don't – you've made a convincing argument to buy the book!

Deborah September 10, 2009 um 3:39 pm

Looks delightful, I'd love to win

Yossi September 10, 2009 um 3:43 pm

It's amazing how you can make a simple cake looks very gorgeous! πŸ™‚

Love your baking. πŸ™‚

Caroline September 10, 2009 um 3:47 pm

Yum! I love dates. Even if i don't win this is a great Christmas present for my sister – thanks for the idea.

Sarah September 10, 2009 um 3:57 pm

I've been wanting to read that book! My grandmother used to makr a date nut cake with orange glaze. It was amazing. I have the recipe, but I've never made it…

Karolina September 10, 2009 um 3:57 pm

This is the perfect "start of autumn" cake! Simply lovely!

Adi September 10, 2009 um 4:00 pm

Thanks for the giveaway! Count me in!

kate September 10, 2009 um 4:01 pm

I love all your photos. Yum! Thanks so much.

Heather Sabra September 10, 2009 um 4:03 pm

I wonder if her macaron recipe included in the book.I saw her last Tuesday in the Foodnetwork baking them with the Neely's but she never revealed the recipe.They are different than the traditional macarons but easier as well.

Mrs. G September 10, 2009 um 4:07 pm

Sounds like a cake I would like to make (and eat).

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 4:09 pm

your photographs are always so beautiful. i love the naked look of this cake – it brings out its personality.


Estie September 10, 2009 um 4:09 pm

I've been itching tor ead this, but with so much going on, haven't found the time to pick up a copy-sounds great though!

Mythili September 10, 2009 um 4:09 pm

Wow, what a coincidence. I baked a date cardamom cake for my hubby's brithday just yesterday. The cake looks yum!

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 4:09 pm

If I'm half as inspired by this book as I am by reading your site Helen, it would be worth going out and buying the book. I do hope I win though!

meeshka September 10, 2009 um 4:15 pm

I love the name of your book and share your love of baking…

Your photos capture your talent and gift beautifully!


miosotiis September 10, 2009 um 4:15 pm

Will you send it to Portugal?



Kristiana September 10, 2009 um 4:16 pm

I'm always looking for a good book…

Natalie Wilbur-Muth September 10, 2009 um 4:19 pm

I've never been brave enough to bake a cake with dates…. but after looking at yours, I would love to try! Pick me!

Indirect Heat September 10, 2009 um 4:31 pm

My 3 1/2 year old son adores dates and baking. This recipe will be a good one for him!

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 4:31 pm

Yumm! I want to bake that cake for my boyfriend, he would love it!

kornik September 10, 2009 um 4:35 pm

Everyone want to get a book from you. Maybe you'll add a piece of this fabulous cake to the package?

Silvana September 10, 2009 um 4:38 pm

Please send it to Argentina!! =) Thanks

Moira – TertΓΊlia de Sabores September 10, 2009 um 4:39 pm

The photos are lovely as always and the cake looks simple but delicious. Certain a good reason to have that book πŸ™‚

Lovey September 10, 2009 um 4:44 pm

This looks like a great book to get me in the mood for baking. The oven has been off for most of the summer, but the cooler nights are beckoning me to bake.


Abbie September 10, 2009 um 4:47 pm

Sounds like a great book!

skimmy September 10, 2009 um 4:50 pm

i love that your blog continues to challenge me to push the limits of my baking skills…your stuff is BEAUTIFUL!

Petsura September 10, 2009 um 4:56 pm

I can almost taste this! Your photography is always so delicious!

Anonymous September 10, 2009 um 4:57 pm

Lovely cake! The "naked" look makes you appreciate the cake even more!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous September 10, 2009 um 4:58 pm

Lovely cake!
The "naked" cake makes you appricate the taste even more!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Ri September 10, 2009 um 5:04 pm

This cake sounds amazing! I am going to look it up on the internet while anxiously awaiting the outcome of the contest! Thank you for the opportunity.

J September 10, 2009 um 5:06 pm

Hello! Wow, you bake cakes exactly the way I like to eat them! πŸ˜€ I love that you left it nude on the outside. Although your decision was very practical, I also think it is possible to have too much frosting (I know–gasp!) by covering an entire cake. All that fluff is tempting to look at, but sometimes that messes with the integrity of the actual cake flavor. I also love that you used two different kinds of sugar. Muscovado's one of my favorites for it's deep molasses flavor and also because it's fun to say. Great post!

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 5:06 pm

This looks great! I've been reading your blog for a while, but haven't commented yet…there's nothing like a giveaway to initiate lots of first time commenters!

Sunshinemom September 10, 2009 um 5:08 pm

Delicious looking photographs as always:).

emily September 10, 2009 um 5:12 pm

Dates are one of my absolute favorite dried fruits, yet I've never cooked with them. Maybe if I win this cookbook, that could change things? πŸ˜‰

Mara Dawn September 10, 2009 um 5:15 pm

love dates and would love to have this book!

Madeleine September 10, 2009 um 5:18 pm

I'd almost trade a piece of the cake for a chance at that book…almost. ;o)

Tahoe Grrl September 10, 2009 um 5:33 pm

That cake looks divine!

kateiline September 10, 2009 um 5:37 pm

I found your website recently from Pioneer Woman; it's my first comment. Your pictures always look so lovely, and I want to make EVERYTHING you've made! It all looks so yummy, especially this "naked" cake that won't be a sickly sweet as all those cakes from boxes with frosting from cans (yuck).

V. September 10, 2009 um 5:38 pm

OMG that cake looks amazing! I'd love to try it out…if only I had the book. (Hint hint) πŸ™‚

Navita (Gupta) Hakim September 10, 2009 um 5:39 pm

Hey lo dear. That cake looks delsih in all its rustic glory.

