Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sift together the first 3 ingredients and set aside. Mix the shortening with the brown sugar and allspice until fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Stir in the dates. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Turn into a greased, lightly floured 9-inch square pan. Combine the last 4 ingredients together and mix well. Sprinkle over the top.
Bake for about 40 minutes or the top springs back when touched. Remove from the oven and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out of pan onto a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Makes one 9-inch square cake