Warm Date Cake with Whiskey Sauce ~ The Best Form of Day Drinking

Raise your hand if you’re into day-drinking. Not a fan? What if the booze comes in the form of drunken baked goods? It changes the stakes now, doesn’t it? If you’re really alcohol-averse, you can shake off any guilt, and swap the liquid whiskey for the baker’s version. This warm whiskey sauce topping a delicious date cake is irresistible any way you cut it (pun intended). Maybe it’s the booze talking, but how great does it sound to have whiskey and dates topped with goat-cheese ice-cream, all before the clock strikes noon?

I’m a huge fan of involving my guests in the baking process.  It drives me bonkers to be in the kitchen and simply ‘serve’ people dessert…community crumbs, people!

You can easily deconstruct this recipe a bit and enlist your guests in putting it all together.  My favorite is the poking part…it’s time to take out some stabbing paraphernalia.  (Skewers work perfectly!)  Let your guests ‘poke’ the date cake on top and then pour the whiskey sauce over it – infusion at its finest.

Warm whiskey sauce with cherry date cake.

Next, pop a scoop of your favorite ice-cream; I seem to rely on Jeni’s, as they really never disappoint.  A solid accompaniment is the goat-cheese-cherry ice cream, a perfect combo with the rich, fruity cake and warm whiskey sauce.  Are you drooling yet?

Warm whiskey sauce with cherry date cake.

This recipe is ultimately quite simple, if you have no distractions. If you’re like me though, you’re wrestling with your kids to do their homework, cooking a meatloaf in the oven, and mom is calling you about going to church.  Geeze! Amidst all this, I actually forgot to ‘PIT’ the dates.  I took a deep breath, twitched my nerdy glasses, and took a few steps back. Baking is unique, in that you can usually find a point where you can restart the process. Just remember to pit! Speaking of pits, if you’re not a huge fan of dates (or the kiddos aren’t) then cherries would get the job done just as easily- your choice!

Here’s what I’ve learned about pitting: you slice 1/4″-1/8″ down lengthwise into the date. You will hit the pit, squeeze the date open and remove the pit.  Voila.  If you are interested in seeing a video, check this out, “How To Remove Pits From Dates.”  YouTube, I love you.

Warm whiskey sauce with cherry date cake.

The whiskey sauce is made on the stove, and will take you less than 5 minutes.  Make your liquid gold (butter + brown sugar), and add in the cream.  Last, top-off with whiskey.  Even first-timers can master this sauce.

You’re ready for serving time! Gather your goods, and get ready for the poking part of this party.  Be sure to savor these next steps, as you and your guests will love watching this sauce sink into this moist rich cherry date cake.

Am I right?  Are you in love?  Let me know if you try any fun ice cream flavors that you think worked great with this awesome combo.

Warm whiskey sauce with cherry date cake.

Stay thirsty my friends.  No, this isn’t a beer commercial, but all this booze discussion has me feeling like the most interesting nerd in the world.

Warm whiskey sauce with cherry date cake.

Recipe Credits: Gjelina

Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography

Warm Date Cake with Whiskey Sauce

By TheSweetNerd  ,

November 10, 2016

Recipe Credits: Gjelina

  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins


Date Cake

1 lb dates, pitted

2 tsp baking soda

2 1/3 cups very hot water (560ml)

1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (300g)

1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (270g)

2 tsp baking powder

Whiskey Sauce

5 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 cups packed dark brown sugar

1 cup heavy cream

2 1/2 tbsp whiskey



1Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter as many ramekins as needed.

2Chop the dates. Then, in a small bowl, combine the dates and baking soda. Pour the hot water over the dates and mix with a fork until they have mostly dissolved and are pulpy are 5 minutes.

3Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into a large bowl. Whisk in the granulated sugar, egg and egg yolk until the mixture is pale yellow and falls in smooth ribbons when lifted with a spoon. Stir in the date mixture, incorporating it completely.

4In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Gently fold the flour into the date mixture until just incorporate.

5Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Leave the cake in the pan for about 40 minutes before serving.

Whiskey Sauce

1In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter (at medium temperature) with the brown sugar. Gradually add the cream, pouring in a steady stream while whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and whisk in the whiskey.

2Pierce the cake all over twelve to twenty times with a butter knife or a skewer. Pour half of the sauce over the top of the cake, guiding it into these holes.

3When ready to serve, drizzle the remaining whiskey sauce on top of cakes. Serve on dessert plates, accompanied by scoops of lovely ice cream.


Warm whiskey sauce with cherry date cake.


  • I have to admit that I love a little day drinking (we’re on vacation right now, so I’m a little biased). And of course I love cake. This combo warms my heart. I would be happily poking, pouring and gobbling if I were a guest at your table!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      8 years ago

      Have fun on vacation! Thanks for being so supportive. Xo

  • Ahhhh! Yes! I am all about community crumbs and day drinking, especially when it comes in the form of drunken baked goods! These flavors have me wanting dessert and it’s only 5 am! You are good, my friend!!

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      8 years ago

      Thanks Annie, gotta do what you gotta do! Just teasing. But truly, this one is a keeper, dense and delicious.

  • This sounds like a delicious holiday dessert.

    • Cindy "TheSweetNerd" Rodriguez
      8 years ago

      Thanks Karen, I love this dessert. It is rich, flavorful, and filling!

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