Date Nut Bread
Date nut bread is a retro dessert that deserves a full comeback. Like banana bread or zucchini bread, it’s wonderful for breakfast or as a snack – traditionally served slathered in cream cheese. It’s a delightful, simple recipe to add to your repertoire.
Date nut bread used to be sold in metal cans; if you haven’t had one made from scratch with fresh ingredients, you’re in for a treat! While I haven’t tried the can version, my mother-in-law says that mine is less dense and so good that you don’t really need the cream cheese.
The most important ingredient in this recipe is obviously the dates. It’s easiest if you buy pitted dates, but pitting whole dates is also very simple – just make a slice on either side of the date and the pit comes right out. This works with any kind of dates. I use Medjool dates.
I make this recipe with chopped walnuts, however you can also use pecans or any other nut you prefer.
I give the bread a light citrus flavor through the use of orange juice. If you’d like, you can also add spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.
Some people like to add raisins to their bread. If that sounds good to you, add about 1/4 cup of raisins in at the same time you add the dates.
How It’s Made
Start by softening the dates by chopping them and soaking them in a mixture of boiling water, orange juice, and baking soda.
While they are soaking, cream together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until they are fully combined.
Mix in vanilla and an egg.
Add all-purpose flour until just combined and then fold in the date mixture and nuts.
Bake in a greased loaf pan at 350 F for about one hour.
Expert Tips and FAQs
You can, but it will affect the flavor. I would start with a 1:1 blend of whole wheat to white flour to see how you like it.
It’s quite simple. If you want, you can make things even easier by buying pitted dates and using a food processor to chop them up.
Yes! The bread freezes really well, so you can make two loaves at once and freeze one for later – or eat them both.
It lasts about 5 days at room temperature or you can freeze it for months.
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Date Nut Bread
- 1/2 cup water boiling
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups chopped dates firmly packed, 12-16 dates
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Prepare a nonstick loaf pan by spraying it with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together boiling water, orange juice, baking soda, and chopped dates. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth – approximately 3 minutes at high speed.
- Add egg and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until just combined.
- Add flour and salt and mix on medium-low speed until just combined.
- Mix in the dates and all the liquid they are sitting in until just combined.
- Gently mix in walnuts until incorporated.
- Pour batter out into prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out clean, about one hour.
- Remove from oven and wait 10 minutes before gently turning the loaf out onto a cooling rack.
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