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Delicious Mini Zesty Date Cakes

Makes 12 little cakes


    The beauty of this sweet little treat is that it’s a recipe you can make from a well-stocked pantry. And even better: you can easily substitute with other pantry ingredients. For example, no dates in your pantry? How about dried figs? Or use your own homemade jam or compote. Just make sure your fruit filling is very, very thick and pastelike before assembling.


    Delicious Mini Zesty Date Cakes


    Zesty date filling
    • 1 cup (250 mL) pitted Medjool dates
    • 1/3 cup (80 mL) water
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) finely grated orange zest
    • Generous pinch of salt (optional)
    Cookie crumble
    • 3/4 cup (180 mL) almond flour
    • 3/4 cup (180 mL) gluten-free oats
    • 1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) coconut or raw sugar
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
    • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) coconut oil
    • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) almond butter


    Per serving:

    • calories159
    • protein4g
    • fat7g
      • saturated fat1g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates23g
      • sugars15g
      • fibre2g
    • sodium64mg



    In small saucepan, combine dates and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove lid and reduce heat to low. Mash dates with fork or potato masher. Add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) more water if needed. Continue to mash and stir until very thick and spreadable paste forms, about 5 to 10 minutes. You should have about 3/4 cup (180 mL). Remove pan from heat, stir in orange zest and pinch of salt, if using. Set aside to cool.

    Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Lightly grease 12-cup silicone mini muffin pan. Place pan on sturdy baking sheet.

    In food processor fitted with metal blade, combine almond flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse until crumbly. Add coconut oil and almond butter. Pulse until mixture begins to hold together. If too crumbly, add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) water and continue whirling. Mixture should be like a dense cookie dough. You should have about 1 1/4 cups (310 mL).

    Taking half the Cookie Crumble dough, press equal amounts into bottom of each muffin cup. Gently press down to firmly pack. Divide date paste equally among cups and smooth out to evenly cover bottom layer of dough. Divide remaining dough among cups, evenly covering date paste. Gently pat down.

    Place baking sheet with silicone muffin pan in centre of preheated oven. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until tops of cakes are relatively crisp. Remove tray and place on rack to cool. Cool silicone muffin pan completely before attempting to remove date cakes.

    TIP: Want to entertain an additional flavour? Add a couple of vegan chocolate chips to date filling in each muffin cup before topping with top layer of dough. Chocolate date filling … mmmm.


    Like this recipe?

    This recipe is part of the 2020 Pantry Essentials collection.



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    Going Pro

    Going Pro

    You might think of protein as something you mainly get from a meal and, therefore, not a component of dessert. But, if you’re going to opt for dessert from time to time, why not consider working in ingredients that go big on this important macronutrient? It’s easier (and more delicious) than you may think! Protein is an essential part of every cell in your body and plays a starring role in bone, muscle, and skin health. So, certainly, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. And it’s best to spread protein intake throughout the day, since your body needs a continual supply. This is why it can be a great idea to try to include protein in your desserts. When protein is provided in sufficient amounts in a dessert, it may help you feel more satiated and help temper blood sugar swings. Plus, in many cases, that protein comes in a package of other nutritional benefits. For instance, if you’re eating a dessert made with protein-packed Greek yogurt, you’re not just getting protein; you’re getting all the yogurt’s bone-benefitting calcium and immune-boosting probiotics, too. Adding nuts to your dessert doesn’t just provide plant-based protein, but it also provides heart-healthy fats. Yes, desserts need not be just empty calories. Ready for a treat? These protein-filled desserts with a healthy twist are dietitian-approved—and delicious.