Zucchini Date Cake with Walnuts

Zucchini-Date-Cake-with-Walnuts-1 copyA few days ago I had lunch with friends at a popular vegan restaurant. It was a place that I had frequented often during my vegan days, but hadn’t been back to in years.

While soy and ‘faux meat’ just aren’t my thing anymore, the meal was nostalgic and tasty.

Then I overheard a couple talking at the table behind us. The woman was reading off the dessert menu and announced triumphantly to her dining companion that “these desserts are completely guilt-free because it’s all vegan!”

I nearly choked on my ‘faux meat’!

Guilt free?!? Cupcakes, cookies and parfaits….all made with cane sugar and grains. How exactly is this stuff guilt free?

I understand that many of us have different beliefs as to what makes a wholesome, healthy diet. For some it’s vegan, for others it’s gluten-free or paleo. For me a healthy diet follows the RHR Eating Guidelines.

But whatever our individual nutritional preferences are I think we can all agree that refined cane sugar is never, never guilt free. And masking sugar as ‘healthy’ based on the lack of animal products in the dish is just plain silly.

Eliminating refined cane sugar from our diets is one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves. This fact has been proven time and time again in medical studies — far more definitively than any argument in defense of a vegan diet.

I got a little fired up about this whole subject of ‘guilt-free’ sugary desserts…and so I set out to convert one of the vegan desserts into a grain and refined cane sugar-free RHR creation!

This recipe for Zucchini Date Cake with Walnuts is made with ingredients that are truly wholesome, and in my opinion much more guilt-free than any dessert that contains cane sugar.

It’s the perfect way to use up fresh from the garden zucchini. Enjoy!

Zucchini Date Cake with Walnuts
A Recipe by Diana Keuilian
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves 15

Zucchini Date Cake with Walnuts
For the Creamy Maple Frosting

Zucchini Date Cake with Walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease an 8×8 cake pan with coconut oil.
  2. Combine the almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine the eggs, honey, vanilla, banana and oil in another bowl. Mix well and add the dry ingredients. Mix until fully combined
  4. Fold in the zucchini, dates and walnuts.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and set. Remove from oven and cool before frosting. Enjoy!
For the Creamy Maple Frosting
  1. Place all the ingredients, except the coconut oil, in a mixing bowl and beat until fully combined. Scrape down the sides and beat again.
  2. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the melted coconut oil, mixing until smooth.
  3. Place the frosting in the fridge for 30 minutes before using. Store all leftovers in the fridge. Enjoy!

Serving size: 1 mini cake     Calories: 291     Fat: 21     Carbohydrates: 23     Sugar: 16     Sodium: 228     Fiber: 3     Protein: 5    

Paleo recipe for zucchini walnut date cake


  • Christina August 6, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    I think I know which restaurant you went to, I had the exact thoughts! Vegan does not equal healthy. Their zucchini date cake, however, is one of my favorite desserts and I have been looking for a paleo version for a while, so I’m very glad I found your recipe! I didn’t have enough almond flour so I substituted 1/2 cup coconut flour, we’ll see how it turns out!

    • Diana August 6, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      Hi Christina,
      Thanks for sharing 🙂 Hope you enjoy this paleo version! Be careful when subbing coconut flour for almond flour since it absorbs about 3x’s as much liquid.

  • Helen Diels August 24, 2014 at 5:37 am

    I made this cake night before last. I have to say it’s absolutely to die for – it was delicious warm, and just as good cold. And it’s very, very filling. It ranks right up there with the Zucchini Brownies. I’m not crazy about the flavor of honey, so I only used 1 Tbs. of honey, and 2 Tbs. of Maple syrup. Also, it really needs no frosting. It’s plenty sweet without it. Thank you for all the recipes.

    • Diana August 26, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      So happy that you enjoyed this recipe, Helen! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • youngbaker2002 July 21, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    hi Diana! this recipe looks great! i was just wondering, should i peel the zucchini first or does it matter? also how finely should the dates be chopped? larger pieces or tiny little finely diced pieces? sorry about all the questions. 🙂

    • Diana July 27, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      The zucchini doesn’t need to be peeled. For the dates either size will work. Enjoy! Happy Cooking!

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