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Recipe is from Gourmet Magazine (Nov. 1990). If you don't like dates or pecans you can substitute for other nuts and dried fruit (eg. cranberries and walnuts). The original recipe calls for 1/4 c. more sugar which is too sweet for my taste. It's a great holiday recipe.
- 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
- 3⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, plus
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 3⁄4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup solid-pack pumpkin (canned)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 lb pitted dried dates, cut into thirds (about 2 cups)
- 1 1⁄2 cups chopped pecans
- Into a bowl sift together the flour, the baking powder, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the cloves, and the salt. In another bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter and the sugar, add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating, and beat in the pumpkin, the vanilla, and 1/4 cup water. In a small bowl toss the dates with 1/4 cup of the flour mixture until they are coated well.
- Gradually add the remaining flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture, beating slowly, and stir in the date mixture and the pecans, stirring until the batter is combined well.
- Pour the batter into a greased baking pan, 13 by 9 by 2 inches, and bake the cake in the middle of a preheated 350°F oven for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a rack and cut it into squares.