As for a good date cake recipe…one my mom-in-law makes where she soaks the date in some rum. YUM..hick..yum! lol

Hope Bill picks up my number. πŸ™‚

Thanks for the giveaway.

minisuperbias September 10, 2009 um 5:46 pm

I love how simple it looks on your cake tray. It's hard to eat foods that are elaborately decorated, but no guilt slicing into this beauty!

Hannah September 10, 2009 um 5:47 pm

Beautiful cake! Thanks for the giveaway.

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 5:48 pm

even before i saw your contest i was going to post a comment about how badly i want to read that book! i have been eyeing it lately and trying to decide whether or not to add it to my (overwhelming) book collection.

the cake looks wonderful btw!

钜姨 September 10, 2009 um 5:51 pm

Hi Helene,

This cake is special. I could try covering it with fondant and create a new flavor rather then traditional chocolate, vanilla flavor…


rudie2shoes September 10, 2009 um 5:53 pm

The cake looks absolutely scrumptious. I wish you can mail out a piece of that!!!

cheiron September 10, 2009 um 5:59 pm

Love the cake and would love to win the book!

martina September 10, 2009 um 6:02 pm

This cake is lovely… and your husband too! I'm always enjoy myself when someone is curious but refuses to admit it! You're lucky to have him, but I know why he tries everything…everything is delicious and soo soo beautiful!
thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

cindy* September 10, 2009 um 6:04 pm

the cake looks amazing and the book sounds like a great read πŸ˜‰

Valerie L. September 10, 2009 um 6:15 pm

All I need is the recipe for this amazing looking cake! I bought the most luscious Medjool dates last week and they are begging to be used. As usual, your blog sings to my heart. Thank you!

stephb September 10, 2009 um 6:20 pm

What an awesome cake! I must try it for my brother's birhtday this year!!!!

Patricia Scarpin September 10, 2009 um 6:22 pm

as if your blog wasn't irresistible enough, with all the yummy desserts and your wonderful posts, Helen, now a beautiful gift like this one?
Tks, darling!

Anonymous September 10, 2009 um 6:22 pm

Mmmm! This cake looks so delicious! I just love reading your blog and seeing all your wonderful recipes!

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 6:27 pm

Maple sugar buttercream…I think I'm in heaven! Yum!!!

πŸ™‚ T

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 6:28 pm

What a beautiful cake. I can practically smell it!

La Vie En RosΓ© September 10, 2009 um 6:35 pm

I think I'll make that tomorrow night!!

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 6:39 pm

That cake sounds fabulous, and so does the cookbook. Maybe it would help me in my quest to become a more intuitive baker.

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 6:48 pm

Oh, I have to have that recipe! It looks delicious and like the perfect cake to bring to my next course at university in autumn.
Therefore I sincerely hope to be the lucky number! πŸ™‚

My mail: i.kuess at

J'aime votre blog!

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 7:38 pm

I love the idea of maple buttercream!

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 7:40 pm

Beautiful cake!

Kelly Nicole September 10, 2009 um 7:44 pm

oh wow that looks good! i wish i had an occasion to make it soon!

alana September 10, 2009 um 7:50 pm

New England! I live there! I'll make the cake too…

julia September 10, 2009 um 7:55 pm

just like all your recipes and photos, the cake looks amazing!

PamB September 10, 2009 um 7:57 pm

The New England Cake sounds very similar to a fabulous cake that our dear friend from Guadalajara, Elvira, would make each year during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season – I thought that I had lost that taste memory – but now maybe it is found again! Yum

Anonymous September 10, 2009 um 8:02 pm

Again, another lovely looking cake that seems to whisper: Dig in, Dig in.
I've never heard of Muscovado sugar before but it seems to make a difference. Your cake has just such a rich color, and maple sugar buttercream sounds gorgeous.

I'd very much like to try my luck to get that cookbook, just for the sake of this recipe. πŸ˜€

ioh September 10, 2009 um 8:06 pm

looks wonderful, thanks for posting!

bonnie-ann black September 10, 2009 um 8:13 pm

okay, that was just *cruel*… the minute i read the first words about this cake, i wanted to make it — and then… no receipe! and so, i must win the book! it has to be…

Ashley Hablitzel September 10, 2009 um 8:16 pm

I will be googling that recipe immediately! Your pictures and commentary left me salivating and am thinking it might be worth buying the entire book now! Thanks for yet another fantastic post πŸ™‚

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 8:21 pm

That sounds yummy! I bet it would sound eve yummier if I weren't constantly stuffed with pastries from class πŸ˜‰

As a New Englander I do love me some maple anything, and I definitely also like dates. And brown sugar? Yes please!

bilingualandmore September 10, 2009 um 8:27 pm

Now I know what to do with the dates I have in the fridge … can't wait to read her book … I love her blog. Her writing is witty, lovely and sincere!

RumblyTummies September 10, 2009 um 8:29 pm

This looks like an awesome book. I hope that Bill picks my number!

Elle September 10, 2009 um 8:33 pm

You had me at maple and dates. I can't wait to get this book! The cake you made is absolutely gorgeous.

Lauren September 10, 2009 um 8:39 pm

This cake looks completely amazing and even attainable for amateur bakers like me.

irina September 10, 2009 um 8:47 pm

Beautiful cake! I love your blog – it brightens my day at work each time! I adore anything with dates (I think they make you smarter – when I was sitting for my graduation exams from the university, I consumed pounds of dates, and passed, therefore, the dates must have extraodinary powers) and memoirs; and will run out and buy the book tomorrow! Thank you!

Lina September 10, 2009 um 8:49 pm

I love dates!! The cake looks great!

Pat in Oak Ridge September 10, 2009 um 8:55 pm

Thanks for all your beautiful pictures. I would love to have this cookbook, as I love to bake. Thank you, Pat

Mercè September 10, 2009 um 8:57 pm

Beautiful cake, Helen! I like it better un-buttercreamed! πŸ™‚

Bron September 10, 2009 um 9:01 pm

Gorgeous! I love baking with dates, there's often a date loaf or date scone to be had in New Zealand, however this cake looks truly amazing!

