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Bishnu's Date Cake with Pistachios & Sesame Seeds

26 June 2009

Bishnu’s Date Cake with Pistachios & Sesame Seeds

Date Cake with Pistachios & Sesame Seeds

I love dates…

The fruit, of course!

And, what I love more are easy to make cakes.

As date season has come to a start, I’ve met up with Bishnu, chef spectaculaire, to get his signature date cake recipe.

We sat at the kitchen table and started de-seeding the dried dates which he brought back with him from Dubai.

IMG_5527Fresh Dates

Bishnu says: It’s important to use dried dates in this recipe because fresh dates will yield mushy results.

Fresh Dates

Removing the seeds…

Removing Seeds from Dates

Then, he finely chopped them

Chopping Date Seeds

He added the chopped dates to a sauté pan along with the butter

Sauteed Date Seeds

and sautéed the dates on low-medium flame for about 10 minutes, stirring often.

In the meantime, he started finely dicing the pistachios.

Diced Pistachios

By the time he finished, the dates had formed a thick paste. He let them cool about 10 minutes.

Date Paste

At this stage we had realized we forgot to purchase a cake ring. DUH!


So we improvised and used a pot which we covered with saran wrap.

You can use a cake ring with a 10” diameter. In which case, there is no need to add saran wrap, all you need to do is just place the cake ring on the decorative plate you wish to serve the cake on.

Date Paste

He took half the date cake mixture and began pressing it down in the pot to form a thick base layer

Date Paste

then he added a sprinkle of sesame seeds

Date Paste with Sesame Seeds

covered it with half the pistachios

Date Paste with Diced Pistachios and Sesame Seeds

Added the rest of the date paste

Date Paste with Diced Pistachios and Sesame Seeds

and gently spread it to form an even layer

Date Paste with Diced Pistachios and Sesame Seeds

He sprinkled it with a bit more sesame seeds and cut the saran wrap at cake height

Date Paste with Diced Pistachios and Sesame Seeds


he covered the top of pan with a decorative plate, making sure to keep it well centered

Date Cake with Pistachios & Sesame Seeds

Then flipped it over. If you’re using a cake ring, you can just remove the cake ring…

Date Cake with Pistachios & Sesame Seeds

He finished it off by sprinkling it with the remaining pistachios and sesame seeds.

Easy peasy!

Now, make yourself a cup of coffee, tea or whatever else makes you happy…



And enjoy a slice of heaven.


Bishnu's Date Cake with Pistachios & Sesame Seeds
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Will keep for 5 or more days if stored in a tupperware.
Serves: 6-8

  • 100g/ 3½ oz unsalted butter
  • 1kg/2lb 4 oz dry dates, finely chopped
  • 120g/4¼ oz toasted sesame seeds
  • 200g/7 oz unsalted pistachios, finely chopped

  1. Place a sauce-pan over medium-low heat, add the butter and the dates and cook for about 20-30 minutes or until the mixture has developed into a thick paste. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Once the mixture has cooled, place a 25cm/10 in diameter cake ring on a serving plate and then add half the date paste and press it down to form an even base layer. Sprinkle with half of the sesame seeds and pistachios and then cover with the remaining date paste, making sure to gently press and stretch it out to create an even top layer. Sprinkle over with the remaining sesame seeds and pistachios and serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to serve.



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10 thoughts on “Bishnu’s Date Cake with Pistachios & Sesame Seeds

  1. Yeah, amazing is right! This is a dense, rich slice of dried fruit! I grew up in a house where dried fruits were always around and a daily treat, but this takes dried fruit to a much more elegant place.

  2. I’ve always loved the combination of dates and pistachios, but have never imagined them together in a cake like this, with the sesame seeds taking the flavor and texture in a new direction – yum!

    1. Hi Ingrid, I’ve not tried this and wouldn’t necessarily recommend it as I think the olive oil flavour would be somewhat overpowering and also will change the texture.

  3. I’d love to try making small cakes, using cake or pudding molds, and garnish as you did with some rose petals too. Thanks so much for sharing such a beautifully simple and elegant recipe! 🙂

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