Dark Chocolate Date Cake with Pecans – Gluten Free

by Marla on April 17, 2011 · 274 comments

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Healthy date cake recipe with Bard Valley Medjool Dates

This gluten free cake is a happy hybrid of chocolate torte meets sticky toffee pudding. It’s a dense cake bursting with sweetness and flavor. Medjool dates are what make it extra special. My goal was to come up with a date cake reminiscent some of the greatest desserts I could think of, but with my healthful twist. All natural whole food ingredients mean you can have a slice any time of day and feel awesome about eating cake. Sticky toffee sauce isn’t even necessary, really I promise this cake is a rock star without it.

healthy, sweet medjool dates I am so excited to be working with the best date grower in the states! I have loads of chewy, sweet caramely Bard Valley Medjool Dates here and I will be sharing gobs of recipes using them (if we don’t eat them all out of hand first!) The Bard Valley growers are responsible for 70 percent of the U.S. Medjool crop. These guys know a thing or two about how to grow the tastiest, most luscious dates in the world.

Gluten free chocolate date cake with toasted pecans and brown rice flour

Do you bake much with dates? If your answer is yes than you know how awesome they are for adding a rich caramel-like sweetness and chewy texture. I also love using Medjool Dates in my no bake treats such as Chocolate Pecan TartsChocolate Cheerio’s Tarts. They are awesome in my Baked Coconut Oatmeal with Pepper Nut Topping too. If you don’t use dates in your baking then let this cake can be your introduction.

Gluten free medjool date cake with chocolate and pecans

This cake would be great served at Easter brunch, tucked into a lunch box, for breakfast or as a snack with a piping hot cup of coffee or glass of chilled milk. Chocolate, dates and pecans join together to form an irresistible flavor combo. Decadence in dates.

Greek yogurt parfait with gluten free chocolate pecan date cake

A really fun treat was taking chunks of this cake and making a layered Greek yogurt parfait. I slightly freeze & sweeten thick, creamy fat-free Greek yogurt and crumble up some of this cake. Tastes like an ice cream sundae.

Greek yogurt parfait with gluten free chocolate pecan date cake

Graphic with pink fleur de lis for Family Fresh Cooking

Medjool dates from California

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks for your entries. Congrats to Averie from Love Veggies and Yoga, Jenn from Jenn’s Menu and Lifestyle Blog and Kimberly from Fear’s Food. Enjoy your dates ladies!

Because I love you and want you to have dates for Passover, Easter and in celebration of everything spring I have teamed up with Bard Valley Medjool Dates to host a delicious giveaway. They have generously offered a prize pack for (3) Family Fresh Cooking readers that include:

  • 1-pound box of Bard Valley Medjool Dates (plenty for this cake!)
  • Bard Valley Organic Medjool Date Almond Roll  (12-oz)
  • Bard Valley Organic Medjool Date Coconut Roll  (12-oz)

This giveaway is open to residents of the USA only. Winner will be chosen by random.org. You have until Thursday, April 21st, 2011 midnight PST to enter. Please do one or more of the following to enter this contest, leave a separate comment per entry.

Dark Chocolate Date Cake with Pecans – Gluten Free

Makes about 10-12 servings

NOTES:

  • I prefer to use high quality unsweetened chocolate pieces in this cake. If you want it sweeter and don’t mind the added sugar than use bitter-sweet or semi-sweet chocolate instead.
  • Walnuts taste great in this cake too.

INGREDIENTS

  • 16 pitted Bard Valley Medjool Dates, divide into 10 (for cake batter) and 6 chopped (for topping)
  • 1 cup boiling hot Water
  • 3/4 cups Corn Flour
  • 3/4 cups Brown Rice Flour plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/2 cup Oat Bran
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Stevia Powder -or- 7 droppers full of Vanilla Stevia Drops, adjust sweetness to taste
  • 1 large Egg, whisked
  • 1 cup fat free Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup fat free Milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 ounces bitter-sweet or unsweetened Chocolate, Chips or chopped pieces
  • 3/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans, divided into 1/2 and 1/4 cup portions
METHODToasted Nuts: Preheat oven to 350˚F with the rack in the center. Chop nuts to the size you want them & arrange on a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, tossing once or twice to toast evenly. Toast until slightly browned and fragrant.

Date Cake: Pre-heat oven to 350˚F with the rack in the middle. Line a 9×2 round pan with parchment paper. In a blender or food processor, purée dates with hot water. Set aside and let it cool. Whisk together flours, oat bran, salt, cocoa powder and ginger in a medium bowl. In another bowl combine date purée, egg, ricotta, butter, milk and vanilla. Mix together wet and dry ingredients. Toss chocolate pieces and 1/2 cup pecans with 1 tablespoon flour. Gently mix in chopped pecans and chocolate. Add stevia to sweeten and adjust to taste.

Put cake batter in the pan, be sure to flatten the top so cake bakes evenly. Gently press chopped dates and 1/4 cup pecans into the top of the batter. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out crumb free. Let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Loosen cake from the edges of pan with a spatula and flip the cake onto a plate, remove parchment paper. Flip again so the dates and nuts are on the top of the cake. You can do this by topping the cake with a dinner plate, firmly pressing and flipping again.

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with dollops of sweetened whipped cream, thick Greek yogurt, ice cream or frozen yogurt.
  • Make a Greek yogurt parfait by layering pieces of cake with yogurt.
  • Serve with chocolate sauce.
  • Purée up some extra date sauce and drizzle over and dip away.

Print This Recipe...

Date Cake Recipe Links

Family Fresh Cooking Disclosure: I  have been compensated for my time to create a recipe, photograph and review Bard Valley Medjool Dates. I accept offers to post about products I love. I am proud to partner with BVMD on this project and to share them with you.

