This spiced date and nut loaf are moist, flavoured with sweet dates and dotted with crunchy walnuts. A thick slice goes perfectly with the afternoon cup of tea!
A date and nut loaf has been on my "to-bake" list for quite some time. I have several very similar recipes floating in and around my recipe book.
As my Instagram feed fills with photos of fall baking, pumpkins and of course pumpkin spices, I wanted not only ginger but cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and mixed spice! So when paging through one of my vintage recipe books and my eyes glanced over the ginger loaf, I knew I needed to incorporate spices into my date and nut loaf.
BTW - if you like banana bread, you will probably like this as well!
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What You Need for this Recipe
This recipe needs mixing bowls, a loaf pan, a whisk, a spatula or wooden spoon, and baking paper.
- Dates, pitted and chopped. I used dried dates for this recipe
- Walnuts, chopped
- Baking soda - to neutralise the acidic tannins of the dates, and give the loaf a
- Baking Powder
- Boiling water to moisten and soften the dates.
- Brown sugar not only adds sweetness and moisture, it also adds a complex treacle flavour that really compliments the dates.
- Eggs to bind everything together
- Vanilla extract
- Cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, mixed spice and ground cloves to give this loaf a delightful spiced
- Flour - plain flour, all-purpose flour, or standard-grade flour
Refer to recipe for quantities.
Making the Spiced Date and Nut Loaf
Step 1 - Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C Fan. Grease and line a loaf pan using the sling method with an overhang for easy removal of the loaf.
Step 2 - Place the dates in a heatproof bowl. Sprinkle the baking soda over the dates, and then pour the boiling water over the dates. Set aside to soak and allow to cool.
Step 3 - Whisk together the softened butter and brown sugar until well combined. Add in the spices, vanilla, and eggs, whisk through until well combined.
Step 4 - Sieve in the flour and baking powder, add in the nuts, and date mixture. Fold the ingredients together using a wooden spoon or spatula. Pour into the prepared loaf tin and baking for 45-55 minutes or until a cake tester comes out just clean.
Step 5 - Once baked, allow cooling in the tin for 10-20 minutes before removing and placing on a wire cooling rack to completely cool. Slice and serve.
Pro Tips for this Recipe
When lining the loaf tin with baking paper, extend the baking paper over the sides of the tin to create a sling. This allows for easy removal of the loaf once baked. Binder clips come in handy to keep the parchment paper in place.
Weighing ingredients is more accurate than measuring cups overall, and this is my recommendation for my recipes as they are all developed and tested using grams only. However, I have activated the US customary conversions on the recipe card, these are based on generally accepted conversions. Cups are equal to 236mL/ 8 fluid ounces, tablespoons are 15mL and teaspoons are 5mL.
Measuring cups and spoons are an essential addition to every kitchen! Especially if you don't use a kitchen scale. Invest in a set to ensure you add the correct ingredients for accurate measuring. When in doubt - always use a level spoon or cup measure.
Fan-forced or fan-assisted oven temperature must be decreased by 20°C/25F. Use an oven thermometer to determine the accuracy of your oven dial.
Butter can be replaced with baking margarine or a vegan baking alternative.
Walnuts can be replaced with pecan nuts or even almonds. Or you can even leave the nuts out completely.
This Spiced Date and Nut Loaf can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. Alternatively, once baked, can be sealed in plastic wrap and foil before being placed in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow defrosting in the fridge overnight before serving.
Date and Nut Loaf FAQ
The Date and Walnut recipe originated in Scotland but is enjoyed across the Commonwealth Countries such as South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
Yes. A date and nut loaf, once baked, can be sealed in plastic wrap and foil before being placed in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow defrosting in the fridge overnight before serving.
Yes. This date and nut loaf can be stored in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. And can be made a day or two before an event.
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Spiced Date and Nut Loaf
- 150 grams dates pitted and chopped
- 100 g walnuts roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 200 grams boiling water
- 125 grams butter softened
- 100 grams brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon mixed spice
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 225 grams plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt if using unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/340F. Grease and line a loaf tin using the sling method with an overhang for easy removal of the loaf.
- Place the dates in a heatproof bowl. Sprinkle the baking soda over the dates, and then pour the boiling water over the dates. Set aside to soak and allow to cool.150 grams dates, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 200 grams boiling water
- Whisk together the softened butter and brown sugar until well combined. Add in the spices, salt, vanilla, and eggs, whisk through until well combined.125 grams butter, 100 grams brown sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 3 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 teaspoon ginger, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon mixed spice, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, ½ teaspoon salt
- Sieve in the flour and baking powder, add in the nuts, and date mixture. Fold the ingredients together using a wooden spoon or spatula. Pour into the prepared loaf tin and baking for 45-55 minutes or until a cake tester comes out just clean.225 grams plain flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 100 g walnuts
- Once baked, allow cooling in the tin for 10-20 minutes before removing and placing on a cooling tack to completely cool. Slice and serve.
Nutrition information is an estimate. If scaling the recipe remember to scale your cook and bakeware accordingly.