Ina September 10, 2009 um 9:02 pm

Mouthwatering as always πŸ˜‰ I love that cake plate – always wonder where you get those nice dishes … Can you give me a hint please?

paddlemama September 10, 2009 um 9:03 pm

I love dates! Both kinds. . . πŸ™‚

Kristy September 10, 2009 um 9:15 pm

Looks amazing. Thanks for the chance to win.

Liz September 10, 2009 um 9:31 pm


Paula September 10, 2009 um 9:36 pm

The cake looks just deeeeeeeeeeeelicious, like all the other wonderful desserts you bake πŸ™‚

Nicole September 10, 2009 um 9:39 pm

Amateur baker here, just stumbled across your blog. Quite enjoyable!

Tres Jolie Studios September 10, 2009 um 9:43 pm

Oh yum!!! Maple Sugar Butttercream – I have to bake a cake pronto!

yourstrulydear September 10, 2009 um 10:07 pm

oh my goodness this looks delicious!!!

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 10:44 pm

Mmm! cake looks delicious and the book looks wonderful!

Kim September 10, 2009 um 10:56 pm

That cake looks so good. I do wonder how it taste that made is so special.

Heather September 10, 2009 um 11:11 pm

I've made a date loaf before but this cake looks really beautiful and special.

Unknown September 10, 2009 um 11:20 pm

So yummy!

Deppified September 10, 2009 um 11:20 pm

I do have a dinner date coming up….

Anonymous September 10, 2009 um 11:32 pm

Oh boy, oh boy! This is a cake I could dive face first into. Brown sugar and maple are heavy-hitters in my kitchen – lovely!



Margo September 10, 2009 um 11:34 pm

Yum! I need to use up as much junk from our cabinets as I can (we're moving soon), and this sounds like a good candidate.

www.DE HARINA Y DE September 11, 2009 um 12:12 am

I like the picture of the cake next to the window. As usual, lovely post Tartelette!

Following from Mexico!

Unknown September 11, 2009 um 12:17 am

Your cooking looks wonderful. I'm often refering to your site for ideas! keep up the good work πŸ™‚

Elysse September 11, 2009 um 12:30 am

Maple sugar buttercream frosting? Yes please!

Marina September 11, 2009 um 12:30 am

Sounds like a great book and cake. When are you coming out with a book…?

notfromchicago September 11, 2009 um 12:46 am

This cake looks wonderful! I am getting hungry just looking at it…

Baked Alaska September 11, 2009 um 1:14 am

The cake looks wonderful. I'd love to win the book!

adelle September 11, 2009 um 1:29 am

gorgeous. wish my cakes looked so wonderful…

Bebe September 11, 2009 um 1:40 am

gorgeous cake!!

Anonymous September 11, 2009 um 1:51 am

Ohh I loved this cake so much while I was studying overseas. Practically had it every other day. Lol. πŸ˜€ Now all I need is to know how to make it.

paperandflair September 11, 2009 um 1:56 am

i love your photos and your creations. every time i visit your blog it inspires me to bake =)

edina September 11, 2009 um 2:01 am

Mmmm…looks yummy!

Alison September 11, 2009 um 2:44 am

What a delicious sounding cake! I just stumbled across your blog tonight and have to say I am a fan! This book sounds fantastic and I think, if I don't win, I'm going to go out and buy it! I am a baker myself and grew up in Vermont, hope to one day start my own bakery there.

the mommy September 11, 2009 um 2:50 am

I want! I want! Both book & cake!!

Rebecca September 11, 2009 um 3:22 am

This cake looks fantastic – I like that you left the outside uniced too. The book sounds fabulous too. πŸ™‚

Sarah September 11, 2009 um 3:26 am

I must have that recipe! It's be a great Fall recipe for my baking club.

bethygil September 11, 2009 um 3:30 am

Love the cake and love your blog. I would love to read the book!

Lindsay September 11, 2009 um 3:57 am

That cake looks divine! Well done, as always.

Wendy September 11, 2009 um 4:20 am

That looks amazing! And the book looks great too!

Amy I. September 11, 2009 um 4:20 am

Your cake looks lovely as always, and I'm digging the blog redesign too! I've been devouring foodie memoirs lately, would love to add this to my collection. Thanks for the opportunity!

Unknown September 11, 2009 um 4:22 am

The first time I found your blog, and this was a few months ago, I went through all your back posts, scouring for recipes, devouring the pictures. I check it daily now, always much anticipating what you have for us next. I love it! And this cake looks just divine!

Gale Reeves September 11, 2009 um 4:28 am

Thanks for the book give away! I found her blog a few days ago. Can't wait to read the book.

Rita September 11, 2009 um 4:49 am

Muscovado and dates? Sounds like my type of cake. I make somethimg similar with bananas (minus the frosting), but of course they are never as good looking as yours!

Eunice Chen September 11, 2009 um 5:09 am

What a pretty and delicious looking cake!

Unknown September 11, 2009 um 5:20 am

What a lovely cake! I am constantly impressed by the delicious pictures you take.

Aditi Fogispap September 11, 2009 um 5:22 am

That looks delicious! I've long been a fan of your blog and that just 'reads' yum.

vaughn tan September 11, 2009 um 5:28 am

that's a big cake

C Rimrodt September 11, 2009 um 5:28 am

MMMM, this looks so yummy!

Anonymous September 11, 2009 um 5:30 am

The cake looks wonderful, the only time I've ever used dates in baking is in Sticky Toffee Pudding, yummy!! Would love to win that book so I could try all the delicious sounding recipes!

shawn September 11, 2009 um 5:32 am

Astoundingly, I hadn't heard of this book, but it sounds delectable! Thanks for all of the inspiration.

kate September 11, 2009 um 5:43 am

bonjour helene,

this cake looks amazing. i've only recently started hearing about muscovado sugar. last week i had some muscovado ice cream, very delicious!