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{ 267 comments… read them below or add one }

1 katie April 17, 2011 at 9:50 pm

I love these date brownie that I make. That is, when I am not eating them straight up.

https://makingfoodandotherstuff.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/dont-worry-be-happy/

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2 katie April 17, 2011 at 9:50 pm

I get the rss feed already.

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3 Lauren (Diary of a Vegan Girl) April 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm

I love to eat dates plain or with peanut butter!

That cake looks amazing by the way!

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4 Katrina April 17, 2011 at 9:59 pm

This must be so tasty! I love how moist dates make a cake, and I love the sweetness they give off. Beautiful cake :)

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5 Rosa April 17, 2011 at 10:50 pm

What a beautiful cake! That combination is awesome. Just perfect!

Cheers,

Rosa

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6 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen April 18, 2011 at 2:15 am

I love the natural sweet caramel flavor that dates give to baked goods. I also love eating them plain, like you said they are hard to resist!

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7 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 18, 2011 at 2:26 am

awesome give away!

fave way to enjoy dates is in many of my raw/no bake vegan balls and bites
http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2010/01/ball-recipes.html

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8 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 18, 2011 at 2:27 am

twitter following

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9 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 18, 2011 at 2:28 am

FB like you

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10 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 18, 2011 at 2:28 am

FB like them

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11 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 18, 2011 at 2:29 am

stumbled it

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12 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 18, 2011 at 2:30 am

tweeted

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13 EatingRD April 18, 2011 at 2:36 am

I am a huge fan of dates!! I think we go through a pound per week! mmmm love them on long bike rides too. Your cake looks fabulous and I love the wholesome ingredients. What a great giveaway!

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14 Marla April 18, 2011 at 5:58 am

Kristin: A pound of medjool dates a week??!! Awesome. I much prefer something like this date cake or dates with PB for workouts than packaged power bars. Your bike rides sound awesome! Just saw what you have been up to over at your blog. I miss those days of marathon training and super long scenic bike rides. Perhaps when my kids are bigger :)

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15 Jessica @ How Sweet April 18, 2011 at 3:43 am

This cake looks so delicious and dense!

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16 SeeNikkiCook April 18, 2011 at 5:12 am

I have to admit I have never made a meal using dates…that cake might just be the incentive I need.

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17 Marla April 18, 2011 at 5:17 am

Nikki: Let this be your push to use dates….you will not regret it. Actually you might become addicted! So mane awesome recipes you can come up with using them.

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18 Kristen April 18, 2011 at 5:39 am

My grandma used to make a date pudding that I loved. I never got the recipe, but it was so delicious!
Your cake looks fantastic, Marla! I can practically smell the combo of flavors here :)

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19 Marla April 18, 2011 at 5:51 am

Kristin: I love the idea of date pudding. Dates were pretty popular in the era of our grandmas. I think it is up to us to have them make a BIG comeback! Gotta come up with a healthy date pudding over here, sounds wonderful!

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20 Annie April 18, 2011 at 5:43 am

I tweeted!

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21 Annie April 18, 2011 at 5:44 am

I also follow on twitter :)

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22 Heather Griffith April 18, 2011 at 5:53 am

My favorite way to have dates is dipped in peanut butter right before I work out.

I have used them in smoothies for my kids and in many of my baking recipes, This past weekend I used them in chocolate peanut butter cupcakes. mmmmmm

I LOVE dates!

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23 Marla April 18, 2011 at 5:56 am

Heather: Dates dipped in PB, love that! That is a great pre or post workout snack. Adding them to smoothies is wonderful too. There is a very popular spot here in the OC that is known for there rich vanilla ice cream date shakes. People rave about them! Your cupcakes sound fab – do you have a recipe link for those?

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24 Amanda April 18, 2011 at 6:01 am

My gosh, I had no idea dates could be used in so many ways… and I am SO excited about it! Thank you Marla… I will be buying some at the store today! (looking for Bard Valley of course!)

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25 TidyMom April 18, 2011 at 6:12 am

Do you know I haven’t had dates since I was little. My gradma always had them and it was a treat I always enjoyed at her house, I at them right out of the box, I’ve never baked with them and I don’t think I’ve even bought them!

This cake sounds AMAZING Marla

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26 Jan April 18, 2011 at 6:17 am

I really love date squares because they really feature dates so well, without interfering with the sweet, floral notes of the dried fruit. Here’s a link to a recipe I just posted this week-end (http://kitchenhealssoul.blogspot.com/2011/04/date-squares.html). I’ve actually never had tried the combination of dates and chocolate. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

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27 Sukaina April 18, 2011 at 6:21 am

I absolutely love juicy mejdool dates…..especially in a date and nute cake. Eating it layered between yoghurt is genious……I wouldn’t mind eating it paired with some custard either. Looks wonderful.

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28 Joanna April 18, 2011 at 6:23 am

This recipe looks delicious! I grew up eating dates and they are a family favorite. I haven’t cooked with them much but it’s a great idea! Since my mom is gluten-free, this recipe would be perfect for me to make for Easter. Thanks for sharing it with us!

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29 judy meridith April 18, 2011 at 6:23 am

Marla, I love dates but haven’t used them for a while but after looking at your delicious cake, I have decided to get the dates and give it a try. I will call my neighbors in to share with a nice cup of coffee. Thanks for letting me know about the dates, chocolate and nuts together in a mouth watering cake. Can’t wait.

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30 Maria April 18, 2011 at 6:27 am

Fabulous cake! I love dates!

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31 kitchen accessories April 18, 2011 at 6:28 am

This date cake looks so delicious! I cannot wait for more recipes using sweet dates. I would love to make this cake right now. Thanks for its recipe. Keep posting these kinda recipes!

