Date & walnut loaf cake and a trip to Luray caverns, VA

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Hello folks!

I’m so excited as I write this, as this is the 100th post on my blog! And what better than making a cake to celebrate this sweet journey ? πŸ™‚ I know I’m late , but I would still like to wish all the mother’s out there a happy Mother’s Day, hope you had a beautiful day πŸ™‚


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I have for you a very simple egg free, refined flour free, butter free & no added sugar, date & walnut loaf cake. After trying outΒ Β The belly rules the mind‘sΒ eggless mango semolina cake, this cake was next on my list. So in case you are on a diet and still want to indulge in a slice of cake, this is the cake you oughta try.

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I hardly bake without eggs and Β never use whole wheat flour in any of my cake recipes. But this makes for an amazingly moist and tender cake despite being eggless , I was completely baffled how a cake without the most basic ingredients can be this good? The secret would lie in the dates paste , which lends this cake the desired sweetness as well as keeping it moist at the same time. I’m trying to experiment with a few eggless cake Β recipes and will surely post them once I have something worth sharing πŸ™‚

Ingredients : Measuring cup used, 1 Cup = 250 ml

20-25 seedless dates, chopped

1 & 1/2 cup milk or any other plant based milk for a vegan version

1 cup whole wheat flour ( scooped and leveled)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup walnuts

For theΒ preparationΒ & a step wise pictorial of the cake, head rightΒ HERE.

Notes:

I would just like to add, to get clean slices , you need to let the cake cool completely before you slice it. If you try to slice it even when it’s partly warm it will be crumbly. You can add various things like Choco chips if you wish , or flavor it with some spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice mix etc.

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Do try it out and enjoy this guilt free goodness!

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As I had mentioned in earlier post, I had visited Washington DC for the cherry blossom festival. We stayed in Virginia with my friend Soniya and her family for 3 days. Soniya was kind enough to plan a day’s trip to Luray caverns, situated in Shenandoah valley, Virginia. Sharing some pics of this astoundingly beautiful place. Visiting these caverns is an experience so exhilarating and breath taking with all it’s magnificent stalactites and stalagmites, which I had only learnt about in geography. But to experience and see them in reality really blew my mindΒ , nature is indeed magical πŸ™‚

Here’s a little info from wiki about the discovery of the caverns. Luray Caverns was discovered on August 13, 1878 by five local men, including Andrew J. Campbell (a local tinsmith), his 13-year-old nephew Quint, and local photographer Benton Stebbins.Β Their attention had been attracted by a protruding limestone outcrop and by a nearby sinkhole noted to have cool air issuing from it. Seeking an underground cavern, the men started to dig and, about 4 hours later, a hole was created for the smallest men (Andrew and Quint) to squeeze through, slide down a rope and explore by candlelight. The first column they saw was named the Washington Column, in honor of the first United States President. Upon entering the area called Skeleton’s Gorge, bone fragments (among other artifacts) were found embedded in calcite. Other traces of previous human occupation included pieces of charcoal, flint, and human bone fragments embedded in stalagmite. A skeleton, thought to be that of a Native American girl, found in one of the chasms, was estimated, from the current rate of stalagmitic growth, to be not more than 500 years old. Her remains may have slipped into the caverns after her burial hole collapsed due to a sinkhole, although the real cause is unknown.

I foundΒ it very interesting and fascinating at the same time that the formations here have been named after the things they resemble, how amazing is that ?? Well check out the pics, I’ve captioned them for ease of convenience, hope you enjoy them πŸ™‚

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The coolest spot in the caverns- Dream lake, the stalactites on the ceiling are reflected by the shallow lake, which in fact is less than an inch deep. Can you see the ripple created by the water droplet in the picture ? If the lake is still, it actually looks like stalactites and stalagmites are growing toward each other. Absolutely incredible!

 

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Pluto’s ghost- This large white column was visible from several spots in the cavern. The men who discovered it, actually thought it was a ghost, until one of them was brave enough to go near it and realize it’s just a huge white column. Boy! doesn’t that look like a ghost, indeed?

 

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No that is not a snake, circled in the pic, it’s just another formation! How cool is that ?

