Date and Cashew Muffins

With Apricot Jam Glazing

Date and Cashew Muffins myfavouritepastime.com_6016I know I keep on saying that I love pretty things. Don’t you love pretty things, too? But life’s not about pretty things, only. There are a lot of things out there that I like and even love, that are not pretty at all, like the chewy dried dates, sold in bulk. They’re sweet, keep for very long and can be used for “survival food” on long trips or even in refugee camps. They are thus known as “the cake of the poor”, a popular Saudi name.

Date and Cashew Muffins myfavouritepastime.com_6008Dates can be classified as soft, semi-soft or dry. They vary in taste, flavour, texture, colour, size and shape. They are great, eaten on their own, but for an extra-special treat, try stuffing them with: whole almonds; goat cheese and almonds; herbed goat cheese; cream cheese; honey and pistachio; chocolate; coconut; chickpeas; or chopped pieces of walnuts or pecans. For a spicy twist, tuck in a piece of crystallized ginger root, or use freshly ground pepper, chilli pepper or pickled jalapeño.

Date and Cashew Muffins myfavouritepastime.com_6013Today I want to share with you a recipe for Date and Cashew Muffins with orange. The muffins are not very sweet, because I find dates, sweet too. If you love very sugary muffins, then you might need to adjust the sugar to suit your palate. I enjoyed these muffins, and I hope you do too!

Ingredients

  • 275g (2 cups + 2tablespoons, 10oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 15ml (1 tablespoon) baking powder
  • 125g sugar (½ cup)
  • Finely grated zest of one orange
  • 1 large egg
  • 125ml (½ cup) buttermilk
  • 125ml (½ cup) orange juice
  • 125g (⅓ cup, 1 stick + 1 tablespoon) butter, melted and cooled
  • 175g chopped dates
  • 50g (¼ cup) cashew nuts chopped

Date and Cashew Muffins myfavouritepastime.com_6352Please always remember to assemble all ingredients before you start. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a 12-hole, medium, muffin tin (pan) with paper cases. Soak dates in the orange juice, 1 hour in advance.

Date and Cashew Muffins myfavouritepastime.com_6353Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl

Date and Cashew Muffins myfavouritepastime.com_6356and stir in the sugar and orange zest.

Date and Cashew Muffins myfavouritepastime.com_6357Make a well in the centre.

Date and Cashew Muffins myfavouritepastime.com_6360In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk and melted butter.

Date and Cashew Muffins myfavouritepastime.com_6365Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture.

Date and Cashew Muffins myfavouritepastime.com_6369Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.

Date and Cashew Muffins myfavouritepastime.com_6370Fold in the soaked dates.

Date and Cashew Muffins myfavouritepastime.com_6375Spoon into prepared tins. Top with two halved cashew nuts and sprinkle with some turbinado sugar

Date and Cashew Muffins myfavouritepastime.com_6386Bake at 400°F (200°C) 16-22 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand for 5 minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool slightly. (I baked at 400°F (200°C) for 22 minutes)

Date and Cashew Cupcakes myfavouritepastime.com_5992The muffins tasted delicious

Date and Cashew Muffins myfavouritepastime.com_6009I brushed them  with some warmed, sieved, apricot jam, while still warm

Date and Cashew Cupcakes myfavouritepastime.com_6012Serve with some coffee

Date and Cashew Muffins myfavouritepastime.com_6015

or tea or eat as a snack

Date and Cashew Muffins

Preparation time: 20 minutes + I hour soaking time; Baking time: 16-22 minutes Makes: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 275g (2 cups + 2tablespoons, 10oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 15ml (1 tablespoon) baking powder
  • 125g sugar (½ cup)
  • Finely grated zest of one orange
  • 1 large egg
  • 125ml (½ cup) buttermilk
  • 125ml (½ cup) orange juice
  • 125g (⅓ cup, 1 stick + 1 tablespoon) butter, melted and cooled
  • 175g chopped dates
  • 50g (¼ cup) cashew nuts chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a 12-hole, medium, muffin tin (pan) with paper cases. Soak dates in orange juice 1 hour in advance.
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the sugar and orange zest. Make a well in the centre.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk and melted butter. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Fold in the soaked dates. Spoon into prepared tin.
  4. Bake at 400°F (200°C) 16-22 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand for 5 minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool slightly.
  5. **I weigh the flour and butter, I do not use cup measures as the weight of a cup of flour tends to vary based on individual interpretation or publication, (from 125g to 130g to 155g per cup).
  6. Cup measures based on 1 cup = 125g flour so that would be the US cup of 240ml, not the Australian Cup.

