Does the mention of date nut loaf bring on some nostalgia? This is an old-fashioned classic loaf that has wholesome ingredients of dates, nuts, and hints of orange – and is so easy to make! This date nut loaf recipe brings back fond memories for me – and I think is a perfect recipe to revisit for a healthy breakfast, brunch or snack bread.
One wonderful thing about dates is that they are super nutritious, contain several vitamins and nutrients, and have a relatively high fiber count. It also seems like dates are making a bit of a comeback because they are so healthy, as they are also very naturally sweet, which means you can use a lot less sugar and still have a very flavourful loaf.
This recipe calls for orange zest which adds a nice hint of citrus. You can substitute for lemon but my preference with this recipe definitely leans towards the sweeter orange flavour.
This loaf keeps well for at least 4 days – longer if you leave it in the fridge – and I think tastes much better the next day. I usually wrap in foil and put it in the fridge overnight and it sets up perfectly as the dates moisten up and that flavour blends into the bread. This recipe calls for walnuts or pecans as I find they are softer, but you could switch up to whatever is your favourite.
- 1 cup dates chopped
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp orange or lemon zest (optional)
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan with butter or non stick spray.
- Add boiling water to chopped dates and stir in baking soda. Stir to let the soda blend in as the hot water softens up the dates. Let cool slightly.
- Beat egg separately and add to cooled date mixture. Fold in the butter, brown sugar, orange or lemon zest (if using), and walnuts
- In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold the flour mixture into date mixture and blend well with a whisk or fork. Once blended evenly fold mixture into loaf pan.
- Bake for about 45 minutes or until toothpick or fork comes out dry.