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32 Nisha April 18, 2011 at 6:31 am

I love dates all on their own! I’ll always remember my first experience eating a fresh date. YUM!! Great all natural sweetener in granola bars too!

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33 Nisha April 18, 2011 at 6:31 am

I’m a FB fan of FFC.

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34 Nisha April 18, 2011 at 6:32 am

I Like MedJool Dates on FB too!

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35 Shelly April 18, 2011 at 6:33 am

yummy, this inspires me to use dates more in my cooking!!

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36 TidyMom April 18, 2011 at 6:36 am

of course I follow you on Twitter!!

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37 TidyMom April 18, 2011 at 6:36 am

tweeted your giveaway!

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38 TidyMom April 18, 2011 at 6:37 am

I liked Medjool on FB!!

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39 Abbie April 18, 2011 at 6:38 am

I like Date amarinth bread. :D

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40 TidyMom April 18, 2011 at 6:38 am

I Stumbled your post!

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41 Gaby April 18, 2011 at 6:42 am

Love this!!

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42 Jenny Flake April 18, 2011 at 6:53 am

Your cake looks absolutely delicious and your photos always knock my socks off! Another beautiful creation and you made dates look like a million bucks! Gorgeous recipe!

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43 Molly Chester April 18, 2011 at 7:09 am

Oh my! Those Medjool dates are delicious. California does them so well! My favorite way to use them is in a smoothie with banana, almond milk, almond butter and a bit of ice. Yum!

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44 Heather April 18, 2011 at 7:10 am

This recipe is heavenly, especially the parfait idea, genius!
Here’s one of my favorite date recipes and super easy.
http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2009/11/09/cookie-dough-babies/

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45 Leah April 18, 2011 at 7:12 am

My favorite dates are wrapped in prosciutto with a little slice of gruyere :)

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46 Marla April 18, 2011 at 7:23 am

Leah: I love sweet/savory date combos. Prosciutto with dates are a great party appetizer. Love the touch with nutty gruyere cheese too!

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47 Cori April 18, 2011 at 7:36 am

I love them wrapped in bacon. Eep!

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48 Esi April 18, 2011 at 7:38 am

Fun ways to use dates

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49 Deanna D. April 18, 2011 at 7:55 am

Mmm I love dates and peanut butter!

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50 Deanna D. April 18, 2011 at 7:56 am

I follow you on twitter!

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51 Deanna D. April 18, 2011 at 7:56 am

And like Family Fresh Cooking on facebook! Love your site!

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52 Deanna D. April 18, 2011 at 7:56 am

Just tweeted the giveaway! Hope I win!

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53 susitravl April 18, 2011 at 7:59 am

I have a Date Cake recipe that I love, but every time I buy dates, they disappear before the cake is made.
susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

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54 susitravl April 18, 2011 at 7:59 am

Like Family Fresh Cooking on FB (SusanB)
susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

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55 susitravl April 18, 2011 at 8:00 am

Like Medjool Dates on FB (SusanB)
susitravl(at)gmail(dot)com

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56 Tristan April 18, 2011 at 8:04 am

I am “like” you on FB already!

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57 Tristan April 18, 2011 at 8:06 am

I just liked Medjool dates FB page!

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58 Kalynn April 18, 2011 at 8:18 am

I already follow you on Twitter! Love your blog!!

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59 Melissa April 18, 2011 at 8:19 am

Looks delish!

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60 Kalynn April 18, 2011 at 8:19 am

I just tweeted about the giveaway!

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61 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking April 18, 2011 at 8:19 am

Oh my goodness, Marla, that is one incredible cake! Only you could make something so heavenly totally healthy. Truly amazing work on this. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe and fun giveaway… My favorite way to eat dates is just as they are! I love snacking on dried fruit. :)

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62 Kalynn April 18, 2011 at 8:20 am

I stumbled this post also!

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63 Kalynn April 18, 2011 at 8:21 am

I just “Liked” your Facebook page!

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64 sippitysup April 18, 2011 at 8:22 am

Because I spend so much time in Palm Springs I have grown to love dates! These recipes are some of my favorite ways too… GREG

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65 Maris (In Good taste) April 18, 2011 at 8:23 am

This is a lovely cake and such a creative recipe! I enjoy dates straight from the bag or box!

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66 Angie April 18, 2011 at 8:24 am

Yummy!!!!! I love how moist and sweet dates make anything you bake. No need for lots of additional sugar.
The photos are sublime! I want to come over to your place and have a huge slice and enjoy one of those cups of coffee.
It’s so wonderful that of our favorite baked goods can be gluten free. Delicious and nutritious. You are amazing Marla!

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67 Lauren@LittleYellowKitchen April 18, 2011 at 8:30 am

I love dates stuffed with parmesan cheese and wrapped in bacon! Mmmm :)

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68 Marla April 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Lauren: I have never had dates with parmesan, liking that idea a lot. Bacon….always the perfect choice.

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69 Min {Honest Vanilla} April 18, 2011 at 8:41 am

Very beautiful cake! Love the dates, add character to the it (if there’s such a way to describe it) ;)

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70 the urban baker April 18, 2011 at 9:07 am

I love dates in my cake and this cake would be no exception. I will take a slice (or two), please!x

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71 purplelarkspur April 18, 2011 at 9:11 am

I love to make date muffins and energy bars. Here is one of my favorite muffin recipes (I swap put the regular flour for whole wheat): http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Ginger-Date-Muffins-100628

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72 purplelarkspur April 18, 2011 at 9:12 am

I follow you on Twitter. I am @purplelarkspur

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73 purplelarkspur April 18, 2011 at 9:12 am
74 purplelarkspur April 18, 2011 at 9:13 am

I subscribe via RSS

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75 Christine April 18, 2011 at 9:17 am

I love just eating plain dates, although occasionally I like to torture my kids by pretending that they are beetles.

