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Double Date Cake with Whiskey Butterscotch Sauce


For the Cake:

  • 3/4 cups diced dates with oat flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs or small bits of dark chocolate, optional
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (8 ounces) whole pitted dates, about 1 ¾ cups
  • 2 tablespoons Ranch Road Rye Whiskey 
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 sticks (¾ cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • Powdered sugar, optional

For the whiskey butterscotch sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark agave syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • 1/4 cup Ranch Road Rye Whiskey


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Butter a 9-inch springform pan.
  3. For the topping, mix diced dates, walnuts, and cacao nibs in a small bowl.
  4. Set aside.
  5. Mix flours, baking soda, spice blend, ginger, and salt in a separate bowl.
  6. Put pitted dates, whiskey, and espresso powder in a heat-proof bowl.
  7. Add 1 cup boiling water and let stand until dates are super soft about 10 minutes.
  8. Pour date-whiskey mixture into a food processor; process to a smooth puree.
  9. Let stand to thicken, about 20 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, put butter into a large bowl of an electric mixer.
  11. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
  12. Beat in sugar until fluffy.
  13. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes total.
  14. Add half of the flour mixture and all of the date-whiskey puree.
  15. Beat to combine.
  16. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat just enough to combine.
  17. Do not over-mix.
  18. Scrap the batter into the prepared pan.
  19. Smooth the top.
  20. Sprinkle the reserved diced-dates-and-walnuts mixture evenly over the batter.
  21. Bake until cake is pulling away from the sides of the pan and a wooden pick inserted in several places comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
  22. Let the cake cool on a wire rack at least 1 hour.
  23. Remove the sides of the springform.
  24. Cut cake into wedges to serve.
  25. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar, if desired.
  26. Drizzle with the whiskey butterscotch sauce.

For the whiskey butterscotch sauce:

  1. Put sugar, syrup, butter, salt, and ¼ cup water into a medium-size deep saucepan.
  2. Heat to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cover the pan and let simmer, 2 minutes.
  4. Uncover the pan.
  5. Add cream and continue to simmer on low, stirring often, until sauce is thick and syrupy about 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in whiskey, and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Allow sauce to cool at room temperature.
  9. Transfer to jars or microwave-safe container.
  10. The sauce will keep for up to one month in the refrigerator.
  11. Microwave on medium (50 percent power) to warm the sauce.
  12. Serve warm.


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