This Flourless Walnut Date cake is grain-free and features very little sugar – it’s practically a health food! We love the hints of citrus throughout and accents of candied orange zest on top. If you’re watching your sugar intake, use fewer candied oranges on your slice. This recipe is super friendly to spice too – if you want to play around a bit, we suggest adding some freshly grated nutmeg.


For the Cake

  • 3 cups Walnut Halves (330 g)
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon, ground (1.4 g)
  • ¼ cup Sugar (56 g)
  • 4 large Eggs, separated
  • 2 tsp. Orange zest (4.8 g)
  • 1 tsp. Rodelle Vanilla Extract (5 grams)
  • Pinch of kosher Salt
  • ¾ cup pitted dates, chopped (113 g)

For the Glaze:

  • 4 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate (113 g)
  • 3 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter or Margarine (45 g)
  • 1 tsp. Honey (6 g)

For the Garnish:

  • Chopped toasted walnuts
  • Candied orange zest, recipe follows

Candied Orange Zest

  • 2 cups water (480 mL)
  • 1-2 navel oranges
  • 1 ½ cups sugar (340 grams)
  • 1 tsp. Rodelle Vanilla Extract (5 grams)
  • ½ tsp. Salt (3 g)

For the Cake and Glaze:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a 9” round cake pan by spraying with nonstick cooking spray and parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, pulse walnuts, sugar and cinnamon together until finely ground but not flour. In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, orange zest and Rodelle Vanilla Extract.
  3. In a mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold egg whites and date mixture into the yolk mixture.
  4. Scrape the finished batter into the prepared cake pan, and smooth out so that you have a nice even cake.
  5. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, approximately 20-25 minutes.
  6. Once cake is finished baking, cool in pan and run a knife around the edges to release cake. Place cake on a nice platter to finish.
  7. Make the glaze by adding the glaze ingredients to a microwave safe dish and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at 30 seconds intervals and whisk at each interval for a smooth glaze. Once glaze is melted and smooth, pour or spoon over the top of the cake.
  8. Finish the cake by topping with toasted walnuts and candied orange zest(optional, recipe below.)

For the Candied Orange Zest:

  1. Wash the oranges, and peel in long strips. Then slice the peels into julienne strips of desired thickness.
  2. Add the julienned orange strips into a saucepan with the water, 1 cup of the sugar and salt.
  3. Bring mixture up to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until zest is softened, but still bright orange.
  4. Remove mixture from the heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. After cooking, stir in Rodelle Vanilla Extract.
  5. Allow zest to rest in orange syrup for another 5 minutes before straining from simple syrup and placing on a drying rack.
  6. Zest should dry for 5 minutes on drying rack before tossing into a bowl with the remaining sugar.
  7. The zest is ready to use. Also, save the simple syrup for a mixed drink, iced tea, or to moisten the layers of a layer cake.

Note: this recipe was based off of a Food Network recipe, click here for the original post.

This recipe was created for Rodelle by Phillip Stepler, part of ADM's Culinary Team. Photos by Amanda at @frommetovuu.