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76 Marla April 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Nice Christine! It is kinda fun to mess with the kids from time to time. Bet yours giggle loud when you do trick ‘em with the date “bugs.”

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77 alex April 18, 2011 at 9:40 am

i love dates in date bars

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78 alex April 18, 2011 at 9:40 am

liked you on facebook

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79 alex April 18, 2011 at 9:41 am

liked medjool dates on facebook

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80 Marsha A. April 18, 2011 at 9:45 am

I love eating plain dates, but I also chop them up into my oatmeal in the morning.

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81 Marla April 18, 2011 at 10:59 am

Marsha I love putting caramely dates in my oatmeal too. Mush meets goo meets fabulous! A big bowl of energy. Great way to start the day.

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82 Marsha A. April 18, 2011 at 9:47 am

I have an email subscription to Family fresh cooking.

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83 Brooke April 18, 2011 at 9:47 am

Oh, no. You just did that, didn’t you? You just said ‘dark chocolate’ AND ‘dates’. Amaze!

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84 Marla April 18, 2011 at 10:27 am

Brooke my friend, dark chocolate & dates are a match made in heaven. Can I be so trite as to say “the perfect date” ;)

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85 Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner April 18, 2011 at 10:18 am

I’m subscribed! :D

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86 Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner April 18, 2011 at 10:19 am

http://katshealthcorner.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/i-am-coco-for-choco-date-muffins/

These are my favorite!!!! I love the Date and Chocolate Combo! :D

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87 Vivienne April 18, 2011 at 10:36 am

In my opinion, Bard Valley makes the absolute best Medjool dates and they are the only brand I buy. I love them straight up as a yummy snack with a handful of almonds! YUMM!!

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88 Marla April 18, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Vivienne: I am with you girl! Glad to read your enthusiasm about BVMD. They are beyond amazing!

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89 Tricia April 18, 2011 at 11:11 am

I have a great recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip date cookies. They’re absolutely delicious and really pretty healthy!

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90 Marla April 18, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Tricia: Must come up with a recipe for oatmeal chocolate date cookies – love that idea! A fun twist on the raisins or dried cranberries that I usually use.

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91 Amanda April 18, 2011 at 11:24 am

I love dates in any type of breakfast cereal.

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92 Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather April 18, 2011 at 11:30 am

Dates are like natures candy. I love them as a pre-workout snack, or added to baked goods. I just made a carrot cake bread with dates as the sweetener (www.healthywwithheather.com/2011/04/nutty-whole-grain-carrot-cake-bread-with-no-added-sugar-or-oils/). Awesome giveaway Marla! Your cake looks just perfect too.

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93 Marla April 18, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Heather: Thanks for sharing your carrot cake bread. Looks so good & love that there are medjool dates in there :)

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94 Malli's Mint and Mimosas April 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

What a great giveaway….. I absolutely love dates:)
Here is my entry
http://chillilovesmalli.blogspot.com/2011/04/96-sticky-toffee-date-cake.html

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95 Marla April 18, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Malli: Just checked out your sticky, gooey date cake. Looks awesome girl, especially with that thick toffee topping!

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96 Morgan @ moments of mmm April 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm

My favorite way to enjoy dates is pretty simple–dipped into maple almond butter! Deliciously sweet and salty!

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97 Marla April 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Morgan, maple almond butter is sounding really good right now. Do you make your own or buy it?

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98 Lori April 18, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Gorgeous photography and the cake sounds delicious.
It was so nice meeting you last week at the Peko Peko Charity Cookbook shoot. Hopefully our paths will cross again at BlogHer next month.
-Lori

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99 Marla April 18, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Hi Lori! I enjoyed meeting you last week too. Let’s be sure to connect at BlogHer Food. Can’t wait to see the completed Peko Peko cookbook :)

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100 Lori April 19, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Sounds good. I will send you a message on Twitter or via email and give you my cell phone number.
The Peko Peko cookbook is going to be gorgeous!

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101 Betty @ scrambled hen fruit April 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I love putting dates in my homemade granola, and also in date-nut cookies that I make at Christmas. Great giveaway!

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102 Krissa April 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm

We make date pudding every Christmas…so good! But I’ve also been wanting to try making my own Larabars with dates.

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103 Krissa April 18, 2011 at 12:43 pm

I follow you on Twitter.

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104 Krissa April 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I like you on FB.

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105 alex April 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm

following you on twitter now!

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106 alex April 18, 2011 at 1:15 pm

and now, officially like Medjool Dates on facebook

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107 alex April 18, 2011 at 1:16 pm

and you on facebook!

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108 Brooke@FoodWoolf April 18, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Marla, I don’t usually cook with dates, but now you have me considering it, thanks to your great recipe. I love dates for snacks, so if I end up randomly winning I can promise you none of the luscious dates will go to waste!
xoxox

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109 Misty April 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I’ve never had dates, so I think I’d want to try one straight outta the box first. They sound good to me though!

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110 Misty April 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm

And I’m now following you on Twitter (@mischiefml)

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111 Cookin' Canuck April 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm

What a gorgeous cake, Marla. I particularly like the parfait idea.

I like to top my cereal with dates and use them in baking.

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112 Cookin' Canuck April 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm

I follow you on Twitter.

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113 Cookin' Canuck April 18, 2011 at 2:48 pm

I “like” you on Facebook.

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114 Cookin' Canuck April 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I “like” Bard Valley on Facebook.

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115 Cookin' Canuck April 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I stumbled this post.

