Sticky Date Layer Cake

  • Gluten Free Recipe

Serves: 8-10

Recipe created for us by Iron Chef Shellie


  • 500g pitted dates, chopped
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 330g brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 cups self-raising flour, sifted
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 450g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C). Grease three 18cm layer cake tins and line base with baking paper.
  2. In a heatproof bowl, place dates and bicarbonate of soda and pour over boiling water. Allow to stand, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until dates are tender.
  3. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in date mixture and flour, mix until well combined, but do not over mix.
  4. Spoon mixture into cake pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. To make the buttercream, combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved.
  6. With an electric beater starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff peaks form. Continue mixing until fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (about 10 minutes). Level the tops of the cakes off with a large kitchen knife.
  7. With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few cubes at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla paste. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth.
  8. To assemble, place one layer of the cake on a cake plate. Scoop approx 1/3 of the buttercream over the top of the base layer and spread to cover. Place the next layer of cake on top of the buttercream layer, and scoop and spread another 1/3 of the buttercream on top. Turn the final layer of cake upside down, so the bottom of it is facing the ceiling and place on top of the other layers of cake. Spread the rest of the buttercream on the top of the cake and fill any holes on the sides with remaining buttercream. Smooth the buttercream with a large palette knife or butter knife.
  9. Microwave Dulce de Leche for about 30 seconds, until a little bit runny. Spoon Dulce de Leche over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip off and down the sides of the cake. Top with popcorn.