Lisa | Authentic Suburban Gourmet September 11, 2009 um 5:52 am

The cake looks amazing! Your photography is stunning. Enjoy your weekend.

Java Girl: September 11, 2009 um 6:10 am

Your photography is amazing!!!! And I always have a urge to run to the bakery after eyeing over your goodies!

Anonymous September 11, 2009 um 6:26 am

Looks delicious…my stomach is already growling, lol.

SPRING OF LIFE CHURCH September 11, 2009 um 7:41 am

Bill call out number 269!!!!
Helen, wonderful cake you made. Would love to be part of your family for a reunion.

Cherry Blossom September 11, 2009 um 8:20 am

what a masterpiece this is – you have such skills and one of the most beautiful blogs

Unknown September 11, 2009 um 8:36 am

Hey Helen! I L-O-V-E ur blog! Everything u cook n bake is so beautiful including this cake..I'm not very fond of dates but I'm still tempted to have a slice of this!

Jo Bryan September 11, 2009 um 9:00 am

The cake looks and sounds scrummy, off to hunt a recipe thanks for the tip about substituting half the amount of brown sugar with muscovado sugar. I love moist cakes and will definitely follow suit.
Please add me for a chance to win a copy of the book.


winteriris September 11, 2009 um 12:46 pm

i went to a party where the host made cupcakes that sound just like this recipe.the icing was to die for and the dates just did me in(love,love,love dates).

Heidi Leon Monges September 11, 2009 um 12:55 pm

coucou Hellen

honestly, I have never ever tried a cake with dates, before but oddly I found myself buying 1 big bag of pitted dates last week wishing to do something with them. How about some cake?? (I'm so brilliant!).

Congratulations on the Book Club, what a lovely idea, and congratulations on the husband as well, Bill (and his imaginary glass of milk )*looks* even lovelier.


Leslie September 11, 2009 um 1:09 pm

What a lovely cake! It reminds me of my grandmother who was a wonderful cook and baker.

Mrs. RCA September 11, 2009 um 1:17 pm

You make the baking trade so glamorous, yet homey at the same time. Thanks for the inspiration!

Sheesha September 11, 2009 um 1:18 pm

Gorgeous cake and I LOVE LOVE LOVE your photos!

I am planning on making your Lemon cupcakes for my brother on his birthday next month.

Orchidchef September 11, 2009 um 1:20 pm

I will make this cake for my father for his birthday. He adores dates and maple syrup and I am sure the buttercream will also find his fancy! Thanks for a beautiful site.

Yan September 11, 2009 um 1:52 pm

I'm sooo inspired! By Gesine, by you.. Cheers to all those who are daring enough to live their dreams!!!! love all your beautiful creations!!!

Jessica September 11, 2009 um 2:05 pm

Wow! I absolutely love dates and to pair them with maple and put them in a cake just sounds lovely. I have a feeling this will be a favorite Christmas dish and I can't wait to bake it!

Deb Mele September 11, 2009 um 2:12 pm

The cake looks amazing and the book like a really good read. I am going to have to search for a similar recipe as I am now craving cake!

eatme_delicious September 11, 2009 um 2:15 pm

Mmm that cake looks so good!

Millie September 11, 2009 um 2:24 pm

This cake looks wonderful!

Amy A September 11, 2009 um 2:27 pm

My husband would just love this cake as it sounds not too sweet and just a small amount of frosting!

Jul September 11, 2009 um 2:41 pm

This cake is outstanding!:)
And the book probably too, so I hope to "be the chosen";)

Sarah September 11, 2009 um 2:51 pm

I feel like a cheater because I am leaving my first comment on a post to win something. I PROMISE I READ YOUR BLOG EVERY DAY! I even make the recipes sometimes!

rachel September 11, 2009 um 3:02 pm

that looks great!

Berkeley Brown September 11, 2009 um 3:09 pm

You have such a gorgeous website… and a delicious looking cake too.

Bel September 11, 2009 um 3:24 pm

As always it looks delicious.

Mimi September 11, 2009 um 3:44 pm

Love dates…The cake looks fabulous. I've been hearing a lot about the book, would love to share it with my book group

Mariana September 11, 2009 um 3:56 pm

A closet master bakerβ€”that is exactly what I want to be.

Micaela September 11, 2009 um 4:25 pm

This cake looks so good I can almost smell it!

Katie Jo September 11, 2009 um 4:46 pm

It looks delicious. Sometimes too much frosting can overwhelm a great cake, and I like my frosting. New to your blog, but love it.

Srivalli September 11, 2009 um 4:49 pm

That's a beautiful cake!

Unknown September 11, 2009 um 4:52 pm

This cake looks amazing!!! I'd be so excited to make it, even for just a cup of tea.

Unknown September 11, 2009 um 4:56 pm

the cake looks great!

Unknown September 11, 2009 um 5:09 pm

The cake looks fantastic! I'm not a huge fan of dates, but I'm excited to try something different! Thanks for the post!!

LuckyBaker September 11, 2009 um 5:17 pm

I am so happy I discovered your blog. Ahh the baking possibilities…
Your cake is beautiful, and I am reading past posts and discovering wonders like Chocolate Truffle Tarts! You have my endless THANKS πŸ™‚

ReNi September 11, 2009 um 5:24 pm

I just love your cake-stand (if it's called like that). Tartelette – tasteful as ever πŸ˜‰

mirabelle September 11, 2009 um 6:03 pm

after that intro I MUST have that recipe – delicious!

Dorian September 11, 2009 um 6:09 pm

Yum! Looks lovely,

lilpixie September 11, 2009 um 6:23 pm

If only I could live on desserts…the world would be a much better place. I'm going to have to try this cake. Its looks like heaven on a plate.