 

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Do you see a drapery?? One of the many drapery formations in the caverns. Beautiful!

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A fallen column!

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Shaggy dog formation!

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Sea shell in spring,ice cream cone in summer or Christmas tree in winter! You decide πŸ™‚

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Fried egg formation. I didn’t manage to get a decent pic of this but wanted to share it with you guys. This image is courtesy Wikipedia

If you get a chance, I highly recommend you visit this place!

I would love to hear from you , please feel free to share your feedback with photos and suggestions to me at aromaticessence77@gmail.com

You can also follow me on Facebook @ Aromaticessence and Pinterest @ Aromatic Essence for regular updates.

Thanks for stopping by!

Regards,

Freda

76 comments

  1. Alok Singhal says:

    Loved this post – Congrats on the 100th.

    Veg Cakes are my absolute favorite, and this one looks so yumm πŸ™‚

    And, Lurray Caverns is on my list. I have been to Shenandoah and Howe Caverns already.

  2. apuginthekitchen says:

    Thats a beautiful cake Freda, I also rarely bake without eggs but on occasion I have seen recipes that astound me and this is one of them. It looks just perfect, moist and delicious. I visited Luray caverns as a child, simply amazing.

  3. The Belly Rules The Mind says:

    Congrats dear. Well done, wishing you many more milestones ahead. Your pictures make the food look so appetizing that I think you should really consider a starting a blog on food photography. The cake has always been a hit in my household too. Love it. As far as the caverns go…. i visited the caverns almost 4 years ago and the place is so beautiful. I love the sound hall the most. Did you guys visit the antique vehicles showroom close by.

    xoxo,
    Anvita.

  4. Jess says:

    For being so healthy, it sure does look moist and yummy Freda. Nice job with this and congrats on your 100th post, that’s no small thing πŸ˜‰

  5. Shari says:

    I really enjoyed reading your post, Freda! Luray Caverns looks like an amazing place! I loved seeing your pictures of it. And your bread looks delicious and perfect! That is incredible to me also, that there are no eggs in it. Your pictures of the bread are beautiful, too!

  6. sapphiredaze1986 says:

    Also, I remember saving the original recipe….now that you’ve posted it, makes me want to try it even more πŸ˜€ I’ve made a few eggless cakes and in spite of being really skeptical, I loved them!

  7. RebeccaP, Keep Calm and Cake says:

    This loaf looks amazing, and right up my alley! My dad is allergic to eggs, so I’m always on the lookout for good eggless recipes. Being somewhat healthy is a bonus. Thanks for sharing, I’m looking forward to trying it out! πŸ™‚

  8. Megha Agrawal says:

    Congratulations on your 100th post. The cake looks wonderfully brown and so moist.Thanks for sharing a egg-less recipe I will definitely try it.
    As always your pictures are so beautiful.

  9. Loretta says:

    Great job Freda on your 100th post! Congratulations! Love the ingredients in this moist and yummy cake. I can’t believe the results without the eggs? Will definitely be bookmarking this as I do have a sweet tooth but refrain from the temptation of desserts and sweet treats unless we have visitors. πŸ™‚ Beautiful caverns!

  10. This Cake is Desi says:

    Congratulations on your 100th post, thats amazing. Thank you for the mother’s day wish. It’s too hot here to go in the kitchen and I haven’t been in the mood for baking for a while but this cake just changed all of that ..And your trip looks like you had lots of fun, great pictures..:)

  11. Smiling Notes says:

    Yay for your 100th post, Freda! The pics of the Luray Caverns are stunning! We have always wanted to visit this place but have always kept pushing it. Your photos gave me a beautiful virtual tour πŸ™‚
    As for the date and walnut cake – that looks like something I will definitely enjoy!! Going to check out the recipe soon. xoxo

  12. themissshweta says:

    Huge congratulations Freda!! I’m sure your journey of blogging will lead you to a very bright future! :* Also, please join instagram ….I’m asking you to join because your pics & presentations are so instagram worthy 😍 if you ever do join twitter or IG do lemme know.. It will be a pleasure following you πŸ™‚
    I so wanna try this cake recipe… It looks soooo delish!! Keep it up dear πŸ’Ž πŸ‘

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