Date & Pistachio Cake with Candied Orange | Courtesy of Sweet Paul Magazine

Serves 8-10

1 cup pitted dates
1 cup semolina
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 stick butter, melted
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
½ cup+¼ cup pistachios,
roughly chopped
1 cup+½ cup sugar
1 cup water
4 oranges


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Soak the dates in hot water for about half an hour, to soften.
3. Drain and blend in a food processor until smooth.
4. Toast the semolina in a dry skillet until lightly browned.
5. Add flour and baking powder that has been pre-mixed.
6. In a large bowl, mix melted butter, sweetened condensed milk, and egg using a hand mixer.
7. Add the date paste and blend well.
8. Slowly add the flour mixture, and mix well.
9. Lastly, add the chopped pistachios and incorporate.
10. Butter and flour a 9” round baking pan, and pour in batter.
11. Smooth out the top, and bake in the oven for approximately 30–40 minutes.
12. Meanwhile, heat the sugar and water in a saucepan.
13. Peel zest from 2 oranges and simmer in the sugar water syrup for about 7 minutes, until the peels are translucent.
14. Remove the zest and set aside in a bowl.
15. Slice the remaining oranges into ¼ slices, and sprinkle with ½ cup of sugar on a foil-lined sheet pan.
16. Broil until the sugar starts to caramelize and the oranges brown around the edges.
17. When the cake is ready, top with sliced oranges and orange zest.
18. Pour the remaining orange syrup to soak the cake.
19. Top with remaining pistachios.

Dates and pistachios are a classic combination in Persian cuisine. In this cake, they’re paired with candied oranges and zest to add mild citrus and bitter notes to balance out the sweetness of the dates.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!