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116 Andrea April 18, 2011 at 3:42 pm

I like them in bars! I’ve never cooked with them. Neat giveaway. :)

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117 bunkycooks April 18, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Your cake is not only filled with wonderful healthy ingredients, but it is beautiful as well. I will sometimes use dates in place of raisins, but really enjoy them in quick breads with walnuts.

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118 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 18, 2011 at 7:09 pm

you’re in my google reader/RSS

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119 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 18, 2011 at 7:09 pm

tweeted (again) :)

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120 Victoria April 18, 2011 at 7:34 pm

This is a truly amazing cake! I love dates and it is not often you see such a wonderful post utilizing this delicious fruit!
Love it – can’t wait to try it!

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121 Jeanette April 18, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Love the combination of dark chocolate and Medjool Dates! I enjoy Medjool Dates simply stuffed with a toasted pecan or walnut. They are naturally so sweet and rich.

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122 Jeanette April 18, 2011 at 8:02 pm

I tweeted your giveaway!

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123 Jeanette April 18, 2011 at 8:02 pm

I stumbled this post!

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124 Jeanette April 18, 2011 at 8:02 pm

and I liked Bard Valley Medjool Dates on FB!

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125 Lynda Clark April 18, 2011 at 8:21 pm

I love Medjool dates; they are the steak of dates. I love to serve stuffed dates for holidays. I make a savory stuffing using cream cheese with a little chopped cooked bacon and some minced parsley and stuff the dates with them and for a sweet, I like to stuff the dates with some mascarpone cheese that has been lightly sweetened and then roll them in either coconut or sugar. I sometimes also fill them with some leftover buttercream icing and roll them in finely chopped nuts.

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126 Marla April 19, 2011 at 5:44 am

Lynda, these are such fun ways to enjoy dates! Great idea with the savory cream cheese and bacon. Also love the mascarpone with coconut idea. The buttercream sounds decadent & fabulous! Thanks for sharing these recipes.

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127 Darcy B April 18, 2011 at 8:21 pm
128 Darcy B April 18, 2011 at 8:22 pm

like on facebook as Darcy Bishop
kakihararocks@gmail.com

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129 Darcy B April 18, 2011 at 8:22 pm

email subscriber
kakihararocks@gmail.com

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130 Lynda Clark April 18, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I am following you on Twitter and Tweeted your giveaway.

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131 Lynda Clark April 18, 2011 at 8:26 pm

I liked Bard Valley Dates on Face Book.

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132 Lynda Clark April 18, 2011 at 8:27 pm

I Stumbled You.

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133 Lynda Clark April 18, 2011 at 8:28 pm

I am already receiving your emails; love them!

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134 Ady April 18, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I love dates, never thought of it with chocolate. However, I do use dates for dessert in my culture.

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135 Kristen M. April 18, 2011 at 10:01 pm

I eat my dates straight out of the container. I’ve bookmarked this date shake recipe to try sometime if my dates will last that long!
http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Date-Shake

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136 Kristen M. April 18, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I follow you on twitter. (@mclanek)

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137 Clair April 19, 2011 at 5:26 am

CCK’s fudge babies: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/baby-making/

Omg…when I eat those I don’t ever think I’ll need regular chocolate again…

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138 Marla April 19, 2011 at 5:47 am

Clair: I have read over and over that Katie’s fudge babies are beyond excellent. Thanks for the link, I must try them :)

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139 Angie April 19, 2011 at 5:58 am

This looks so good, I had put on my list to make a chocolate date cake. We’re on the same wave link, haha.

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140 Cellabella April 19, 2011 at 10:38 am

My favorite way is honestly eaten plain, like candy! Or I like to add them to whatever I’ve roasting in the crockpot because the dates soak up the juice and become deliciously divine :)

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141 Anne - Cooking Through California April 19, 2011 at 10:42 am

I’ve been looking for Medjool dates in our little town and can’t seem to find them…I’ve heard such wonderful things! I can find other types of dates so we add them to our homemade granola (dried fruit makes it sweet enough we don’t need extra sugar or honey). But I’ve been wanting to try these marathon cookies! http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/2011/04/boston-marathon-cookies.html

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142 Joanne April 19, 2011 at 11:00 am

I recently fell head over heels in love with dates! They really are incredibly sweet…almost like candy! this cake sounds delicious! Decadent but with a hint of virtuosity.

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143 Marla April 19, 2011 at 11:44 am

Joanne: I can see you have recently fallen in love with dates. Anne who just left a comment ahead of you linked to your awesome Boston Marathon cookies. Gotta try those, they are filled with great for you ingredients! How was Boston Marathon?? I am reliving my experiences there reading your posts about it.

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144 SMITH BITES!! April 19, 2011 at 11:21 am

seriously drooling here Marla!

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145 Linda April 19, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I love to eat them straight up… like candy!!!

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146 Linda April 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm

I followed you on twitter.

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147 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. April 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm

My mouth is now watering! I love dates!!

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148 Kathryn April 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm

My brother just stuffed some dates with chorizo and then wrapped them in proscuitto the other day. Place them in a 450 degree F oven for about 5-7 mins and they are DELICIOUS!

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149 Krissy @ Shiawase Life April 19, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Can you believe I have never cooked with dates? I love this idea for a giveaway because I have wanted to try and make handmade larabars!! =)

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150 Marla April 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Krissy: Homemade Lara bars would be awesome & really simple too. I love having bars on hand for grab and go snacks and they are so much tastier when made from scratch. Medjool dates are the best “glue” for bars.

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151 Miranda D April 19, 2011 at 4:04 pm

I enjoy dates in oatmeal or polenta for breakfast.

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152 Miranda D April 19, 2011 at 4:04 pm

I stumbled this post.

