Spice Cake with Canadian Cheddar and Dates

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Chef Caroline McCann
This yummy spiced cake recipe is perfect for a cooking club.  It freezes well, and you have the option of baking in muffin pans, mini loaf pans or in a cake pan – whichever works best for your club members. Enjoy with a cold glass of milk or chocolate milk. 
4 cups (1 L) all-purpose flour
6 tbsp (90 mL) baking powder
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cinnamon
2 tsp (10 mL) ground nutmeg
1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) ground clove
1 1/2 cup (375 mL) chopped pitted dates
1 cup (250 mL) butter, softened
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 1/3 cup (325 mL) 2% milk
1 1/2 cup (375 mL) grated Canadian Cheddar cheese*
Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Prepare selected baking pans (see below).
In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Remove 3 tbsp (45 mL) of flour mixture and toss with chopped dates; set aside.
In a bowl, using an electric mixer; beat butter and sugar, until light. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add milk, alternating with the flour mixture. Mix in the Canadian Cheddar cheese. With a wooden spoon, mix in the reserved dates.  Divide the batter into pans of choice and bake accordingly.  Preparation time: 45 minutes ; Baking Time: 25- 50 minutes; .Servings: varies depending on baking pans
Muffins: Spoon batter into two buttered or paper lined nonstick muffin pans, filling three quarters full. Bake for about 25 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch, rotating halfway. Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely. Makes 24 muffins.
Mini Loaves (aluminum foil): Spoon batter into 6 buttered and floured 5 ¾ x 3 ¼ inch (625 mL) loaf pans. Bake for about 45 minutes or until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Makes 6 mini loaves.
Loaf pans (aluminum foil): Spoon batter into 3 buttered and floured 8 x 5 ¾ inch (20 cm x 15 cm) aluminum foil pans, filling half way. Bake for 50 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Makes 3 loaves.
Cake: Spoon batter into 2 buttered and floured 8 inch (20 cm) square baking pans. Bake for 50 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Makes 2 cakes
* You can substitute Canadian Gouda or Canadian Brick for the Cheddar. It is particularly delicious with an aged Canadian Cheddar.
Cooking Club Tips: Bake cake in selected pans. Completely cooled baked goods can be wrapped well and frozen. Thaw I hour before enjoying.

Source:  Dairy Farmers of Canada
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