Kim September 11, 2009 um 6:24 pm

This sounds great – and a perfect late-summer or fall cake! AND this is just the kind of book I've been looking for! Thanks for the tip! – Kim

EmmettsMommy September 11, 2009 um 6:35 pm

WOW that cake looks soooooo good. I am a serious cake addict and would pass up most other activities ;p for a slice of silky cake!

Sarah Madsen

miskat September 11, 2009 um 6:37 pm

looks soo good! but I'm waiting for something new with fresh fruit!

Unknown September 11, 2009 um 6:40 pm

Your pictures are beautiful…and always make me hungry! Thank You!

The Duo Dishes September 11, 2009 um 7:01 pm

Your photos are amazing. What a beautiful cake!

lindafromoklahoma September 11, 2009 um 7:14 pm

I just found your blog. Very interesting!

The cake looks amazing. It was a very good idea to avoid frosting the sides. A little frosting is very tantalizing.

Megan September 11, 2009 um 7:14 pm

That cake does look quite tasty… but really everything you create looks incredible!

PAM September 11, 2009 um 7:21 pm

Even if I don't win the book I'm going to buy it, can't wait to read it. I just finished Julie & Julia and need another book to get into.

Raquel September 11, 2009 um 7:30 pm

Salute Helen! I am in college and my only knowledge of the kitchen is limited to my love affair with sweets in every manifestation. I have recently decided to build upon my food literature and would love a chance at that book! I don't want just another recipe book, I prefer it to be something like your blog, inspirational recipes, mouthwatering pictures maybe, but most importantly the good stories. I have been following your blog for some time, and my only addition to said library thus far has been Afrodita, by Chilean author, Isabel Allende. I recommend it! Much Love..

Nini September 11, 2009 um 7:39 pm

Oh my goodness so many comments! As there should be, what a wonderful giveaway! I hope I have the lucky number!

Sara @ Our Best Bites September 11, 2009 um 8:21 pm

Can I just say – I could stare at your pictures all day. They are SO beautiful. And I'm not just kissing up for a giveaway (although if it works, I'll take it, haha)

Nama September 11, 2009 um 8:25 pm

This cake looks divine and so does this book!

Linda Vandermeer McCubbin September 11, 2009 um 8:27 pm

What a lovely cake with beautiful flavor combo's I would love to try baking it.

Julie September 11, 2009 um 8:40 pm

what a coincidence…that is exactly how i want my life story to someday read! i would love to peek at that book to see what my future holds.

Unknown September 11, 2009 um 8:41 pm

Oh, I hope you pick me. =) If I lose can you at least send me a slice of that cake? πŸ˜‰

Jane September 11, 2009 um 8:49 pm

Your cake looks fabulous as usual.


Daisy September 11, 2009 um 8:49 pm

The cake looks amazing and absolutely delicious:) I've always liked cakes with muscuvado sugar…
And Bill must be so lucky, since all your recipes look delicious and yummie!
I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that one number…:) Thank you:)

Katie September 11, 2009 um 8:49 pm

I'd love to win a copy of this fab book!


Nico September 11, 2009 um 9:14 pm

Hi Hellen, the cake looks very moist!!! I love it, I love the dark sugar/molasses/dates combination, very nice.

koprime September 11, 2009 um 9:44 pm

wow a date cake. i don't think i've eaten dates since they found their way into trail mix. looks great, though.

Tamara September 11, 2009 um 9:49 pm

Wow that cake looks YUMMY! I can't wait for autumn to get here.

Julie September 11, 2009 um 9:50 pm

When I saw the cake, I looked forward to seeing the recipe at the end of your post, but maybe I can look forward to winning the book, instead. =) It looks delicious!

Pastrychefgrl September 11, 2009 um 10:12 pm

Mmmmmm Maple sugar buttercream sounds so delicious!! I might have to try that out!!

White Toast with Butter September 11, 2009 um 10:16 pm

Maple sugar buttercream….yummy. I want to win! I want to win!

Unknown September 11, 2009 um 10:21 pm

I've always enjoyed using dates in cakes, like Sticky Toffee Pudding. Thanks for this new idea!

Amy L September 11, 2009 um 10:25 pm

Your cake looks amazing and yummy! I want some. I love to bake, and I love cookbooks. Thanks for the chance to win.

Unknown September 11, 2009 um 10:50 pm

Greetings from Paris!
Your site is an inspiration to me, everyday I visit it to check your latest creation. You make everything seem like a dream, especially the food!

adamanderin September 11, 2009 um 11:42 pm

This cake looks fantastic!!

farmerpam September 12, 2009 um 12:46 am

It was always a treat to stop at Gesine's. Lovely little place. I come to your blog via Jen, yes, of course the one and only, Use Real Butter. I have sooo little time to be on line, but sheesh, you chicks are so damn inspiring I can't stop:) Would so, so love that recipe for maple buttercream, will have to buy the book.

Bettina September 12, 2009 um 12:48 am

What a lovely cake! And so nice of you to do a giveaway!

Carrie September 12, 2009 um 1:01 am

Awesome! Sounds like a groovy book. I've never attempted such a large cake.

Tummywise September 12, 2009 um 1:55 am

Lovely cake. And beautiful website!

Emily September 12, 2009 um 2:02 am

I have to say I am in awe of your creations! Beautiful! : )

janis September 12, 2009 um 2:10 am

Sticky toffee pudding is my favorite date dessert but I love anything maple so I know I would love this recipe. Do you think agave could be substituted for the brown sugar?

Whisk-At-Hand September 12, 2009 um 2:24 am

This is gorgeous and looks delicious. I can't wait to try it out. I recently discovered your blog while trying to find recipes for macarons. I love reading your posts and have been inspired to bake so many new things!

Sarah September 12, 2009 um 2:32 am

Delicious! I would love to win the book also. Who wouldn't! =) Blessings from New Zealand.

Amanda September 12, 2009 um 3:09 am

I've never made a date cake, but I'd love to try another recipe from the book!