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153 Daydreamer Desserts April 19, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Gorgeous cake Marla, I’ll definitely have to share this one with all my GF friends. :)

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154 Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella April 19, 2011 at 10:29 pm

This looks wonderful! I’m out of the running but I just had to say that I adore medjool dates. They’re so sweet and luscious and do well as a dessert by themselves or with something else :)

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155 Alyssa April 20, 2011 at 2:49 am

I’ve only worked wth dates once before, making raw brownies…and they didn’t turn out so hot (ha! unintentional joke right there).
I’d love the chance to redeem myself and try to make another batch of gooey raw brownies with avacado-chocolate frosting!

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156 Marla April 20, 2011 at 4:24 am

Alyssa: Sorry to hear your first attempt at raw brownies did not work out – having had them myself I guarantee you will get it right. They are addictive! Love the idea of the avocado chocolate frosting too.

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157 Alyssa April 20, 2011 at 2:50 am

I’ve also ”liked” Bard Valley Organic Medjool Date on facebook!

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158 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) April 20, 2011 at 2:54 am

That cake looks awesome! My favorite way to enjoy dates is in homemade snack bars/balls. Recipe: http://www.j3nn.net/2011/02/12/burgers-fries-and-balls/

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159 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) April 20, 2011 at 2:54 am

I follow you on Twitter: @j3nndotnet

http://www.twitter.com/j3nndotnet

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160 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) April 20, 2011 at 2:55 am

Tweeted this giveaway: @j3nndotnet

http://www.twitter.com/j3nndotnet

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161 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) April 20, 2011 at 2:56 am

I “like” you on Facebook, but I just added you to my page’s favorites, too: http://www.facebook.com/j3nn.fb

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162 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) April 20, 2011 at 2:58 am

I just “liked” Medjool Dates on Facebook! :)

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163 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) April 20, 2011 at 2:59 am

Just posted this link on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/j3nn.fb

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164 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) April 20, 2011 at 3:00 am

I Stumbled this post!

j3nndotnet on StumbleUpon

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165 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) April 20, 2011 at 3:01 am

I subscribe to your RSS feed! :)

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166 Holly April 20, 2011 at 3:27 am

My favorite recipe to use dates in has to be Averie’s vanilla peanut butter balls!

http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/2010/01/vegan-peanut-butter-vanilla-balls.html

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167 Holly April 20, 2011 at 3:30 am

Following you on Twitter!

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168 Holly April 20, 2011 at 3:31 am

Tweeted!

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169 Holly April 20, 2011 at 3:32 am

Liked Family Fresh Cooking!

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170 Holly April 20, 2011 at 3:32 am

Like Bard Valley!

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171 Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food April 20, 2011 at 3:39 am

My favorite cake in the world (so far) is a chocolate date nut cake that my mom has been making for decades. So I’m immediately captivated by this wonderful recipe, so full of lovely flavors. Must try!

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172 Marla April 20, 2011 at 4:39 am

Barbara: I remember you recently doing a beautiful post for date cake. Your Chocolate Chip Date Nut Cake
is gorgeous!

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173 Betsy April 20, 2011 at 4:38 am

Hi Marla – I stumbled across your blog via Averie, you two are impressive young women! I love dates in any shape or form. I am a high-milage runner, so I rely on these naturally energy packed jewels for fast energy. I like to keep things simple and place one dollop of almond butter in the center – divine!
Hope I win :)

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174 Cameo April 20, 2011 at 4:40 am

I LOVE DATES! I can’t wait to try your recipe. As for the contest, here is my favorite recipe. I actually just use it as an outline because there are endless combos and substitutions that can be made.
http://vergingonserious.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/delicious-anytime-anywhere-any-day-any-hour-amazing-power-bars/

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175 Angie's Recipes April 20, 2011 at 5:02 am

What a gorgeous looking chocolate cake! Love the extra addition of dried dates…delicious!

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176 Lara @ six times the yum April 20, 2011 at 5:29 am

My favorite way to eat dates is by replacing the seed with nut butters. So good!!

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177 Lara @ six times the yum April 20, 2011 at 5:30 am

I liked Family Fresh Cooking on FB!!

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178 Lara @ six times the yum April 20, 2011 at 5:31 am

I liked Bard Valley Medjool Dates!

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179 Emily April 20, 2011 at 6:08 am

I like to make crusts with crushed dates for my pies. Or just eat them drizzled with honey over coconut sorbet or Greek yogurt. Yum.

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180 Annie April 20, 2011 at 6:14 am

I think my favorite date recipe is just dates stuffed with peanut butter

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181 Salah (My Healthiest Lifestyle) April 20, 2011 at 6:30 am

I started reading a book that had a recipe for a morning smoothie including dates and since then it has become my favorite thing ever! It’s 1 banana, 1 orange, 2 dates, blueberries, and I usually add a little spinach to get some greens! :-)

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182 Salah (My Healthiest Lifestyle) April 20, 2011 at 6:34 am

I am following you on twitter!

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183 Salah (My Healthiest Lifestyle) April 20, 2011 at 6:36 am

I tweeted the giveaway!

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184 Salah (My Healthiest Lifestyle) April 20, 2011 at 6:37 am

I’m following Family Fresh Cooking on Facebook!

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185 Salah (My Healthiest Lifestyle) April 20, 2011 at 6:38 am

I’m following Bard Medjool Dates on Facebook!

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186 Grace C April 20, 2011 at 6:46 am

Your cake looks great, but I have to say that my favorite way to enjoy dates is with a little bit of peanut butter smeared on top or chopped up and in a peanut butter sandwich. It’s like honey + peanut butter but better!

