This lusciously moist Date Nut Bread is a guilty pleasure you can feel good about! Chock full of dates and walnuts, this quick bread is easy and healthy – which is always a win, don’t you think?
Slathered with a little butter (because it is healthy!) it makes the perfect breakfast or afternoon snack!
What is Date Nut Bread?
Date Nut Bread, aka date and nut bread, is a traditional quick bread or “cake” eaten in Britain, made using dates and walnuts. It is often made with treacle or tea to give it a dark brown color. Traditionally from Scotland, this date and nut loaf is still enjoyed in many tea rooms around the country.
There are lots of Date Nut Bread recipes. But this one? This one is the closest I’ve found to the bread of my childhood. Made by Van de Kamp’s, there was always a loaf of it in the refrigerator.
Chewy and moist with a deep, rich flavor, this was my snack of choice – and when Van de Kamp’s went out of business I was heartbroken :-(.
Determined to resurrect this old fashioned date nut bread, I pieced together a number of recipes and… after a number of tries settled on this one.
Ingredients in Date Nut Bread
- Chopped Dates – you can use just about any variety of date. I typically use Medjool dates since they are the most common date.
- Hot Water – to soften the dates.
- Brown Sugar – you can use either light or dark brown sugar but I prefer dark brown sugar for a deeper caramel flavor.
- Butter – no need to splurge on an expensive butter for this recipe!
- All-purpose flour
- Baking Powder
- Walnuts – Walnuts aren’t everyone’s favorite nut, but they add a lovely texture and nutty flavor to this bread so don’t leave them out!
How to make Date Nut Bread:
Unlike many date bread recipes, this one doesn’t include large chunks of dates – which is why this bread is moister and denser!
- Add the chopped dates and 1 cup of water to a blender and blend until the dates are pureed. Pour the date mixture into a medium bowl.
- Mix in the sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the flour mixture to the date mixture and stir until the flour is fully incorporated.
- Stir in the walnuts!
- Pour into a prepared 8 x 4-inch loaf pan and bake! The bread is done when a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or has small crumbs attached.
- Remove from the oven, cover with aluminum foil, and let cool completely.
- Slice and slather with butter (optional!) and enjoy!
Other British Dessert Recipes I know you’ll love!
- Treacle Tart – Harry Potter’s favorite dessert!
- Sticky Toffee Pudding – a British classic made in the Instant Pot!
- Blackberry Fool – Sweet whipped cream and jammy blackberries!
- Cranachan – a Scottish classic of whipped cream, fruit, oat crumble and a wee bit of whiskey!
If you love Quick Breads, you will definitely want to try these!
- Buttermilk Banana Bread – unbelievably moist!
- Beer Bread – made with Guinness!
- Irish Brown Bread – a no-knead bread straight from Ireland!
- Cheese Bread – fresh herbs flavor this easy loaf!
If you enjoyed this recipe, I would LOVE for you to give it a 5-star rating! Cheers! Nancy
Date Nut Bread
- 4 oz. dates chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 4 Tablespoons melted butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup chopped walnut pieces
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Spray an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a blender, combine the dates and the water. Blend until smooth.
- Add the date mixture to a medium-sized bowl.
- Add the sugar, butter, egg, salt, and vanilla. Either beat by hand or using a mixer, mix on medium speed until thoroughly mixed, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir.
- Add the flour mixture and mix until combined.
- Stir in the walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, with no visible amounts of batter. If crumbs are attached, that's ok!
- Remove the pan immediately from the oven and cover with foil, making sure the foil doesn't touch the top of the loaf.
- Cool for 1 hour. Remove the foil and remove the loaf from the pan. Slice and enjoy!
- I used medjool dates in this recipe but almost any widely available date will work.
- Covering the loaf with foil right after it comes out of the oven keeps the bread (and the top) really moist so don’t skip this step!
- The bread keeps really well in the refrigerator. After the bread has completely cooled, wrap the bread in plastic wrap and then in foil. It will last for up to a week.
- for longer storage, wrap as instructed below and freeze for up to 3 months.