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Date Nut Bread. An old fashioned favourite.

Date Nut Bread. This old fashioned favourite is just like your grandmother would make. It’s easy, tender,  moist and delicious, and even better the next day.

Date Nut Bread featured image square

Date Nut Bread

This Date Nut Bread recipe is a great example of how to rediscover old favourite recipes and enjoy them again as if they were new. I hadn’t made date nut bread for many years and recently sampled some during the Christmas season.

It really brought back memories of a walnut date nut bread that a friend of mine used to make many years ago. I remember hers had a little hint of nutmeg which most recipes for this classic loaf cake don’t include. I’m very fond of the warm fragrant flavour of nutmeg so I update an old recipe to include it.

Heap of dried dates

Dried dates for Date Nut Bread

Along with a couple of my own tweaks, I also switched out the walnuts in the old recipe for lightly toasted pecans which I’ve always liked better. You can easily use walnuts instead if you prefer or if they are what you have on hand.

This loaf cake is incredibly easy to prepare and what I’ve always found with a date nut loaf is that it seems to be better the next day. This might be because the flavour and moisture from the dates infuses into the cake.

Hazelnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts and pecans for Ultimate Nut Fruitcake

Roasted hazelnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts and pecans could all be used in this recipe if you prefer.

It’s a great early or mid week baking idea because it does seem to stay fresh for several days to enjoy in packed lunches or for a morning coffee break. A thick slice of this date nut bread is also an ideal ending for a weekend brunch with that last cup of coffee.

Date Nut Bread fresh from the oven.

You might also like our decades old recipe for Mom’s Banana Bread.

Mom's Old Fashioned Banana Bread

Mom’s Old Fashioned Banana Bread

Originally published January 2016. Updated April 2020.

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ate Nut Bread image with title text for Pinterest

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Date Nut Bread featured image square
Yield: 1 large loaf cake or 2 smaller laves (12 servings)

Date Nut Bread - an old fashioned favourite

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Date Nut Bread - this old fashioned favourite is just like your grandmother would make. It's easy, tender, moist and delicious, and even better the next day.


  • 1 cup strong tea or brewed coffee. Orange Pekoe, green tea, or Earl Grey will all work well. (Use whichever you like)
  • 2 cups chopped dates
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup toasted pecans ( I toast mine on a cookie sheet in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 5-7 minutes, tossing at least once during that time.), or walnuts if you prefer


  1. Do not chop your dates too small or they will break up in the batter. I like to cut each dried date into only 4 or 5 pieces so that you can see actual pieces of date in the loaf when you cut it.
  2. Pour the hot tea or coffee over the chopped dates along with the melted butter, salt, baking soda and brown sugar. Stir gently with a rubber spatula to help dissolve the brown sugar.
  3. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.
  4. After the date mixture has cooled stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and nutmeg and add to the date mixture along with the 2 beaten eggs.
  6. Fold the batter together by hand using a rubber spatula. When the flour is almost all incorporated, add the toasted pecans during the last few folds of the batter.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees F for glass bakeware). Grease a large 9x5 loaf pan and line it with parchment paper.
  8. Spoon the batter into the loaf pan. You can top the loaf with a few untoasted pecans and additional pieces of chopped date if you like.
  9. Bake for about one hour until a wooden toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Baking times may very by oven and the type of pans used, so check it 5 to 10 minutes early and allow extra time if needed. Let the toothpick test be the best judge of when it is done.
  10. Remove from oven and let rest in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan and letting it cool completely on a wire rack.


I have also baked this large loaf cake in 2 small disposable aluminum loaf pans which worked quite well. The baking time is considerably less; probably between 30-40 minutes but once again, let the toothpick test be the best judge of when the loaf is fully baked.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1 grams

Amount Per Serving Calories 293Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 44mgSodium 197mgCarbohydrates 43gFiber 3gSugar 23gProtein 5g

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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Monday 15th of May 2023

I love the idea of soaking the dates in coffee rather than tea. Always used a tea and it never occurred to me to use coffee. Thanks Barry. :))


Tuesday 16th of April 2019

Man, I sure like how you pack all those yummy ingredients (nuts/fruit,chocolate chip, etc.,)into all your recipes...) Sure can't go wrong!


Saturday 22nd of December 2018

I want to thank you for these recipes. I made the fruit cake and I took it to a Christmas due. Wow, it is so good


Wednesday 14th of November 2018

I like to add the zest of two navel oranges. Zest one, and add to the date bowl while it’s cooling. Zest the second and add to the flour mixture and stir in. The flavour this adds, is amazing, and the scent in the kitchen will have all your neighbors at your door asking what piece of heaven are you baking!!

Sandra Frederiks

Monday 3rd of October 2016

Toated pecans taste great, but walnuts have Omega 3's which pecans don't. I love date nut bread, this recipe looks great! Will try it soon.

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