Points to note:

  • Please note that oven temperatures are given as a guideline only. You may need to add or reduce the suggested temperature depending on your oven. I baked the muffins at 400°F (200°C) for 21 minutes.
  • Please note that the muffins are not very sweet,  because dates are sweet, if you want them sweeter, adjust the sugar to suit your palate.
  • I always weigh ingredients, especially the flour and butter. You can use cup measures, but please note if you scoop flour directly from the bag you will end up with 150-185 g of flour instead of the recommended 125g. I suggest you spoon the flour into the cup, heaping it up over the top, then slide a knife across the top to level off the extra. Be careful not to shake or tap the cup to settle down the flour or you will have more than you need. You can also sift the flour first then scoop. My best advice: please use a weighing scale

myfavouritepastime.com 

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

63 thoughts

  1. Hi,
    I am glad someone shared my blog to your group. I am happy that you enjoyed the information and I hope you’ll be a frequent visitor. Thanks for the kind words. Wish you a Merry Christmas and a Fabulous 2014,
    Liz

    1. Hey there Sophie where have you been? I have kinda missed seeing you lovely face, but I know summer can be hectic and full of distractions. Thanks, Sophie, for making the muffins and for giving feedback and most of all for liking them. YOu’ve made my Sunday. Wish you a wonderful week, ahead. I’m sure Sunday is almost history now!

    1. Don’t worry. I had never thought of it either, but I did it and I liked it. I would make it over and over again. Thank you for visiting me and have a lovely week!

  2. These look so delicious, Liz!! I love how pretty the muffins look… almost too pretty to eat (actually, that’s a lie– they look so pretty that I want to shove my face in a dozen of them!!)! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!!

    1. Hi Yurpa,
      Thanks so much for showering me with compliments. I feel extremely honoured and happy that you love the muffins…I wish I could bake a dozen and ship them over to you, if only it were possible. I had a fantastic weekend and the week has started so well for me, too. I have absolutely nothing to complain about.
      I hope you had a wonderful weekend too, and your week is awesome, like mine.
      Could you please provide the link to your blog? I would love to visit you too. Thank you and have a wonderful day/evening, whichever applies.
      P/S I have just seen the link to your blog in the second message you’ve just left and I am now heading to your blog. No worries….

  3. I love these muffins (I mean, the idea, the description and the mouth watering photographs)
    I’m a resident of Saudi and so the dates make this post extra fun; we’ve been breaking our fast with them stuffed with almonds for the past month. I hope your upcoming week will be great! =)

    1. Hey Sugarme,
      you should post some recipes of those stuffed dates. I need to learn some Saudi cooking from you. When will you start posting again? I am kinda missing your little posts and look forward to them. How was Eid? did everything go as planned? I am dying to hear how everything went for you and your family! Thank you for visiting me!!!

      1. Oh, thank you! They’re pretty easy, just blanched almonds in split medjool dates! some of the more fancy ones I tried last month were ajwa dates with a mixture of chopped nuts and cardamon. I haven’t eaten a lot of Saudi savory dishes, that or I can’t tell because the Arabic food we eat is from all over the place. Saudi sweets, though, are something I truly adore. (Baklava is an art to eat, if that makes sense)

        1. That’s interesting. At least you can share with us some Saudi sweets,. Because you adore them, it will be much easier to make. Happy Hibernation. I look forward to seeing you. Pleasant weekend!

    1. Drooling is always a good sign for me. It means it can be eaten. Thank you Erika, I had a sneak peek of your kitchen and dogs!!! Enjoy your weekend!

  4. These sound terrific, Liz, and your topping them with cashew decorated apricot jam makes them that much more special. I bet they’re very well-received whenever you serve them. 🙂

    1. Hi John,
      I am always so happy to see you!
      I love dates and I love cashew nuts, so you can imagine how much I enjoyed eating these muffins. My best wishes to Max and wish you a lovely weekend!

    1. Hi Fae!
      Ha ha you’ve cracked me up Fae. That is a good sign coz you wouldn’t be speechless unless you thought they were very nice.
      Thanks for your support here and on Facebook. I truly appreciate you, always!

    1. Hi there!
      Howz Germany? I had some German friends visit yesterday, so you can guess how greetings from Germany excite me! Thanks for complimenting and wish you a wonderful weekend!

    1. I visited your blog, saw the lovely beet salad and your beautiful photos and promptly forgot about this comment. I am still plotting and planning for a beet salad LOL. They were goeey, sticky and everything good you can think of. I enjoyed them, while they lasted. Thank you, Lain, for visiting me. Have a lovely weekend!

  5. I would like to thank you all for liking the “Date and Cashew Muffins”. Please note that if you visit my blog, I would like to visit yours too, if ONLY you could provide a link to your website on your Gravatar page.
    Please check your Gravatar page and ensure you have a link to your blog. It makes life much easier for all of us who love interacting.
    Thank you in advance, and wish you all a very wonderful weekend!

  6. These look so beautiful and tasty! I too love a pretty baked good. It just cheers me up, especially with a cup of tea. May have to try these too, my list is getting soooo long!

    1. Haha, I am planning to sit down with my list and recipe collection, so that I can make a schedule for the rest of the year.
      I am a big procrastinator though, so I’ve been scheduling the ‘list’ in my mind for months. Time to put it on paper. Have a wonderful weekend!

      1. Good luck with the list! I used to be a huge planner, life with three young boys pretty much stopped that for now. At least in the past couple weeks I have managed to make several things I have found in other blogs. I am even baking bread today!