Li September 12, 2009 um 3:21 am

That book looks fantastic. The cake looks even better. Enough said.

I'm dying to win a giveaway, so I hope I do!

Marie September 12, 2009 um 3:51 am

That cake looks amazing πŸ˜€

Amy Wilcox September 12, 2009 um 4:22 am

I love your blog. I just found it. πŸ™‚

Jan September 12, 2009 um 4:42 am

YUM! and beautiful too!

Nithya September 12, 2009 um 5:31 am

I love the simplicity of your presentation πŸ™‚ It makes you seem more reachable somehow.

Anonymous September 12, 2009 um 5:42 am

I love these pictures! they're stunning!

adli September 12, 2009 um 7:37 am

Lovely cake!! and a maple butter cream!! mmmmmm!! would be perfect for the celebration next week!! will google the recipe now!!

Jess Chou September 12, 2009 um 7:41 am

It looks so simple and perfect with some tea πŸ™‚ As always, amazing job.

Clabby September 12, 2009 um 7:43 am

Oh, this book sounds wonderful!

Anonymous September 12, 2009 um 8:12 am

I am drooling! Pick me! πŸ™‚

May September 12, 2009 um 9:25 am


Bett September 12, 2009 um 10:12 am

Love your recipes and delightful photos … Cheers!

Tina September 12, 2009 um 11:54 am

I just love your blog. And… I just love dates.
I made an orange essence cake with date buttercream once. It was just divine. Dates are so yummy.

Romaine of September 12, 2009 um 12:35 pm

Simply lovely.

Renee September 12, 2009 um 12:47 pm

Oh my, this cake is beautiful and mouth watering I'm sure!
Thank you for the muscovado sugar tip. πŸ™‚

zagnutbelle September 12, 2009 um 1:07 pm

I love the photos… cannot wait to try baking this cake (yes, even if I don't win the book). Have a lovely weekend!

Miss OT September 12, 2009 um 1:26 pm

Mmmmmmmm….cake!!! Would love the book! Just started baking cakes and love new recipes!

Kim Fischer September 12, 2009 um 2:19 pm

I've been meaning to try a Date Cake for quite awhile now, now might be the time! And the book sounds fantastic, it will be going on my list of books to read. Thanks!

emily September 12, 2009 um 2:21 pm

This cake sounds amazing, the perfect thing to share with great friends you haven't seen in ages.

kristina September 12, 2009 um 2:47 pm

Oh what a wonderful cake! And I'd love to be entered in the giveaway. Kristina x

test it comm September 12, 2009 um 3:35 pm

You had me with the maple but then add dates! This cake sounds really good!

Unknown September 12, 2009 um 3:41 pm

What a beauty of a cake!

Your photography is lovely as ever!

Kristen I. September 12, 2009 um 3:43 pm

What beautiful creations. And the cakes look wonderful, too! (I was speaking of your photography).

Karen B. September 12, 2009 um 3:45 pm

Looks wonderful – both the book and the cake! Lucky Bill!

Unknown September 12, 2009 um 4:06 pm

Such a shame you cannot post the recipe! It looks scrumptious!

Stacy September 12, 2009 um 4:06 pm

The cake looks delicious and the books sounds fabulous! The story of the book sounds like a change I've made by changing careers to go to culinary school, only I've realized my true passion is in baking & pastry!
Thanks for the opportunity! And all your lovely dessert posts! πŸ™‚

Wendy September 12, 2009 um 4:07 pm

Lovely cake! I'm a new reader, loving your blog and photos!

Anonymous September 12, 2009 um 4:24 pm

Looks perfect with a cuppa Tea…


Sini September 12, 2009 um 4:33 pm

Oh, it looks so amazing! I would love to try it, and I'm sure there's plenty of other lovely reciepes in the book. Hope I'm lucky…

Anne September 12, 2009 um 4:48 pm

This sounds like a really good book (and the cake looks delicious – love your cake stand, too!) – here's hoping Bill picks my number! πŸ™‚

lvsena September 12, 2009 um 5:16 pm

maple sugar buttercream sounds heavenly!!! the cake looks absolutely amazing!

Carolyn September 12, 2009 um 6:51 pm

how funny β€” i just heard about that book and the bakery the author set up in vermont, where i live! i'd love to read it!

Tiffany D. September 12, 2009 um 7:11 pm

Looks like a nice breakfast type cake. yum.

Michelle September 12, 2009 um 7:37 pm

that cake looks and sounds delicious!

yjiean September 12, 2009 um 7:47 pm

u never fail to impress me everytime. love ur work. would love tat book!

Anonymous September 12, 2009 um 8:19 pm

Hi Helene, your baking and photography shows through your passion in your field of patisserie. I love your blog πŸ˜€ and looking at the pictures and the generosity of your recipes! Sometimes by looking at it, it brings inspiration to me that I have to try it. Thank you for being so generous Helene. Kindest regards from NZ, Jenny.

Sarah Renee September 12, 2009 um 8:19 pm

Awesome cake! I love reading your blog.


Rachel Ricchio September 12, 2009 um 8:45 pm

what a dream. i would love the book!

Yasmin September 12, 2009 um 9:17 pm

Another fabulous recipe and with my preferred brown sugar to boot – it's a keeper! Thanks. Yasmin

Ms. T. September 12, 2009 um 9:53 pm

I love reading and I love baking and I would love to win this book! I also love your blog! It is inspiring and gorgeous! Thanks for all your delicious posts (at least all that I have tried have been great successes!)

Melanie September 12, 2009 um 10:03 pm

The cake is so pretty. I love the thought of the maple icing.

Sakim September 12, 2009 um 11:05 pm

Your pictures always look so delightful, thanks!

my little cupcake September 12, 2009 um 11:18 pm

i live in vermont and have had the pleasure of visiting gesine bakery…i would love the book!

