Would you say no to a juicy, sweet apricot cake? Me neither, especially when this cake is healthy at the time, such as this simple date-sweetened apricot cake recipe.
Since we only use the incredibly tasty natural sweetness of dates, we can omit refined sugar and make this cake much more wholesome. Plus, we save ourselves a ton of excess calories by replacing butter with applesauce. I can ensure you, you won’t notice the difference!
Uh, and in case apricots aren’t your thing or they simply aren’t in season right now, you can make this easy, healthy cake with other fruits of your choice, such as apples, cherries, or plums.Jump to Recipe
Healthy & Nutritious
Butter, sugar, and white flour are ingredients that you would normally find in almost every cake recipe. Unfortunately, they’re not particularly healthy or calorie-friendly, which is why we’re simply omit them today.
Instead of the refined sugar, we sweeten our apricot cake batter with Medjool dates. Of course, the sweetness of dates is also sugar. However, dates contain mainly fructose, which has a stronger sweetening power than the sucrose in white or brown sugar. In addition, unlike sugar, dates also contain vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
In addition, we will once again replace our white flour with whole wheat flour. I know I repeat myself almost every week, but whole grains are so much healthier than white flour. That’s why I try to switch to whole grain alternatives as often as I can.
Finally, let’s save some calories on our delicious apricot cake, shall we? So, we’ll replace the butter with a tablespoon of oil and some applesauce. This combination, of a small dash of oil and the unsweetened applesauce, replaces the butter beautifully and makes for a fluffy, moist dough.
Ingredients and Substitutions
The ingredients given in this recipe are perfect for a regular springform pan of about 26 centimeters or something that’s a little bit smaller like my improvised constructions with the baking frame. However, if you prefer to make a smaller cake, feel free to adjust the amounts by half.
To make this apricot cake you’ll need…
- about four Medjool dates for sweetness
- whole wheat flour
- some ground almonds or almond flour
- baking powder for fluffiness
- cinnamon for extra sweetness and flavor
- one tablespoon of vegetable oil
- unsweetened applesauce as a calorie friendly substitute for butter
- two eggs to bind the dough
- and of course, some fresh, juicy apricots
Instead of whole wheat flour, you can of course use wholegrain spelt flour. You can also replace the ground almonds with hazelnuts or walnuts.
If apricots are not in season, you can also substitute them with another fruit of your choice. I have tried this cake with apples and cherries before, which also tasted delicious. Furthermore plums or pears would be great substitutions as well.
To bake the apricot cake, you can either use a classic springform pan (26 cm diameter), a silicon springform pan or a round baking frame. You can simply place the baking frame on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and grease it like the springform pan with a little butter, oil, or non-stick baking spray.
How to Make this Recipe
To sweeten our apricot cake evenly and not just have some sweet bits and pieces here and there, we first have to turn the dates into a date puree.
To do this, we first pit the dried fruits and cut them a little smaller. Then we pour half a cup of boiling hot water over them and let them soak for about ten minutes.
In the meantime, you can already wash, halve, and pit the apricots. You can also mix the dry ingredients, which are flour, almonds, baking powder and the spices in a large mixing bowl. If there is still some time left, you can grease your springform pan with some baking spray, oil, or butter.
Once the ten minutes are up, you can pour off about half of the water, but don’t pour it away, as we’ll need it in a second. Then grab a fork and mash the dates into a puree with as few pieces as possible.
Now you can add the date puree, eggs, applesauce and the oil to the dry ingredients and mix everything together with a hand mixer or a whisk until smooth. As you do this, gradually add the remaining date soaking water.
Now you can pour your batter into the pan and smooth it out. Finally, you cover it with the apricots, which you press lightly into the dough. Now bake the apricot cake in the oven at 180°C or 350°F for about 30 to 35 minutes. And don’t forget to make the toothpick test bevor removing the cake from the oven.
Your Common Questions Answered
Can I use a different fruit instead of apricots?
Of course, you can. I’ve made this cake with apples and cherries before, but feel free to use whatever it in season.
Can I substitute the almonds?
Sure, feel free to use ground walnuts or hazelnuts instead or the same amount of almond flour.
How to substitute the dates?
Instead of dates you can also use dried apricots. However, I think, dates are the best natural sweetener for this job.
Here’s How to Save this Recipe for Later
You may not know this about me, but I am the queen of freezing cakes. Since I test recipes several times in a row, I usually freeze at least the half of every cake I make. So, feel free to do the same thing. And then, whenever you feel like having a cake, but don’t have the time to bake one, you can defrost one piece or the entire leftover cake.
Speaking from my personal experience, the apricot cake will keep up to three days stored in a cake container or up to month in your freezer.
I hope you like this simple but really delicious apricot cake recipe and that you give it a try soon.
And in case, you’ve tried this apricot cake, I’d appreciate your comment and rating for this recipe. It’s easy to do via the comments section below this post and it would mean the world to me.
Have fun trying it out and bon appétit,
Save for later
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If you loved this apricot cake, I hope you will also try some of my other healthy dessert recipes!
- 1 springform pan or a round baking frame
- 1 hand mixer alternatively a kitchen machine or whisk
- 4 large Medjool dates (≈80 grams or 2.8 oz)
- 120 ml boiling water (½ cup)
- 250 g whole wheat flour (8.8 oz or ≈1⅔ cups)
- 30 g ground almonds (≈⅓ cup or 3.1 oz)
- 10 g baking powder (2 tsp)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 150 g unsweetened applesauce (5.3 oz or ½ cup plus 1 tbsp)
- 2 eggs
- 5 to 7 apricots
- Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F convection oven. Pit the dates, chop them coarsely and pour 120ml of hot water over them, let them soak for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, wash, halve and pit the apricots. Grease the baking pan or baking frame with some oil or butter (if you use a silicone baking pan, you don't need to do this).
- Place the whole wheat flour, almonds, baking powder and spices in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Drain half of the date water, set aside and mash the dates thoroughly with a fork.
- Add the date puree, eggs, oil and applesauce to the batter and mix well, gradually adding the remaining date water.
Bake the cake
- Pour the dough into the springform pan, spread the apricot halves on top and press them lightly into the dough. Bake the cake at 180°C/350°F for 30 to 35 minutes. Check if it’s done after 30 minutes, by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
- calories: 215 kcal
- fat: 5,9 g (saturated fatty acids: 0,6g)
- carbohydrates: 31.7 g (sugar: 5.3g | fiber: 5.5g)
- proteines: 6.6 g