A marble cake is traditionally a cake featuring a streaked or mottled appearance, which is achieved by blending light and dark coloured batter.
According to Tori Avey , marbling originated in nineteenth century Germany. Tori says the marble cakes made their way to America with German immigrants before the Civil War.
Marble cakes add a wonderful arty feel to cakes, making them so much more appealing and appetising.
A skewer is often run through the layers of batter to add streaks, but you can just leave the layers as they fall as well, which gives a softer appearance almost like ocean waves.
Marble cakes are traditionally made using chocolate and vanilla batters, but for my version, I like to use dates.
Traditionally, marble cakes feature dollops of each batter cast randomly into a baking pan and then a skewer or knife run through all the layers to marble or streak the coloured layers.
So my cake is not quite a traditional marble cake, it’s the easy man’s version and probably closer to a layer cake rather than a marble cake, but it still looks great all the same.
Dates add a natural sweetness to this cake, reducing the need for a lot of sweetener.
Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which is grown in many tropical regions of the world, according to Health Line .
Depending on the variety, fresh dates can vary in size, with the most common varieties being Medjool and Deglet Noor dates (source: Health Line).
There are many health benefits of dates. Apart from being a great healthy natural sweetener, they are high in fibre, contain many nutrients and vitamins, contain disease-fighting anti-oxidants and have a low glycaemic index, which makes them great for people with diabetes as they have the potential to help with blood sugar regulation (source: Health Line).
This recipe relies on the natural sweetness of the dates, so there is no need to add any other sweeteners (that is to the date batter, but for the vanilla batter I add a touch of Stevia powder). So no it’s not a mistake, you don’t need the Stevia in the date batter.
I also use a bit of Lupin Flour in this cake mix. I really like baking with Lupin as it’s a really great low-carb flour alternative. Don’t panic if you can’t find it, you can just use the same amount of almond meal, but just be careful that this will decrease the total carbs slightly.
For more information about baking with Lupin Flour, visit my earlier post Loopy About Lupin Flour.
So if you’re in the mood for some creative cooking, then give my marble date cake a go.
At 1.5 portions per slice, it’s a great treat to satisfy your sweet craving!
Feel free to email me or leave a comment in the comment section of this blog and tell me about your food challenges living with diabetes. I’d love to hear from you!
Diabetic friendly Marble Date Cake
- 50 g Lupin flour
- 150 g Almond meal
- 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp Baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Mixed spice
- 50 g Pecan nuts
- 100 g Dates
- 2 Eggs (Large 800g)
- 1 tsp 100% Pure unsweetened vanilla extract
- 1 cup Hot water (used to soak the dates)
- 3/4 cup Full cream milk
- 1/8 tsp 100% pure Stevia extract powder
- 85 g Light cream cheese
For the vanilla batter: 100g almond meal, 1 tsp baking powder, 1-8 tsp 100% pure Stevia extract powder, 1 egg, 1/4 cup full cream milk, 1/2 tsp 100% pure unsweetened vanilla extract.
For the icing: 50g dates, 85g light cream cheese, 1/8 cup hot water, 1/4 tsp mixed spice.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a small square baking tin (15cm x 15cm) with baking paper (bottom and sides).
Remove seeds from dates (if they aren't already de-seeded). Place dates into a small bowl and soak in boiling hot water (enough to cover them) for approximately 15-20 minutes.
To make the date batter, add 100g of the dates (approximately five large dates), from the bowl into a blender or food processor. Add 3/4 cup of milk and blend until the dates are smooth (you can leave some chunks in).
Add the blended dates and milk to a mixing bowl. Add the other wet ingredients including egg and vanilla and mix well with a spoon.
In a separate bowl, add all the dry ingredients including the lupin flour and almond meal, Stevia, bicarbonate of soda, banking powder and mixed spice and stir together til well combined.
Roughly crush the pecan nuts and add them to the dry ingredients and mix well.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together until well combined. Leave aside while you prepare the vanilla batter.
To make the vanilla batter, combine the almond meal, baking powder, Stevia, egg vanilla and milk together in a bowl and mix until well combined.
To assemble the cake, pour half of the date batter into the lined tin. Then on top of this, pour all of the vanilla batter. Lastly, pour the remaining date batter on top and smooth out with a spatula.
Bake cake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 55 mins or until cooked (pierce the centre with a wooden skewer and it should come out clean). Once the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool.
To make the icing, remove the remaining soaked dates from the hot water and place in a small blender or food processor along with 1/8 cup of the water in which they were soaking (you can use the back of a fork to mash the dates if you prefer). Blend until the dates are smooth.
Add the pureed dates to a bowl, along with the cream cheese and mixed spice and stir until all ingredients are well combined.
Remove the cake from the cake tin and spoon over the icing on top of the cake, using the back of a knife or spatula. Smooth over so the cake is evenly covered.
Cut the cake into six even rectangular slices and serve.