Emily September 13, 2009 um 12:16 am

Oh my gosh! Gorgeous and so delicious. I'm off to make "Nectarine Golden Cake" but this looks even better πŸ™‚

Unknown September 13, 2009 um 12:18 am

Looks as delicious as it is lovely.

Hanna September 13, 2009 um 12:21 am

I need this! I just moved and left all my cookbooks at home.

pam September 13, 2009 um 12:24 am

everything you make looks divine…this is no exception!

Abby September 13, 2009 um 1:10 am

It's such a homey recipe, but you made it so elegant with the more-is-less frosting approach!

Anne September 13, 2009 um 1:36 am

Yummy + delicious + wonderful!

Claire Allison September 13, 2009 um 1:46 am

That cake looks tempting! I didn't know what muscovado sugar is, but now I do. πŸ™‚

smacmo September 13, 2009 um 1:51 am

Bcake and beautiful presentation. This is my first visit to this site, and I'm sure I'll now be a regular!

Nutmg September 13, 2009 um 2:41 am

Yum! Another recipe to try out! Looks wonderful!

Lori September 13, 2009 um 2:49 am

Okay Bill pick me- I am a loyal fan of your wifes!

I keep checking your blog in anticipation of your book making an appearance. But I will happily look at this one until yours arrives. he he.

WTXCowgirl September 13, 2009 um 3:14 am

Dates are Sinful, everyone should sin a little! lol love the cake, looks like ill be baking next weekend!

Deeba PAB September 13, 2009 um 3:18 am

Gorgeous cake & fabulous review of the book Helen. I love the way you showcased Gesine's writing style & personality. Just what I like about cookbooks like this. A personal level & warmth to connect with. Beautiful in every way…Yes, Bill does sound like an 8 year old (or like my 10 year old…same childlike excitement!)

Alvina September 13, 2009 um 4:56 am


malia September 13, 2009 um 5:56 am

perfect for the beginning of autumn!

Ellemay September 13, 2009 um 5:57 am

Oh wow!

I've been eying that book off for a while now

Unknown September 13, 2009 um 6:42 am

I just adore your website! What a lovely cake πŸ™‚

eliza September 13, 2009 um 6:50 am

i love this cake, it's exuding such creaminess and tantalizing flavors!

*Ah Bii* September 13, 2009 um 9:34 am

This looks so delicious~~~~~

livingabroad September 13, 2009 um 9:47 am

am living abroad and very much missing baking, and books in english! confessions sounds delightful!

Ksenia September 13, 2009 um 9:52 am

Amazing photos =)
I like the idea of the date filling. I love dates! I think I will bake something like this for my birtday, he he.

seraph11 September 13, 2009 um 10:20 am

Your photographs are beautiful. Big wave from Australia via Pioneer Woman!

Foodie September 13, 2009 um 11:17 am

Oh wow.. your creations never fail to amaze me! I'm so excited to see what's in the book.. (well, any baking book really haha) keep the beautiful photos coming πŸ™‚

Sanna September 13, 2009 um 1:24 pm

Greetings from Finland πŸ™‚
What a lovely cake! And beautiful pictures as always πŸ™‚

Angelina September 13, 2009 um 2:15 pm

I simply love your blog and beautiful photos. I can confess to being a closet baker too. Just add Gesine's blog on my blog list to read. Merci beaucoup.

SweetThingsTO September 13, 2009 um 2:17 pm

Absolutely gorgeous pics and it looks yummy. What perfect layers and just the perfect amount of buttercream.

Jamie September 13, 2009 um 2:19 pm

Fabulous cake! Everything I have heard about this book makes it sound like a must-have! Wonderful!

Jen September 13, 2009 um 2:23 pm

yum yum yum yum yum yum yum!!

Kristina September 13, 2009 um 2:45 pm

Are there REALLY 411 comments here?? My goodness!!! Cake sells!

BadBex September 13, 2009 um 2:56 pm

Bonjour ~
This lovely cake inspires me, and I think about the basic blonde brownies my mother used to make – without chocolate chips or nuts – really just a butterscotch bar. If I used your muscovado sugar, that might really heighten the flavor…I'm going to look for the sugar in my markets and give it a try. I'm visualzing a weighty brownie, tall and not flat like Blondies usually are!

Bethie September 13, 2009 um 3:01 pm


Rachael Hutchings September 13, 2009 um 3:04 pm

I would probably end up having to ice the cake purely to make it look presentable. πŸ™‚ What a wonderful sounding book! It has been added to my "must read" list.

Happy Day Octopus September 13, 2009 um 3:12 pm

Who doesn't LOVE books? Thanks for the give away!

Allie September 13, 2009 um 3:16 pm

How great to have someone willing and wanting to try everything you make! I'm always getting blamed for trying to make all my friends fat.

margaret September 13, 2009 um 3:20 pm


kellypea September 13, 2009 um 3:33 pm

Hey Helen! Hope you're well! I'm still trying to figure out how I missed Stephanie's event — what a great idea. And the book? Well you know that it has me written all over it. Found a maybe, sort of, almost possible plan to have my B&B w/o leaving here. Just have to wait a while. *sigh* Gorgeous photos. Breathtaking.

Joyce September 13, 2009 um 3:45 pm

Sounds heavenly! May I just have a big bowl of the maple buttercream?! Yum….
Have a golden day! xoxo

Pattern Patisserie September 13, 2009 um 4:03 pm

C'est magnifique!! Yes this is a New England cake and it looks truly delicious…thank you!!

ikkinlala September 13, 2009 um 4:20 pm

That looks like an amazing cake!

kayenne September 13, 2009 um 4:43 pm

and i was just wondering what to do with the large bag of muscovado sugar i have left…

food goddess September 13, 2009 um 4:48 pm

Hi.Wonderful to find a cake using muscovado sugar! Here in the Phils.,muscovado was once considered 3rd class sugar and was mainly used as steps (stacked up in sacks) inside the "haciendero's" warehouse. I love muscovado and have used it mainly for sweetening a cup of coffee. Your date cake is truly a great discovery! I must get a hold of that book for the recipe. Keeping my fingers crossed for availability here.

food goddess September 13, 2009 um 4:59 pm

I've been making a moist walnut date bar called "food for the gods" for the last 30 years as my signature christmas gift to family and friends. I have never tried muscovado for baking and now must try it! My "abolita's" recipe is simple. 1 c melted butter,1 c brown sugar,1 c flour,1 tsp baking powder,1 c chopped dates, 1 c walnuts. 275 F for 45 mins. low slow fire keeps it moist. Enjoy!

