My neighbor calls me MACGYVER. No, not because of the new remake MacGyver (which BTW I don’t like near as well as the original, but wanted to because I like George Eads) or even because the original MacGyver with Richard Dean Anderson was one of my favorite shows growing up, but because I have this God given ability to look at mundane items or recipes and see what they COULD be.

She recently cut a recipe out of the paper and thought it sounded “interesting”. It didn’t really interest me AS IS, but for what my mind pictured it COULD be. Boy am I glad I took a chance on this remake of what turned out to be excellent when she made it AS IS, but even better with the tweaks I made to it.

It was originally called Date and Cardamom Cake with Coffee Frosting by Meera Sodha.  I kept the basic recipe template, but added a few embellishments and enhanced the flavor a bit. I’ll list the original recipe with my changes in green. I thought the cake was completely cooled, but as you can see the icing started melting just a bit.  Good thing it didn’t change the flavor.

APRICOT COFFEE CAKE – adapted from Date & Cardamom Cake
1 stick butter, softened
1 1/4 cups soft dates, pitted (1 1/4 cups soft dried apricots)
1 cup water, (1 cup peach nectar)
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom (1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
(1/2 cup dried ground lemon peel)
(1/2 cup small walnut pieces)
(1/2 cup golden raisins)
(1/8 cup cold coffee)
(1/8 cup spiced rum)

  • Chop apricots into small pieces and place in sauce pan covered with the peach nectar.  Cook on low until VERY soft!
  • Pour coffee and rum over raisins and set aside to soak.
  • Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper.**
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • When apricots are soft and most of the nectar absorbed transfer them to a small chopper and pulse until pasty.
  • In a large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar together until smooth.
  • Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.
  • Sift in flour and spices gradually, mixing until well blended. Batter will be thick like cookie dough.
  • Drain raisins WELL.
  • Fold in apricot paste until evenly distributed.
  • Fold in nuts.
  • Fold in raisins.
  • Pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake 45 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
  • Cool cake COMPLETELY in pan before frosting.

NOTE:** I use a springform loaf pan for a “pretty” cake.

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
6 tablespoons, softened
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon boiling water (boiling  peach nectar)
Apricot pieces for decorating

  • Mix together the nectar and coffee granules until all coffee is dissolved.
  • Add coffee mixture to butter in medium mixing boil and blend well.
  • Add sugar, blending until smooth and creamy.

NOTE: I still had half a can of peach nectar so decided before I made a cocktail with the remains that I would substitute nectar for water in the frosting to enhance the flavor a bit.