Special equipment: 1 or 2 mini bundt muffin tins (makes mini bundt cakes with no hole) or 1 regular muffin tin, buttered and floured (or use nonstick)
Place the dates in a bowl and toss them with 2 tablespoons of the flour until lightly coated (this will prevent them from sinking in the cake batter during baking). Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Beat the eggs and sugar in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer) until fluffy. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the oil. One by one, mixing well after each addition, add the remaining flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and vanilla. Mix in the apples and nuts, then stir in the dates by hand, distributing them evenly in the batter. Pour into the prepared pans and bake about 35 minutes, until springy and dry in the center. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack, then turn out. To make the glaze, stir the maple syrup and sugar together in a bowl. Glaze the cooled cakes by spooning it around the tops of the cakes and letting it drip down the sides.
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, "Gale Gand's Just A Bite" by Gale Gand and Julia Moskin: Clarkson N. Potter Publishers, 2001