Kate September 13, 2009 um 5:02 pm

Your cake is beautiful! Thanks for hosting the giveaway. Crossing my fingers!

angesinclair September 13, 2009 um 5:37 pm

Well you just made that book sound so wonderful, now I'm dying to read it whether I win it or not!

La Cuisine d'Helene September 13, 2009 um 5:49 pm

What a gorgeous cake. I love any cakes with dates. You described the book so well that I would love to read it. Sounds like the author is so passionate.

The way you described Bill is the same as with my husband, he comes in the kitchen for nothing when I bake. I laughed reading this.

Jenny September 13, 2009 um 6:41 pm

That looks so delicious! Thanks for the chance to win the book!

Carol September 13, 2009 um 7:07 pm

I've never had a date cake, but I'd love to try it. The maple sugar Swiss meringue might be nice on my spice cake.

Ellen September 13, 2009 um 9:52 pm

The cake looks amazing. I'm fairly new to your blog, but your pictures are beautiful as well.

Engineer Baker September 13, 2009 um 10:32 pm

Wow – I keep hearing about this book, and it sounds better and better! This cake looks and sounds absolutely lovely, although I have no occasions to make it for in the near future πŸ™‚

Cocoa Mango September 13, 2009 um 10:43 pm

Mmmmm, I would love to make this cake! I've been reading your blog for a while and I admire every little glimpse into your kitchen/life! πŸ™‚

Natalia September 13, 2009 um 11:13 pm

This cake looks delicious, and I bet it would go beautifully with a nice cup of coffee.

Maya @ Maya's Kitchen September 13, 2009 um 11:30 pm

The cake looks divine. I would love a copy of this book!

Zoe September 13, 2009 um 11:42 pm

Oh wow. That's an amazing cake, and hope I win the book so I can use it!

Nada September 13, 2009 um 11:55 pm

mmmmm..tasty and beautifull…as always..

Melanie Montgomery September 14, 2009 um 12:44 am

The cake looks fab!
I love reading your blog!
And I love that youve offered a giveaway.


[email protected]

Jess September 14, 2009 um 12:53 am

Oo, ooo… Pick me, please pick me!!!

Thanks for the great giveaway and the amazing eye candy.


Meg September 14, 2009 um 1:00 am

Oh how I would love to be a closet master baker! Does being a closet novice baker count as a good first step? πŸ™‚

-Meg T.

Vicki September 14, 2009 um 1:11 am

Looks delish! My grandmother and mother made a lovely unfrosted date cake, very moist. Even as children, we all loved it. Cakes made with dates seem so quaintly old fashion to me. I love them!

Stephanie C. September 14, 2009 um 1:19 am

I'd love to win this one!

Marilyn September 14, 2009 um 1:20 am

Absolutely luscious looking! My mouth is watering.

TZel September 14, 2009 um 1:22 am

Beautiful photos and such an inspiration! Thanks so much for this giveaway!

Vicki September 14, 2009 um 1:28 am

Took a bit of digging through old recipes but here it is!

Mayonnaise Date Cake
1 c nuts
1 c dates
1 c very hot water
1 c mayonnaise (regular)
1 c sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
2 c flour
1/2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Pour water over dates, let set for a few minutes. Mix sugar, chocolate, cinn with mayonnaise. Add dates with water, nuts, flour, soad and salt to the mixture. Add vanilla. Mix together. Bake in 9×13 pan at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Jenny R Johnson September 14, 2009 um 1:39 am

Your pictures are a real inspiration, and I look forward to trying the cake, in between pies.

Terry September 14, 2009 um 2:16 am

it even looks healthy… hehehe
<3 terry

Wendy September 14, 2009 um 2:23 am

I have been lurking and enjoying your lovely photos and recipes for quite some time now. As always everything looks and sounds delicious!

Unknown September 14, 2009 um 3:18 am

oh my…the cake looks like the perfect accompaniment to a warm cup of coffee & a quiet morning!

Cookie baker Lynn September 14, 2009 um 3:25 am

What a lovely cake! I love dates, but I've never baked with them before. This might be the cake to nudge me over the edge….

christa @ mental foodie September 14, 2009 um 3:41 am

love the photos and the book sounds like an interesting read!

Unknown September 14, 2009 um 3:50 am

I love cakes with very little filling/frosting.Brings out the flavour of the cake much more! Will surely try this beautiful cake. πŸ™‚

Anonymous September 14, 2009 um 6:49 am

I love it without icing. It's so simple and beautiful. I have a great recipe for a date-chocolate cake. I will email it as soon as I find it. Muchos besos!

Tasha September 14, 2009 um 9:11 pm

That looks delicious! I love anything maple and have been wanting to try a date recipe. I might have to make it on the sly and not tell my picky little sisters what is it it, though : )

teal! September 15, 2009 um 11:20 pm

that cake looks wonderful. It must be quite sweet and moist with the three different sugar-ish things (date, muscovado and maple)

Unknown September 16, 2009 um 1:00 am

A date cake sounds interesting – is it's anything like Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake?

Unknown September 16, 2009 um 5:36 pm


everyone's raving about the book – so i decided to throw my hat in the ring and hope for some luck (non-existent) . I

Whisk-At-Hand September 24, 2009 um 3:20 am

Where did you get the cake stand? I love it!

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