Sweet and moist with a subtle caramel-like nutty flavor, this Date Nut Bread is a quick and easy fall or year-round treat. Serve for breakfast, brunch, or dessert. A nice warm slice with a cup of coffee or tea hits the spot!
Date Nut Bread Recipe
I took notes from my favorite honey cake and made this wonderful Date Nut Bread! It’s moist and tender, with the perfect amount of chopped sweet dates and nutty pecans in every bite.
A slice warm from the oven or room temperature is delicious on its own, but a swipe of cinnamon butter takes it up a level. Another spread that pairs well with date bread is a mixture of cream cheese, orange zest, powdered sugar, and vanilla (details below.)
Whether you serve this with coffee or tea, for breakfast, brunch, or dessert, consider making a second loaf because it’ll go fast!
The quick bread is loaded with sweet dates and chopped nuts.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Medjool Dates – One of the stars in this quick bread recipe. Medjool dates are larger than other varieties and have a sweet, caramel-like flavor. They should be pitted and very finely chopped.
- Water – Boiling water is poured over the dates to soften them before baking.
- Butter – This provides richness and necessary moisture.
- Sugars – A combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar for the best flavor.
- Egg – Provides structure to the batter.
- Flour – Regular all-purpose flour works great. Makes sure you spoon and level, don’t scoop, when measuring to avoid an excess amount.
- Cinnamon – For a cozy warm flavor.
- Baking powder – A leavening agent that helps the bread rise while baking.
- Salt – To balance out the sweetness.
- Chopped pecans – The nut in this date and nut bread! Provides a nice nutty flavor and subtle textural crunch.
Substitutions and Variations
- Replace the water with coffee. Soak the chopped dates in hot brewed coffee for another layer of flavor.
- Swap the butter with oil. You could substitute the butter with vegetable oil or similar, but avoid oils with a strong flavor like olive oil.
- Try a different nut or omit. Instead of pecans, use chopped walnuts, or simply leave them out entirely if you’re concerned about allergies.
- Stir in some chocolate chips. You can replace the nuts with chocolate chips or just add some in.
- Add spices to the batter. In addition to the cinnamon, you can add in a pinch of nutmeg, cardamom, or ground ginger for added spicy warmth.
- Include some orange zest. A teaspoon or so of orange zest mixed into the batter goes great with dates and adds a lovely citrus flavor.
- Blend the dates. Blending the date mixture to be smooth before adding it to the batter ensures even more date flavor in every bite.
- Coat loaf pan in cinnamon-sugar. Instead of using parchment paper, grease the loaf pan with butter or shortening, then coat with a mixture of cinnamon-sugar before pouring in the batter. This creates the most amazing crust on the baked bread. Alternatively, you can simply sprinkle a bit of cinnamon-sugar on top of the batter before popping it in the oven.
How To Make Date Nut Bread
This moist date and nut bread comes together in just a few easy steps.
(Scroll to the bottom for our easy printable recipe with the complete directions, and don’t miss the video below.)
- Prepare the pan. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9×5 standard loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a slight overhang on the two longer sides.
- Soften the dates. Add the chopped dates to a bowl and pour the boiling water over the top. Add the butter and set aside.
- Make the batter. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and egg until incorporated and light. In a another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, alternating with the date and water mixture. Fold in the chopped nuts with a spatula.
- Bake. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool. Remove loaf from pan onto a cooling rack. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
Tips for Success
- Don’t over-mix. As with any quick bread, be careful not to over-mix the batter or the end result could end up too dense. Just mix enough to incorporate all the ingredients.
- Don’t let the batter rest. The wet ingredients immediately start activating the baking powder once mixed, so right after pouring the batter into the pan, transfer to the oven.
- Tent with foil if necessary. If the loaf is browning too quickly, you can loosely tent with foil halfway through baking time.
- Have a smaller loaf pan? We always bake this bread in a 9×5 loaf pan, but if you have an 8x4x2 pan, it will still work. Note that since there’s less surface area, the loaf may be a bit taller and take a few extra minutes to bake.
We love a slice of this date bread warm from the oven, but it’s also wonderful at room temperature. Enjoy on its own or with a nice swipe of our cinnamon butter on top!
Another option is to make an easy cream cheese spread, which compliments the dates really well. In a mixing bowl, beat 4 ounces of softened cream cheese with 1 & 1/2 teaspoons of finely grated orange zest, 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar, and a few drops of vanilla extract.
Video: Date Nut Bread
- Countertop and Fridge. Baked and cooled, this date bread can sit (tightly wrapped) on the countertop for 2-3 days. After that, you’ll want to refrigerate it, which will extend its life a few days longer.
- To Freeze. You can also freeze this date bread recipe. Wrap the loaf in plastic, then in foil, and transfer to a freezer-safe plastic bag for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
More Quick Bread Recipes:
- Ultimate Banana Bread
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread
- Zucchini Bread
- Lemon Blueberry Bread
- Cheese Bread
Date Nut Bread
- 1 cup Medjool dates , very finely chopped
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar , packed
- 1 large egg
- 2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour , spooned and leveled
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×5 standard loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a slight overhang on the two longer sides for easier removal.
- Add the chopped dates to a medium-sized bowl and pour the boiling water over the top. Add the butter and set aside.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and egg until incorporated and light.
- In a another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, alternating with the date and water mixture.
- Fold in the chopped nuts with a spatula.
- Pour into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean (the time will depend on the thickness of the loaf.)
- Remove loaf from pan onto a cooling rack. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing and enjoy!