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187 Kate April 20, 2011 at 6:48 am

Dates are a huge part of my raw regime. They’re the perfect sweet! Dates inspired this raw version of traditional Girl Scout Samoas. Enjoy!

http://bread-n-chocolate.blogspot.com/2011/04/girls-just-want-to-have-fun-and.html

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188 Jordan P April 20, 2011 at 7:09 am

I actually have only used them to make Averie’s raw vegan dark chocolate fudge balls, but they were HEAVENLY!

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189 Shana April 20, 2011 at 7:11 am

the first way is straight out of the bag! I use chopped dates in trail mix & my hubby likes my mom’s date cookies.
nineteen19 at blackfoot dot net

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190 Shana April 20, 2011 at 7:11 am

face book fan!
nineteen19 at blackfoot dot net

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191 Aleksa April 20, 2011 at 7:39 am

I love eating plain dates with raw almonds! (I like to keep it simple!)

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192 Heidi @ Food Doodles April 20, 2011 at 8:10 am

I love eating dates split open with the seed removed and a small spoon of peanut butter in the middle with a couple chocolate chips. Wow, yum :D

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193 Heidi @ Food Doodles April 20, 2011 at 8:12 am

I signed up by rss :)

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194 Caroline April 20, 2011 at 8:25 am

Just dates stuffed with almond butter

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195 lynn @ the actor's diet April 20, 2011 at 8:52 am

what an amazing giveaway! i love dates just straight up but also wrapped in something savory

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196 Amber K April 20, 2011 at 9:28 am

Wow, that cake looks fantastic! I love using dates to make raw bars, balls, and treats. Yum!

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197 Kate April 20, 2011 at 9:45 am

I love just eating dates raw! Also, I used to make a pretty good carrot cake bread with dates.

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198 Kelly April 20, 2011 at 9:49 am

I’m super boring, but I really just savoring Medjool dates on their own – they’re utterly delicious!

Thanks for the giveaway!

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199 Melissa April 20, 2011 at 9:49 am

My favorite way to eat dates is to incorporate them into raw vegan desserts. Sometimes, I just like to eat them plain, though! Yum!

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200 Haley April 20, 2011 at 10:02 am

Honestly, I love popping the dates in my mouth. Plain ol’ dates. They are so delicious!!

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201 Haley April 20, 2011 at 10:03 am

I subscribed to your e-mail.

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202 Soo April 20, 2011 at 10:57 am

I love grinding dates and mixing them with almond, cocoa powder, honey and peanut butter for mini chocolate peanut butter date balls!

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203 Caroline @ chocolate and carrots April 20, 2011 at 11:22 am

I’ve actually never made anything with dates before. I’d love to give this cake a try for sure! :-)

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204 mi-an April 20, 2011 at 11:34 am

i love making my own larabars with dates! dates is the major ingredient and then i add whatever i like in them like dried bananas, coconut, cashews, cranberries, etc. sometimes i even add protein powder :)

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205 Dori B April 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm

I am your newest Twitter follower!

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206 Dori B April 20, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I posted a tweet about your contest! Three lucky winners? Oh my, I hope one is me! :)

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207 Ashlie April 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm

My favorite way to eat dates is to dip them in tahini – this is a common Middle Eastern snack that my Persian husband turned me onto.

I also love them in this purely fruit sweetened banana bread:
http://delshadduo.blogspot.com/2010/10/banana-date-bread-purely-fruit.html

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208 Cara April 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm

I am a date virgin!!! lol No, really, I am. I have been dying lately to try them and what better way to start then with cake!!! Yummy!!!

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209 Cara April 20, 2011 at 12:13 pm

@cararoo now follows you on twitter!

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210 Dori B April 20, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I ‘liked’ Bard Valley Medjool dates on facebook. These are my new favorite sweet since I have gone dairy free. There are so many good ideas and recipes to include them in!

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211 Cara April 20, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I liked you on facebook (Can you tell that I am really desperate for a date?!? lol)

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212 Marla April 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Cara: This would be the easiest date to go on ;) No need to even primp or change out of sweats.

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213 Dori B April 20, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I ‘liked’ Family Fresh Cooking on facebook! Can’t wait to receive future updates in my newsfeed. Love your blog.

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214 Cara April 20, 2011 at 12:17 pm

And I just subscribed in my google reader. Phew, that is the most I have had to work for a date before! :) Ok, Ok, I’ll stop the puns!!

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215 kate@ahealthypassion April 20, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I tweeted

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216 kate@ahealthypassion April 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm

following you on twitter!

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217 kate@ahealthypassion April 20, 2011 at 1:21 pm

like you on facebook!

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218 kate@ahealthypassion April 20, 2011 at 1:22 pm

I posted on fbook!

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219 Kelly Hanner April 20, 2011 at 2:51 pm

What is your favorite way to enjoy dates?

Hey there Marla! I’m a vegan, and have recently started to try and purifty my diet and keep it as close to natural and free of processed sugar as possible. I have recently learned that I can take dates, mix them with some water, heat them up a bit, and smoosh them with a fork, and that creates a great natural sugar base for many of my baked goods. I love making mango scones with the date paste!! Might even make some now, yummy =)

-Kelly

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220 Irina April 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm

My favorite way to enjoy dates is as mini energy snacks! I adore mashing them and combining them with cocoa powder and/or coconut flakes for a quick and easy energy-boosting snack!

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221 Marci April 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I like dates in homemade Larabars. They give enough sweetness and stickiness to not use sugar. But they still look like roaches to me!

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222 Irina April 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I liked you on Facebook!

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223 Marci April 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I follow you on Twitter.

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224 Irina April 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I liked them on Facebook!

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225 Irina April 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm

I already follow you on Twitter :)

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226 Irina April 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm

And of course, I tweeted about the giveaway as well!