        1. I’ve started my list, thank god. It’s going to be posted on the Recipe Index, so there will be no “we shall do it tomorrow” excuse.
          You’re what I would call versatile, I am really impressed that you can manage to run two blogs and a household full of boys. I’ll just continue encouraging you from here. Wish you a lovely weekend!

        2. I will have to check out the list soon. I have a list of things I want to create, but it is long so it will take time! Not a problem though, I will never run out of things to make.

  7. Liz, you made me drool (again!)
    With a cup of cardamon honey tea and those lovely muffins, one will think that it is a teatime in Middle East! 😀

    1. I love it when I make you drool, it means the muffins are good for eating. I love the sound of cardamon honey tea, now you’re making me drool too.
      I have just woken up and I think it’s time to make a cup of cardamon tea and some left over muffins.
      Enjoy your evening, Hari. And thank you so much for visiting me!

  8. Setting my computer to chime at six each evening to obtain the fresh goodness! And yes, my computer is in my kitchen. It allows me to ride herd on my kitchen window for animals that migrate across the scene, and to keep my eye on any cooking/baking that is being done. I have a lovely perch at a kitchen island that looks out on the back area towards the mountains. Must close up shop for mealtimes, though, but can easily re-install the notebook in a flash after I’ve finished cleaning up the kitchen. A delightful set up! The best of two of my two favorite worlds.

    1. I really love the sound of your kitchen. with that lovely view of the scene and the mountains in the background. It must be very cosy and inviting and a delightful set up indeed!. And love the way you’re multitasking and balancing all those things you do. Hope you enjoyed the muffins? the next order will be at 6 today. Have a lovely weekend.

  9. These look wonderful! Also, “the cake of the poor” is one I hadn’t heard before. Is that in contrast to figs, which a friend of mine referred to as “the food of the gods” when I saw her with a box of them at the market?

    1. Hi Jon
      What a pleasant surprise!
      I have only heard of the “The food of the gods”, the movie and the novels. The box of figs, I hear from you now. Thanks for teaching me.
      Is it hot like there? At least now temperatures have cooled down a bit. Thank you for the visit. My best regards to your family!

  10. Everything you post looks so delicious! My goodness, I’ve never even heard of this type of muffin before…..maybe that’s why they seems so enticing. The combination of ingredients I would never have thought to use. Did I tell you I bought a scale? I am astounded at the variations in a cup of flour. I’ve been experimenting. Today I bought a bag of cake and pastry flour and it weighed just a tad more than regular flour. What a difference between all the variations of whole grain, whole wheat, bread flour and so on. I’m glad you pointed that out! I was very careful in filling each cup and smoothing it off on top so it was a fair interpretation on the scales! Thanks for the advice, and hope it’s not too hot where you live right now, we are very very warm! (I’m not complaining, it’s so short lived and then it’s winter!) 😉

    1. Thank you so much Sandy. When I see your face I immediately burst into a smile and as soon I start reading I crack up in laughter.
      My hubby bought me this huge bag of cashew nuts so I am looking around for ways to use it. You’ll soon see me posting some rice with cashew and other things too.
      I don’t bother with cups when it comes to flour and butter, I just weigh them on my dainty little scale and I just love it.
      It’s hot today, the air conditioner noise is irritating me right now. It will not be hot for too long though. I am not complaining either and please do not remind me of winter…thanks and have a good night!!!

  11. These muffins looks delightful and I’m imagining them with a large cup of coffee on a rainy Sunday morning. I am very excited to try these! I enjoy baked goods when they’re not too sweet, so I think these will suit my palate well 🙂

    1. I had mine with a huge mug of spicy tea when the temperatures had dipped. I hope you enjoy them.
      I am so glad there are others who don’t like very sweet like me, when it comes to baked goods. Phew!
      Thanks so much for visiting me. Enjoy your Friday and the weekend!

  12. They look so yummy, soft, warm, melting in the mouth…. The pics are so lively. Loved them.
    One question : I read baking powder 1 tbsp. I never understand why some recipes call for more baking powder and some for less. Any light on that? Trying to educate myself and since your baked products are always marvelous, so thought you Malpighi solve my problem :).
    Sonal

    1. I am not an expert but these muffins have less egg in them hence I added more baking powder, when I have more eggs I add less baking.
      Also I don’t use cup measures, I weigh in grams, precisely and I am sure that does make a difference because cup measures can be arbitrary and you can never get the same measurement in two different scoops. I hope that helps? Thanks for liking my post!

  13. Oh, Liz, those do look delightful. When I fist looked at the picture I was trying to figure out how you got such uniform parenthesis on top of your muffins. Then I looked a little closer and realized they were the cashews. Clever.

    1. Hi there Janet,
      Thank you for complimenting and for reminding me of math classes (how I hated those long equations in parenthesis). I was always in limbo, Have a goodnight!

  14. You make it look so easy! No fair – I’m starving at the moment – just starting dinner. But first . . . a trip to my mailbox to pick up this week’s mailing from you! ;->

    1. You mean I have been mailing fresh and you’ve been eating, stale? You have to be at the mailbox, every evening at six to maintain freshness. Enjoy your dinner, I had mine hours ago. And by the way are you eating with a computer by your side? Have a goodnight!

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