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Vegan date sponge

Treat yourself to this indulgent vegan sponge cake. Rich and sticky, this warming pudding is served with a velvety caramel sauce.

  • 30 minutes prep. time
  • 20 minutes cooking time
  • Serves 6
  • Cakes, bakes & desserts, Vegetarian & vegan
Vegan date sponge on a plate with a just of sauce
Vegan date sponge | © National Trust Images/William Shaw


  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g dates, pitted and chopped
  • ½ tbsp golden syrup
  • 200ml water
  • 50ml vegetable oil  

For the caramel sauce

  • 75g caster sugar
  • 100ml coconut milk
  • ¼ tsp salt


Top tip

Chill the date mix well before adding to the dry ingredients. Don't stir the caramel until you add the coconut milk. This stops the sugar crystallising.

Step 1

Place the dates, syrup, water and vegetable oil in a pan, bring to a boil and simmer for around 5 minutes. 

Step 2

When the dates have dissolved and the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Step 3

Place the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl and mix together.  

Step 4

Once cold, add the date mixture to the dry mix and stir to incorporate. Pour into six lined mini loaf tins and place into the oven at 170°C (150°C fan/gas mark 4) for around 45 minutes. Check with a skewer – it will come out clean if the cake is cooked – and continue to bake , if necessary.

Step 5

Remove from the oven and use a skewer to make a few holes in the top.

Step 6

For the caramel sauce

Place the sugar and a little water in your saucepan over a high heat and swirl the pan gently until the sugar starts to colour around the edge.

Step 7

Start swirling the pan a little more until all the sugar has dissolved and you have a dark caramel.

Step 8

Keep on the heat and add the coconut milk, stirring from the point it hits the caramel. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir gently until the caramel has dissolved into the coconut milk.

Step 9

Spoon the sauce over the cakes while still warm, leave to soak in.

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