West Haven Cake

Old Fashioned West Haven Cake is a chocolate cake recipe loaded with chocolate chips, dates and nuts. No need for frosting with brown sugar baked on the top.

Old, spiral bound, yellow-paged, typewriter written cookbooks. They are my favorite source of inspiration for comforting main dishes and desserts.

Sometimes you come across a cake that you just have to try, like this chocolate West Haven Cake. It comes from an old cookbook put together by a group of workers in Warren, OH. The title of the cookbook? Yummy In My Tummy. And this cake fits that description!

west haven cake in a baking pan

What you’ll love about this cake:

  • pantry staple recipe
  • 100% from scratch
  • loaded with chocolate chips, dates and nuts
  • brown sugar topping…no need for frosting!
  • ready in about 45 minutes
overhead view of west haven cake

What does West Haven Cake taste like?

This chocolate cake is not your traditional, intense dark chocolate cake. It’s a cross between a denser cake with a slight brownie texture. The dates help to sweeten the cake. But don’t be scared off by the dates if you don’t like them. Most people don’t even notice they are there.

Most of the chocolate flavor comes from the chocolate chips sprinkled on top of the cake. You’ll love the sweet brown sugar, nut, chocolate topping in every single bite.

How to Make Chocolate Chip Date Cake

You’ll need a 9×13 baking pan for this easy sheet cake recipe.

  • Prepare. Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Spray a 9×13” baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Soak. Place the dates in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the dates and sprinkle with baking soda. Mix to combine. Set this mixture aside to cool.
  • Mix. In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter together until smooth.Add the vanilla and egg. Mix again. Add the date mixture and mix until combined. Add the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix just until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
unbaked west haven cake
  • Assemble and bake. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, walnuts and chocolate chips. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake tests done.

How to Store This Cake

This cake is safe to store at room temperature in an airtight container for 3 days. It also freezes really well. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

piece of chocolate cake with whipped cream on a plate

How to Serve This Cake

This cake is delicious served with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream, and a drizzling of chocolate or caramel. Don’t forget a sprinkling of chopped walnuts!

piece of chocolate cake on a plate with a fork
piece of chocolate cake on a plate with a fork

West Haven Cake

4.5 from 2 votes
Old Fashioned West Haven Cake is a chocolate cake recipe loaded with chocolate chips, dates and nuts. No need for frosting with brown sugar baked on the top.
Servings 12
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes

Ingredients
 

For the dates:

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped dates

For the cake:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the topping:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Spray a 9×13” baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Place the dates in a small bowl. Pour the boiling water over the dates and sprinkle with baking soda. Mix to combine. Set this mixture aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter together until smooth.
  • Add the vanilla and egg. Mix again.
  • Add the date mixture and mix until combined.
  • Add the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix just until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Sprinkle with the brown sugar, walnuts and chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake tests done.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 12 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate cake, old fashioned cake, vintage

About Julie Clark

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Would love to make this cake but am still struggling with the ‘cups’ of butter. You said you would be posting with English amounts too, but I haven’t seen any that are like that!

This is nothing like my mother’s west haven cake. After finding her recipe, I found you all doubled the butter and reduced the eggs. I also think she mixed the chips into the batter. And there was no brown sugar on top. Try it my way and you will find it makes a much better cake.