Included in the Elinor Ostrom Collection at Indiana University's Lilly Library was a recipe for a date crumb cake. It was in a file that contained, among other items, logs of summer writing retreats on Manitoulin Island and the itinerary for her 2007 trip to Uppsala University in Sweden to receive an honorary doctorate and to be the first recipient of the Linnaeus Medal.

Following is a transcription of the page from the collection that included the date crumb cake recipe.

                                          Date Crumb Cake

On 7/29/73          

Thought Goulters were coming & had no dessert so put together the following from misc. recipes.

2 cups pancake mix

1/4 cup oil

1 egg

2 t. baking powder

1/2 can of date filling

3/4 cup sugar???

1/2 cup milk???

mixed all together - put in square pan

Crumb Topping

1/2 cup granola

1/4 cup oil

handful - good amount coconut

1/2 or so of brown sugar

Mix & put on cake before baking

Bake at 375 35-45 minutes


Elinor Ostrom's Date Crumb Cake was prepared by the Indiana Memorial Union's Sugar & Spice bakeshop  and served to guests at the opening of the Ojibwe Public Art, Ostrom Private Lives exhibition at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures on January 31, 2014.

Elinor Ostrom Date Crumb Cake Recipe

Date crumb cake recipe, Elinor Ostrom Collection, The Lilly Library.