Date Bread

A week or so ago Mom made a trip to our favorite co-op. She brought back many delcious things, including some chopped dates. When she noticed me mixing them into my oatmeal, she protested and expressed a desire for date bread.

I was more than happy to oblige. So I found a recipe from a trusted source and gathered the required ingredients.

Confession: I made two mistakes while preparing this loaf. And it still turned out great! Gotta love Joy of Baking.

1) I added too much flour. Don’t ask me why. I just didn’t trust my usual, fail safe method of weighing the flour. So I had to add 1/4 cup of milk at the end of mixing. Surprisingly the extra mixing didn’t turn the bread into a brick.

2) I completely forgot to add the walnuts. The bread was sitting cozily in the oven when I noticed the walnuts, sitting on the counter, toasted, chopped, and ready to be used. Oh well. I took it in stride. 🙂

This bread was very moist and soft, even though I used all whole wheat flour. If you are leery of 100% whole wheat bread, simply use all-purpose flour in place of all or part of the wheat. Serve plane, with butter, or cream cheese.

And the word from Dad, the date hater: “That’s pretty good date bread.” Wow. It must be good.


Date and Walnut Bread

Adapted from Joy of Baking


  • 8 ounces (225 grams) pitted dates, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (240 ml) boiling water
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sucanat, demerara, or brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1) To prepare the dates: In a large bowl mix the chopped dates with the baking soda and a pinch of salt (1/8 teaspoon). Pour 1 cup of very hot water over the dates, stir, and leave to cool to room temperature (about 1 hour).

2) To make the batter: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter and flour a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.  Set aside.

3) In a food processor place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon. Process to combine and then add the butter. Process until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the chopped walnuts.

4) In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with the vanilla extract.  Fold the flour mixture and beaten egg mixture into the cooled dates (with their water). Stir until combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the bread has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes. Place on a wire rack and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Gently slide a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Or, if you will not be using the bread immediately, when the bread has almost completely cooled, wrap well in plastic wrap and place in a zippered bag to store.

Makes one – 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf.


12 thoughts on “Date Bread

    • Jude: Yes, I’m always surprised at how easily quick bread recipes adapt to whole wheat.

      Elyse: This recipe was very forgiving. Even for clumsy old me! 🙂

      Marta: Yes, I hope I get a chance to make it again. I think the walnuts would really add something.

      Sarah: I’m so pleased that you enjoy me blog! Hmmm…date scones sound good. Maybe I should throw some into a scone recipe…

  1. Ooo, I love that this bread is somewhat forgiving. Not only that, but it looks stellar!! I wish I could reach into the screen and grab a slice right now. Yum! I can only imagine how moist this bread must be, too.

  2. It’s so nice that you pleased your mom and spoiled her with some date bread! this certainly looks delicious, I’m sure your mistakes didn’t affect it! The walnuts in it must be brilliant, though… oh well, looks like you’ll have to make it again 😉

  3. I just found your website and have been having fun searching around and enjoying all your beautiful photographs and delicious recipes. This date bread looks wonderful. I have a “go-to” whole-wheat date scone recipe but I might have to try out this recipe instead next time I get a hankering for dates.

  4. This looks great! I haven’t had date bread in over ten years… I’m definitely interested in using whole wheat flour in my quickbreads and the like. I’ve been a bit wary thus far, but your review is pretty tempting 🙂 Beautiful bread!

  5. Looks scrumptious! My aunt has a recipe for Chocolate chip date nut bread. Its incredibly good!!! She also bakes her breads in tin cans…like empty SPAM cans or cream soup cans. She just washes them out and bakes in them. Makes a cute little loaf!

  6. Pingback: A Collection of Quick Breads | Cooking for Seven

  7. very good. made a double batch- resulted in one loaf and 11 muffins. the muffins were great- haven’t tasted the loaf yet. thanks!!

  8. I remember, my mother use to make that bread, and your is as good as her. I love the taste of the dates and walnuts.

    Thanks to remind me that good souvenir.


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