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Secret Recipe: Lumberjack Cake from Frances

We heart Frances' Lumberjack cake so much, we made it No. 92 on The Big Eat 2011: 100 Things to Try Before You Die. This coconut-enriched cake doesn't require much sugar thanks to the dates and pears that also give this confection a nice, moist crumb. To serve, dust a little powdered sugar over the top, and maybe scoop ice cream on the side like the restaurant does. 

Makes a 9-inch cake

1 cup water

1 cup pitted dates

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup (4.5 ounces) butter, softened

1 ¼ cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup (50 grams) coconut flakes

1 pear or apple, peeled and medium-diced

1. In a saucepan, bring water and dates to a boil, and then whisk in baking soda. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

2. In a bowl, mix and sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, cream butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and egg. Slowly add room temperature date mixture until incorporated. Then slowly add dry ingredients until blended, careful not to over-mix. Fold in coconut and pears with a large rubber spatula.

4. Pour mixture into a greased springform pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Rotate pan in oven, and then continue to bake in for 10 minutes. Insert a clean toothpick into the middle of the cake, and if it comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, rotate pan and continue to bake in 10-minute increments.


7x7 asks the city's chefs for the recipes to their most loved cocktails, bar snacks, starters, mains, and desserts. If there's a dish you can't stop thinking about and want to make at home, email Your wish may end up on the blog, along with the actual recipe from the chef.

Image by Erin Kunkel