Matrimony Cake (as opposed to wedding cake) is a rather plebeian affair -- simple and unadorned -- and really yummy (unlike typical wedding cakes, created for visual appeal). Its three layers -- cooked dates sandwiched between an oatmeal-flour base and topping -- are more reminiscent of fig newtons than something served at a celebration of love.
I made this for our Mother's Day get-together last weekend, in honor of the upcoming nuptials of the DD and her longtime boyfriend who are tying the knot in a couple of weeks. To my surprise, everyone loved it. Josh, my future son-in-law, thought this would make great energy bars for those (like him) who spend hours biking racing.
Matrimony cake requires just six ingredients; four are pictured below.
Start by making the date filling (basically dates, sugar and water cooked until it forms a paste).
Mix up the batter and put half in a round or square cake pan. Then spread it out into a single layer. I donned non-latex gloves to do this -- reminded me of working with play dough.
Bottom layer in the pan.
Spread the date filling on the bottom layer. I used the back of a spoon and an offset spatula.
Next, place the top layer on the date filling. This is a bit tricky to smooth over the filling, but it need not be perfect (see below).
Production notes: Grease the pan. I used butter instead of shortening and a round pan. Next time, I'd use an 8-inch square pan and cut the cake into bars. Because the only oatmeal I had on hand was the quick cooking kind, that's what I used -- it was fine. And there are no eggs in this batter!
For the date filling, used 8 ounces of dates and a bit less sugar. I neglected to chop the dates which slowed the cooking time. I also kept adding water; the 1/4 cup was not nearly enough. If you add too much water, you can just cook the mixture down until it's of spreading consistency.