Soak the dates in hot water for at least 15 minutes, then drain. Blend the soaked dates with the milk, and maple syrup until well blended. If you haven't toasted the pecans and the coconut yet, add the pecans to a skillet over medium heat, and toast for 3-4 minutes, and add in the coconut and continue to toast for another 2-3 minutes.
Mix this pecan coconut mixture into the blended date mixture. Add in the salt. Mix well. This is your frosting that you will layer on the cake.
Mix all the dry ingredients for the cake in a bowl, until well combined.
Heat the milk until it is hot, then add to a bowl. add in all of the rest of the wet ingredients and mix well. Add the dry to the wet ingredients, and mix well until you get a somewhat thick batter. If the batter is too thick, add in a tbsp or more of nondairy milk.
Add half of the batter to a lined 9x5 inch loaf pan, even it out, then top it with half of the frosting mixture. Add in the rest of the batter, then top it with the rest of the frosting mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 c ) for 45 - 55 minutes. Cover the pan lightly with parchment after the first 35 minutes so that the top frosting doesn't get too crusty or burnt.
Check the toothpick from the center of the loaf to see if its done. (Check at 45 mins as ovens and pans vary, the toothpick shouldn’t have any chocolate batter )
Once the cake has been sitting in the pan for 15 minutes, take it out of the pan. You can additionally add a drizzle of melted chocolate on top for a better look, and chocolate flavor.
Cool completely before slicing. Store on the counter for up to a day, and in the fridge for up to 7 days.
if you're allergic to pecans, use walnuts
don't skip toasting the nuts - it makes a huge difference in flavor
you could turn this loaf cake into a German chocolate muffins. I recommend baking them for about 24 minutes. Check them for doneness with a toothpick
Oilfree : omit the oil and add 2 tbsp applesauce or yogurt instead
Glutenfree: use 3/4 cup almond flour, 3/4 cup oat flour and 1/3 cup potato starch. Mix and start with 1 1/2 cups of this mix. Add more as needed to make a thick batter.