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227 rose April 20, 2011 at 4:40 pm

signed up for email subscription!

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228 rose April 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm

i like to eat dates with raw nuts. yummy!

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229 Jennifer (Savor) April 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I need to know who ate most of that cake.

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230 Marla April 20, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Jennifer, that would be me. I ate most of the date cake.

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231 Cara April 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm

This cake sounds fantastic! My favorite use of dates in baking so far has been in my Squeaky Clean Fudge Brownies.

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232 Cara April 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm

I follow you on twitter.

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233 Cara April 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm

tweeted for you!

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234 Cara April 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm

I like Family Fresh Cooking on Facebook :)

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235 Cara April 20, 2011 at 5:03 pm

I like Bard Valley Mejdool Dates on Facebook.

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236 Cara April 20, 2011 at 5:04 pm

And I stumbled this page. Thanks for the great giveaway opportunity!

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237 Volunteer in Africa April 20, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Sweet Jesus….really like it! thx

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238 fred April 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Just like mummys…. l love it

fred
http://www.I-VolunteerAfrica.org

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239 Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen April 20, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Mmmm….I seriously have an addiction to dates! I love them! Surprisingly I don’t cook or bake with them too often because honestly they never last that long in my house! I think I need to give this one a try though! ;)

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240 Lori nelsen April 20, 2011 at 9:55 pm

I just love, love, love dates! They are something new I have just started eating. So delicious and nutritious!

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241 melissa r B April 20, 2011 at 10:57 pm

I like them split down the middle with a little peanut butter inside…YUMM!

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242 grace April 20, 2011 at 11:14 pm

dates are amazing mostly because they are SO stinkin’ versatile! my favorite way to eat them would be stuffed with cheese and wrapped with bacon. :)

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243 Natalie April 21, 2011 at 5:15 am

i love eating dates with almond butter, microwaved for a few seconds!

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244 Natalie April 21, 2011 at 5:15 am

i subscribed to your RSS feed

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245 Natalie April 21, 2011 at 5:16 am

i follow you on twitter

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246 Natalie April 21, 2011 at 5:17 am

tweeted about this giveaway (cant wait to make this date cake btw!!)

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247 Meredith Goodwin April 21, 2011 at 6:42 am

I just signed up for an email subscription!!!

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248 Meredith Goodwin April 21, 2011 at 6:44 am

I like putting dates in my smoothies in the morning, it gives me a little extra oomph for my morning!!!

1 large or 2 small dates
1/2 cup OJ
1 scoop homemade protein mix
handful of greens(this morning was rainbow chard)
couple handfuls of berries or frozen fruit
1 whole banana

WIZZ away in a blender until delishiously smooth!!!

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249 Marla April 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Meredith: Thanks for sharing that super healthy shake! Love that you got all those greens in there too :)

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250 Meredith Goodwin April 21, 2011 at 6:47 am

I have the RSS feed too!!!

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251 Kimberly Fears April 21, 2011 at 9:14 am

I’m excited about this post. I have only ever eaten dates as the plain fruit, but was just talking to a friend last week about using them in cooking and then you go and post this. It looks great! Now I have a recipe to try. Thanks.

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252 Kimberly Fears April 21, 2011 at 9:19 am

I already like family fresh cooking on facebook

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253 Kimberly Fears April 21, 2011 at 9:20 am

I subscribe to you e-mail updates

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254 Kimberly Fears April 21, 2011 at 9:20 am

I get the RSS feed too.

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255 Laurel April 21, 2011 at 12:15 pm

I just love dates. I try to soak them to use in recipes but I end up stuffing them with cashew butter or chopping in the food processor and rolling in shredded coconut or just eating them out of hand until I’m too full to make anything with them.

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256 Jennie April 21, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Yum, I love dates! I like to add chopped dates to my (homemade) morning oatmeal. 1-2 dates per 1/2 c of oatmeal adds just the right amount of sweetness.

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257 Kristin April 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Dates with peanut or almond butter and cinnamon are my favorite dessert/snack. I also love experimenting with new date recipes because they make EVERYTHING delicious. Recently, I learned that Katie’s Samoas Babies were very tasty… http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/04/11/girl-scout-samoas-in-larabar-form/

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258 Kristin April 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm

I also just added Family Fresh Cooking to my RSS feed – read about your blog through Avery’s – looks great! and that date cake is happening very soon….

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259 Katie April 21, 2011 at 7:11 pm

I love eating them plain! the perfect sweet to end a great meal.

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260 Gloria Jackson-Nefertiti April 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm

I love Medjool dates in smoothies.

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261 Gloria Jackson-Nefertiti April 21, 2011 at 10:13 pm

I “Liked” Family Fresh Cooking on Facebook.

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262 Gloria Jackson-Nefertiti April 21, 2011 at 10:14 pm

I “Liked” Bard Valley Medjool Dates on Facebook.

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263 lindsay April 22, 2011 at 10:58 pm

Awesome giveaway! Just started following you on twitter as @lovesveggees :)

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264 lindsay April 22, 2011 at 11:01 pm

I just liked you on facebook! Thanks for the giveaway! love your site :)

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265 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) April 25, 2011 at 9:56 am

Yay! Thanks, Marla + Medjool Dates!! :)

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266 Julie {BananasForBourbon} May 9, 2012 at 9:10 am

Dates and chocolate are just fantastic. Love this!

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267 Sally @ Chili Garlic Fish February 4, 2014 at 4:24 am

Oh man, my favorite way to eat cake? Probably as the base of a raw dessert, combined with some walnuts.I love to make raw gluten, so I use dates most often in those, or in crusts for raw tarts or cakes! Love that you made sticky toffee pudding a bit healthier.

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