Ginger Date Cake

As today is my eldest sister’s birthday, I felt like sharing one of her recipes today. I decided to bring one of the cakes she enjoys making to the Fiesta Friday together with some lovely music. The recipe is given below after the music fest.

DSC01177The featured musician today is Hariharan. He trained in both Carnatic and Hindustani music though he is foremost a prominent ghazal singer and has released lots of ghazal albums. While Hariharan started his playback singing in the late 70s in Hindi movies, he was introduced to the south Indian movie world only in the early 90s by A.R.Rahman. Since then, he has been awarded both state and national awards for some of his songs. Hariharan was awarded the Padma Shri award by the Indian government in 2004.

I first chose to share a ghazal piece from the launch of the album Hazir 2, Hariharan’s second one with tabla maestro, Zakir Hussain.

The second clip is from a concert where Hariharan sings with Chitra one of their songs from the movie Love birds, the soundtrack of which was composed by A.R.Rahman.

While selecting the last clip to share here, I was trying to decide between two songs. One used to be very popular on Sri Lankan television in the late 90s, Krishna Nee from the self-titled Colonial Cousins album of the music duo – Hariharan and Leslie Lewis. The other was a Bathiya and Santhush single with Hariharan. Finally, I decided to share the one with the Sri Lankan musicians.

Hope you enjoy the music as well as the cake!


Ginger Date Cake

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 250g self-raising flour (optional: can reduce the amount of flour and add roasted semolina ensuring that the total is 250g)
  • 250g margarine
  • 250g sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 250g dates
  • 100g ginger preserve
  • Vanilla essence


  1. De-seed the dates and chop them up roughly before letting them soak in a bowl of hot tea.
  2. Chop up the ginger preserve separately and keep aside.
  3. Whisk together the margarine and sugar.
  4. Add the egg yolks and the vanilla essence and continue beating the mixture.
  5. Then add some of the flour, chopped dates and ginger preserve, egg white and mix well before repeating the process till all the ingredients have been mixed well.
  6. Bake at 180⁰C for around 25 minutes.

20 thoughts on “Ginger Date Cake

  1. I enjoyed the ghazal and the Minsara kanavu song which made me a little nostalgic! Good to know more about Hariharan too. I’m enjoying these posts more for the songs and background info. 🙂

    • Happy to hear that you enjoyed the ghazal and minsara kanavu song, Apsara! 🙂 When I started sharing song clips with the recipes, I didn’t intend to share either info or go on sharing songs. However, the first few songs opened up lots of memories that I decided to continue enjoying these nostalgic music trips. It is always nice to hear back from others that they are also enjoying the music. Have a lovely weekend!

  2. Love the music, love the taste the recipe conjures, just wondering is “ginger preserve” like candied ginger in syrup or something more specific? And am wondering how to play around with different (non-wheat) flours, will experiment. Love your blog as always.

    • Thank you, Annie… glad to hear that you enjoyed the music! And yes, ginger preserve is candied ginger in syrup. I am beginning to experiment a little with non-wheat flours these days and if I make something that my mother says is good enough to eat (and she is a tough to please), I will also share it here 🙂

  3. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #21 | The Novice Gardener

  4. Hi Ahila! I just love everything that you brought to FF tonight! The music is soothing and your cake, sweet and satisfying. Thanks for sharing both of these with us tonight. I feel much more calm now after trying to do crowd control here all night long 😀

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