blog, dessert, sweet
Comments 7

Mam’s Celebration Date Roll


Firstly, Happy Leap day, everyone! I know someone who actually turns 2, officially, today! Do you know anyone who has a Leap year birthday? What did you do with your extra day? I studied, cooked a recipe I’ve been trying out, went on a few walks to hit my goal (one more to do!) and worked on this post. It may not have been exciting but it was productive!

Secondly, my apologies for the lateness of this recipe as I know I have had some requests for it for over 6 weeks and I’m only getting to it now. I promised myself that I wouldn’t post any new recipes after my last IMK until this one was out, hence the delay – but I kept true to my word and this is my first recipe since then.

The below recipe is one my Mam adapted years ago from a recipe she found in the Irish Independent newspaper (way back in 1985!). It was similar enough to something she remembered her own mother making that she was intrigued and began to incorporate her adaptation into our family’s traditions. We usually eat this at Thanksgiving and Christmas when my Mam will whip up a litre or so of cream for the various desserts, so the amounts given below are approximations only. If it’s too dry add more whipped cream, if it’s too wet, more digestive biscuits. It’s so forgiving you can add more or remove any of the other dry ingredients depending on your own tastes. For example, my sister, Mary Ann, used to only like hers with digestive biscuits, marshmallows and pecans, whereas my brother, who was vegetarian, usually ate his with out the marshmallows (yes, that means my Mam made three variations of this dessert some years!).

Mam’s Celebration Date Roll


  • ½ cup dry dates, diced
  • ½ cup marshmallows, diced
  • ½ cup pecans or walnuts,* diced
  • ¼ cup glacé cherries, diced
  • 250g/8oz digestive biscuits/graham crackers, crushed
  • 500ml/ 2 cups  whipping cream (We use Avonmore Fresh Cream)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp sugar


  1. In a large bowl, mix the dates, marshmallows, pecans, cherries and crushed biscuits together.
  2. In a smaller bowl, whip the cream, adding the vanilla and sugar when soft peaks form.
  3. Fold enough  cream into the dry ingredients that the mixture will hold it’s shape, any remaining cream can be used for serving.
  4. Form the mixture into a roll or wreath.
  5. Chill for at least 24 hours before serving and serve with whipped cream on the side.**

*We prefer pecans.

**This will keep for three to four days in the fridge, so it’s a great make-ahead dessert.

I am sharing this recipe on Fiesta Friday #108 which is hosted by Angie. Luckily for me, Fiesta Friday goes until Tuesday! Angie has some great blogging tips up, you should check them out about optimising your photos. The co-hosts this week are:  Suzanne @ apuginthekitchen and Zeba @ Food For The Soul so be sure to check out their posts and all the others over a Fiesta Friday!



  1. Pingback: Leftover Butternut Squash and Potato Cakes | Spoon in a Saucepan

  2. True to your word indeed! This looks wonderful. Especially when it means special occasions for your family.

  3. That date roll looks absolutely delicious Maggie, love digestives and love dates, what’s not to love eh? 🙂

    • Me, too! I love fridge cake – and I make a chocolate biscuit one that is divine.I love this when we have this date roll but it’s also really nice that it is only for two special occasions. 😀

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