Chop 1 lb 13 oz dates, then add to 2 lbs 12 oz of water with baking soda. Bring water to a boil, then transfer dates to lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for 5 minutes. Prepare Baker’s Request™ White Cake Mix according to bag directions. Add cooled dates to cake batter and mix for 1 minute on low speed to combine. Scale 1 oz batter into cylinder molds.
Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes. Cool.
For Toffee Date Sauce, cook remaining 1 lb 6 oz dates in 2 lbs 7 oz water with maple syrup until dates are tender. Add vanilla extract, salt, butter and 1 lb 3 oz water. Blend with immersion blender until sauce is smooth. Finish by pouring warm Toffee Date Sauce over each cake. Top with salt.