Wedding Refreshments: Orange Date Cake

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Orange date cake doesn't call a lot of attention to itself. It isn't glamorous or showy. But in its understated way it is satisfying.

Don’t throw away your orange rinds. Of course you can’t eat them as they are, but when grated into small shreds they lend a citrus-y accent to ordinary date cake that makes it more than the sum of its parts. You can serve orange date cake as part of your wedding refreshments or as coffee cake at Sunday brunch.

In fact if any cake is left over from the wedding reception you could have that at brunch, except there won’t be any left over.

Orange Date Cake

6 cups sifted whole wheat flour (or 3 cups whole wheat and 3 cups unbleached flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups soft butter
2 1/2 cups honey
6 beaten eggs
6 tablespoons grated orange rind
2 cups milk or buttermilk
3 cups chopped dates
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
3/4 cup flour (to dust dates and nuts)

Sift together (twice) the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Cream the butter, honey, and eggs together, and add the orange rind to that mixture. Slowly mix in the sifted, dry ingredients, alternating them with the milk. When the mixture is smooth, stir in the floured dates and nuts. Pour the batter into three greased and floured pans, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350°F. Cool the layers on racks. Makes three cakes.

The cake is good as is, but we think you’d like it with this frosting too.

Cream Cheese Frosting

5 packages cream cheese
2 sticks real butter
4 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 cup honey

Cream these ingredients together and spread them on the cooled cakes. Then decorate with fresh flowers and fresh fruit, toasted almonds, walnuts, coconut, raisins, cinnamon, date sugar, fresh mint leaves, dates, or cut-out cookies.

See A Natural Foods Wedding Feastfor more recipes.