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 or look particularly enticing. I agree. For me, it has 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?” It has since changed every notion I ever had about date nut bread. In fact, it is the best date nut bread 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 it a nice flavour, 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.
So simple, but beyond delicious…testimony to the fact that this easy date loaf recipe 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.
Date Nut Loaf
- 1 cup chopped and pitted dates
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup chopped pecans (you can subsitute walnuts)
- 3 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine dates, butter and boiling water. Cool.
Sift flour and baking soda together
Add sugar, egg and nuts to the date mixture
Add vanilla, then flour mixture.
Add lemon juice last and stir until combined
Pour into a prepared loaf 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 cooling rack.
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