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Sticky Date Cake with Black Treacle Icing

This Sticky Date Cake is gluten-free and made with toffee-like medjool dates which boast incredible flavour. It’s adorned with a simple buttercream, deepened with the molasses flavour of black treacle. The ultimate tea-time treat.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Servings: 9 people
Calories: 593kcal


  • 275 ml just boiled water
  • 1 black teabag
  • 200 g medjool dates stoned and diced
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 180 g dark soft brown sugar
  • 75 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 140 g teff flour
  • 140 g almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Black Treacle Buttercream

  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 180 g icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black treacle
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan assisted/ gas mark 4 and line and grease an 8 inch square baking tin.
  • Place the teabag into a large bowl and pour in the just boiled water. Brew for 3 minutes.
  • Remove the teabag and pour in the diced dates. Set aside for 10 minutes while you can prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Beat the sugar and butter together until the sugar has turned creamy.
  • Pour in the egg and dates and mix until completely combined.
  • Whisk the flours together with the baking powder and salt.
  • Add the flour mixture to the rest of the ingredients and mix together well.
  • Pour the batter into the baking tin and bake for 50 minutes.
  • Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack before icing.

Black Treacle Buttercream

  • Beat the butter and icing sugar together for 6-8 minutes until incredibly light and creamy.
  • Add in the black treacle and mix in until completely incorporated.
  • Spread the buttercream over the top of the cooled cake and cut into 9 squares.


  • Medjool Dates are a must for this cake and can’t really be substituted for regular dates. Dice the dates up small for even distribution throughout the cake.
  • Tea – use a good quality black teabag. Don’t brew for longer than 3-5 minutes or the tea will taste ‘stewed.’
  • Butter – use unsalted and make sure it’s room temperature before creaming with the sugar.
  • Teff Flour and Almond Flour – sift well with the salt and baking powder so they mix evenly throughout the cake.
  • Check the cake is baked by inserting a cocktail stick or skewer into the middle of the cake. It should come out dry with no sticky crumbs.
  • Store – keep the cake in a cool airtight tin for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing – this cake freezes well, iced or un-iced.


Calories: 593kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 336mg | Potassium: 272mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 56g | Vitamin A: 823IU | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 3mg