This amazing traditional date loaf recipe came from my Grandma. Actually, it came from my Grandma's Great Grandma, so it's a 6th generation recipe! But I know what you're thinking - Date Nut Loaf doesn't sound particularly enticing. I used to agree.
For me, it had always had an association with funerals- something you could expect to be served at a wake. And some may even consider it to be the ugly sister of Carrot Bread. You know, the loaf you'd grudgingly make if you were out of carrots, had to make a loaf and only had dates on hand. But trust me, it just has a bad rap that is completely unwarranted. You'll want to take this loaf to the party! Well, I finally tried making this loaf because my grandma was always telling me how great it was and I kept thinking, "but it's date loaf, how could it be?" I was BLOWN AWAY by how great this date loaf is!!!
This date bread is a simple, yet delicious traditional recipe that has been passed on for 6 generations. It has since changed every notion I ever had about date bread. In fact, it is the best I have ever had! Although, I have to admit that I've tweaked the recipe ever so slightly because, well, I just can't help myself.
6 generations later...
I used pecans because I think they give this date and nut loaf a nice flavor, but walnuts can be substituted. But it's the fresh lemon juice that really makes this loaf sing! And butter of course- butter always makes everything better. The point is that this loaf is made with real ingredients - the same ingredients that were around 6 generations ago. It is so comforting to know that my own grandma's great grandma was cooking the very same recipe over a century ago- it's such a special connection to the past.
For this recipe, you'll need:
- boiling water
- unsalted butter
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda
- vanilla extract
- fresh lemon juice
*see recipe card for quantities
📖Variations & Substitutions
- Nuts- you can substitute walnuts for pecans
- Sugar - you could substitute brown sugar for the white sugar
This date nut bread recipe requires a 9X5 loaf pan. You an use a metal loaf pan or a glass pan However, if you plan to double the recipe and freeze one of the loaves, it's handy to use a loaf pan with a lid, so you can just pop it into the freezer once it's cooled. You'll also need a sharp knife- ideally a bread knife. (affiliate links)
This 10 servings. However, you can double or triple the recipe by clicking on the blue serving number and selecting the number of servings you'd like. The ingredient quantities will automatically adjust. You'll just need additional loaf pans.
I often double this old fashioned date nut bread recipe, make 2 of these loaves and store one in the freezer in a large Ziplock freezer bag. It will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months. This loaf will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container.
Don't slice this date loaf cake until you are ready the eat it. And once you slice into it, only cut each piece as you need it, as slicing it dries it out more quickly. If you do slice it before storing it, make sure to cover the exposed pieces with plastic wrap.
So simple, but beyond delicious...testimony to the fact that this easy date nut bread has lived on for 6 generations! And you don't even have to love dates to love this light and fluffy old fashioned date nut bread. It's ideal for enjoying on your morning coffee break or with a cup of hot tea!
And if you still want to take carrot loaf to the party as well, here is a fantastic Healthy Carrot Loaf Recipe
Did you make this date loaf and love it? Please leave a 5 star rating below!
📋 Date Nut Loaf Recipe
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and spray loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine chopped dates, butter and boiling water until butter melts. Cool.
- Sift flour and baking soda (dry ingredients) together in a separate bowl.
- Add sugar, egg and nuts to the cooled date mixture.
- Add vanilla extract, then dry ingredients to the date mixture
- Add lemon juice last and stir until combined.
- Pour batter into a prepared pan and bake for approximately 50- 60 minutes in preheated oven (or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean and loaf is lightly browned on the outside) . Cool on a wire rack.