Date and Walnut Loaf


You can now definitely tell it’s almost winter. We set the clock back an hour on the weekend, and although this does mean I got an extra hours sleep (yesss) it also means it’s freakin dark by 5 o’clock. My friend was quite amused by my depressed acknowledgement of this fact, as we set off to walk to the bus stop today. The upside: Dark times, call for dark foods.

This date and walnut loaf is easily mixed by hand and baked until a deep amber, crispy, crunchy crust has formed and a hint of golden batter is seen peeking through the cracked top.

It doesn’t rise much, its a dense loaf packed with sticky dates and crunchy walnuts scented with plenty of vanilla extract and brown sugar.

It’s delicious, especially if you try it my fave way; the sweetness balanced with a light swipe of cream cheese, along side a steaming hot cup of tea.

Date and Walnut Loaf Recipe

An easy loaf cake to make, studded with soaked dates to keep it sweet & moist, plus walnuts for crunch. Simply stir the batter together by hand (no need for a mixer!), pour into a loaf tin and bake.
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Course: Quick Breads (Non-Yeasted) & Scones
Cuisine: American
Keywords: dairy free, dates, loaf cake, walnut
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 1 2lb loaf cake
Calories: 294kcal


  • 250 g (1 cup) pitted, chopped dates (weighed without their pits)
  • 250 ml (1 cup) boiling water
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) light brown sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp fine table salt
  • 180 g (1 ½ cups) plain white flour (see notes if you want to use self-raising flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 150 g (1 scant cup) chopped walnuts (0.5 cup 3 – 6 oz) chopped walnuts


  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F ) and grease a standard (2lb) loaf pan.
  • Pour the boiling water over the dates in a small bowl, set aside to soak and cool to lukewarm.
    250 g (1 cup) pitted, chopped dates, 250 ml (1 cup) boiling water
  • In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla and salt, stirring until smooth.
    150 g (3/4 cup) light brown sugar, 3 medium eggs, 3 tbsp vegetable oil, 2 tsps vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp fine table salt
  • Add the cooled soaked dates (and their soaking liquid) and mix in.
  • Add the flour, baking powder and walnuts then stir until no floury patches remain. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf tin.
    180 g (1 ½ cups) plain white flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 150 g (1 scant cup) chopped walnuts
  • Bake for 50-70 minutes or until very dark brown and when a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean and dry. If the top is browning too much before the loaf is cooked through, cover the top with a piece of foil.
  • Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the loaf tin.


If you want to use self-raising flour: replace the plain flour with an equal weight of self-raising flour. Decrease the baking powder to 1/4 tsp.
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it went! Mention @izyhossack or tag #topwithcinnamon!


Serving: 12g | Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 29g

4 thoughts on “Date and Walnut Loaf”

  1. Thank u so much for the great recipe, I reduced the sugar to only 1/3 cup brown sugar, because I misread the recipe, but it still turned out great. Thanks again 🙂

  2. Hi, I’d love to give this recipe a try but I was wondering if I could substitute shortening with butter? Let me know at your earliest convenience. Thanks! 🙂

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