Date and Walnut Loaf

1 October 2013

date and walnut loaf

I think of this Date and Walnut Loaf as an old fashioned cake as it was a specialty of my 92 year old great auntie Edith. I remember her baking it when I was little and I suspect she was baking it for many years before that. 

She doesn't do too much baking nowadays {although she still bakes her own bread every day} but my dad mentioned how much he loved her Date and Walnut Loaf so I said I'd give it a go.

 date and walnut loaf

I've asked my mum to get the recipe from Auntie Edith but in the meantime I found a recipe by Mary Berry. One of my favourite recipe books is Mary Berry's Baking Bible. Lately it's almost always the first recipe book I reach for when I'm looking for something new to bake. Her recipes are foolproof. Simple but incredibly tasty.

date and walnut loaf

I did change a couple of things with the ingredients like soaking the dates in tea instead of just water and I changed the method too. 

The end result? A sweet cake with a hearty crunch from the walnuts. The loaf was soft and moist inside with a lightly crisp top. I think a slice of this is perfect smothered with butter and a cup of tea! It was very difficult to only have once slice.

My dad loved it and I also took a slice into work for my friend to try. She asked me for the recipe so it must be good! I only hope that one day I'll be half as good a baker as Auntie Edith.

date and walnut loaf

Date and Walnut Loaf

Preparation time 20 minutes
Baking time 1 hour 10 minutes

250g stoned and chopped dates
350ml boiling water
1 tea bag (regular tea not flavoured!)

40g softened butter
2 large eggs
200g dark muscovado sugar (but any brown sugar will do)
150g ground almonds
350g self raising flour
1 1/2 level teaspoons cinnamon
150g chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 180C {350F} Gas mark 4. Grease a 1kg {2lb} loaf tin and line the bottom with baking paper or parchment.

Put the boiling water and tea bag in a bowl and let it stew for a few minutes. Take the teabag out and add the chopped dates to the bowl. Leave for about half an hour until it has cooled down to room temperature.

In a large bowl, add the butter, sugar and eggs and mix with an electric hand held mixer until fluffy and smooth. Add the dates with the tea and stir. Add the almonds, flour and cinnamon and fold in with a metal spoon until fully combined. Lastly, stir in the chopped walnuts.
Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and pop in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. If the top of the loaf is browning too quickly, cover with some foil. When ready a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake will come out clean and the cake will spring back when lightly pressed with the finger. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

I'm entering this recipe into the One Ingredient Challenge hosted by Laura at How To Cook Good Food and Nazima at Franglais Kitchen. This month the ingredient is Walnuts!

Tasty Tuesdays on

Also entered into this week's Tasty Tuesdays linky hosted by Vicki of Honest Mum


  1. Wow that looks delicious! I don't eat nuts but would make without; my husband adores walnuts so bookmarking this for him! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays

  2. How gorgeous does this cake look. I adore dates and of course walnuts and have always wanted to make a date & walnut loaf. Now I will as I can see just how good it looks and you Aunt Edith sounds like a legend! Thanks for entering One Ingredient :)

  3. I love love love the story telling, really lovely use of autumn feel colours too with the baking tin. Thanks so much for linking up with #SundayPropShop xx

  4. what a gorgeous loaf cake this is and lovely pictures. Dates and walnuts are such a perfect combination

  5. I've just made this loaf and it is delicious! Not being a fan of cinnamon I substituted mixed spice. I'm taking it with me camping this weekend. Post walk, afternoon tea and buttered loaf. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


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