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Middle Eastern inspired promise cake

Middle Eastern inspired promise cake


Treat yourself with this indulgent cake, inspired by the Middle East. If you're looking for something a little less indulgent? Try the cake with no toppings.

  • Feeds 18 Feeds 18
  • Ready in 2 hours 33 minutes

Each serving contains

  • Energy
    4026kj 960kcal
  • Fat
    High 65%
  • Saturates
    High 115%
  • Sugar
    High 92%
  • Salt
    Med 15%

% of adult’s reference intake | Carbohydrates per serving : 124g


For the sponge

  • 375g low fat spread, softened
  • 375g Fairtrade caster sugar
  • 6 large Co-op British free range eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 375g Co-op self raising flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 60ml Co-op semi-skimmed milk

For the icing

  • 375g Co-op unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g Co-op light soft cheese
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 600g Fairtrade icing sugar
  • Pink gel food colouring

For the stuffed, chocolate-dipped dates

  • 225g Co-op soft pitted dates
  • 1 tsp Co-op clear honey
  • 1 tbsp chopped Co-op pistachios
  • 4 green cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed
  • 50g Co-op Fairtrade white chocolate

For the stuffed-walnut cookies

  • 165g Co-op unsalted butter, softened
  • 260g Co-op plain flour
  • 2 tbsp Co-op clear honey
  • 50g Co-op walnuts, finely chopped
  • 25g Fairtrade icing sugar, plus extra to decorate
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp Co-op whole milk


For the sponge

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4, then grease and line the base of three 20cm sandwich tins
  2. Beat the low fat spread and sugar until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding the vanilla paste in with the last egg
  3. Fold in the flour and baking powder, then stir in the milk
  4. Divide between the three prepared tins and bake for 25 mins, or until risen, golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean
  5. Leave to cool for 5 mins, then turn out onto a rack and leave to cool completely

For the icing

  1. Beat the butter, soft cheese and vanilla until creamy, gradually mix in the icing sugar, until fluffy, then divide the mixture into three
  2. Colour one dark pink and one pale pink, leaving the last uncoloured
  3. Put one sponge on a serving plate and spread the top with a large spoonful of the dark pink icing
  4. Put the second sponge on top, repeat for the pale pink icing, then top with the third sponge
  5. Spread the remaining dark icing in a band around the bottom of the cake, and the pale icing around the middle
  6. Cover the top with the white icing, spreading it down the sides, then smooth with a palette knife for an ombré effect

For the stuffed, chocolate-dipped dates

  1. Roughly chop 2 of the dates and put them in a small food processor with the honey, half the pistachios and the crushed cardamom
  2. Whizz to a paste, then stuff the mixture into the remaining dates
  3. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water
  4. Half-dip the dates in the melted chocolate, then sprinkle with the remaining pistachios
  5. Leave to set on a tray lined with greaseproof paper, then use to top the Middle Eastern inspired promise cake

For the stuffed-walnut cookies

  1. Put 15g of the butter and 10g of the flour in a pan over a low heat until the butter melts and the mixture is light golden
  2. Off the heat, stir in the honey and nuts, then leave to cool
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4, put the remaining ingredients in a food processor and whizz into a paste, then divide into 18 balls
  4. Press an indent into the middle of each and add a heaped ¼ tsp of the honey and nut filling; fold over to seal, then press to flatten
  5. Arrange the biscuits on two lined baking trays, pressing with a fork on top to decorate, and bake for 20–25 mins or until golden
  6. When cool, sprinkle with icing sugar, then use to top the Middle Eastern inspired promise cake

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