Date Nut loaf

I’ve been neglecting my baking. Not in real life – that would never happen – but here on the blog. So this month’s recipe is for date-nut loaf, a quick and easy treat, perfect for morning coffee outside on the deck while listening to the birdsong and admiring the eighty daffodil and tulip bulbs I planted last fall. I know it sounds like a lot but they barely made a dent in my big back yard so next year I need to double it.

These daffodils are forecasting sunny days ahead…
April showers bring May flowers….

And if company is allowed in your neck of the woods, they might enjoy it too. We’re still in lock-down and I don’t have my furniture outside yet, so the only company I’ve seen lately is the nest of baby bunnies living under the deck. (No photo, as they’re camera shy and quick like rabbits.)

This is an old recipe from the my mother’s farmhouse cooking bible.

The Purity Cookbook

She used to make this when I was a kid and it was always a favorite after-school treat after a long and hungry bus ride home. Sometimes she would add raisins too, but I don’t, because some people think eating a raisin will kill them. (If you’re reading, you know who you are) It’s doesn’t contain a ton of sugar as it’s sweet enough with the dates, and add in the nuts, and it’s a fairly healthy quick bread. I started making this over a decade ago, when the cookbook was re-issued, and make it several times over the course of the winter. It’s one of those never-fail recipes, although I like to use a glass pan to make sure I don’t burn it and I only leave it in 50 minutes.

The Recipe:

The Ingredients:

The Directions:

Pour 3/4 cup of boiling water over the dates and one teaspoon of baking soda, to soften them. I buy the chopped dates. Let cool.

Mix together 3/4 cup of white sugar (not brown), 1 beaten egg, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 2 tablespoons of softened butter. I use butter instead of shortening as I grew up on a dairy farm, but it’s an old recipe from the days when people used Crisco etc.

Add the date mixture, 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts or walnut pieces, 1 and 3/4 cups of flour and 1/2 tsp of salt and stir until combined. I use the premixed flour with the salt and baking powder already in it, and omit the baking soda from step one.

The mixture will be fairly thick. Pour into a greased 9X5 inch pan and bake in preheated oven at 350. Check after 50 minutes. The recipe says 60-70 minutes but in my oven that would be burnt.

The End Result:

It’s nice slathered with butter, but tasty without too.

Enjoy outside while communing with nature.


And smelling the cherry blossoms.

And if company drops by they might be persuaded to pose for a picture.

Somebunny was caught tip toeing through the tulips…

50 thoughts on “Date Nut loaf

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Debbie…..nice weather forecast all next week – sun and 14 – perfect not too hot or cold. I’m dying to go around to the garden centres but it’s still a bit early for that.

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    • Joni says:

      Ang – I first blogged about this Canadian cookbook in my blog about Hermit Cookies. The cookbook dates from 1911, but my mothers much stained copy was issued in 1954 and my copy in 2009. I’m sure there are many other Canadian bible cookbooks, but I grew up on a farm and this is the one we used. I also used the recipe in it for my Blog on The Great Canadian Butter Tart, which is a uniquely Canadian recipe. Here’s the link: https://thehomeplaceweb.com/2020/05/28/hermit-cookies-a-pandemic-recipe/

      I don’t really cook much, but I like to bake! Joni

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Anne says:

    Your recipe brings to the fore fond memories of the date loaves my mother used to bake: I really must by dates next time I buy groceries an bake a loaf – you have me longing to taste a slice! Your flowers look beautiful – and what a delightful glimpse of the bunny! This post has cheered me up enormously, thank you Joni!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Anne! I loved the loaves, but my mother used to make date cookies too and I didn’t care for those. I think they had too much pastry curled around the dates. It was an old-fashioned Christmas cookie. I’m glad I was able to cheer you up. It’s been depressing here lately, so I’m trying to concentrate on the small delightful things and stop watching the news….and of course we have nice weather coming too which will help when it arrives – cold and damp all week again. We had a couple of weeks of early warm weather and now a month of the usual dreary stuff.

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  2. annieasksyou says:

    This was another fun visit with Joni! The recipe looks great—and I love dates! Your tulips and daffodils are beautiful.

    Do the bunnies nibble on the tulips? We were taking a walking in our neighborhood, and when I admired a man’s lovely plantings, he said the deer had been through and chomped away. Deer are newcomers to our suburban area; I suspect it’s related to climate change in some way. We also have foxes for the first time.

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    • Joni says:

      Thanks Annie! It’s a quick and easy recipe.
      My grasscutter said the bunnies had been nibbling on the pink tulips, but I didn’t notice. Mostly I see them chomping on the grass and when they see me they scurry under the deck. No deer here, thank god, or foxes, nor any sign of those pesky voles/moles I had a few years ago. We have lots of squirrels however and they like to dig up the bulbs.

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  3. Eilene Lyon says:

    I like nice simple recipes along this line. My mom made an orange and date bread. I think I still have the recipe, but can’t recall making it myself. I love dates and nuts and would definitely go for the raisins!

    Cute bunny! We saw some little guys yesterday during our visit to Fort Vancouver. Your flowers are looking fine!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      It’s a fairly easy recipe Jo. I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling tired. I’ve learned the restorative power of afternoon naps during this pandemic. Rest when your body tells you too.

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      • Joni says:

        I think you guys are in better shape. We’re still in lockdown here and have been basically since Christmas…and today they announced it will be extended past May20 again. We are getting more vaccines now though, so I see light at the end of the tunnel. I think you have about 58% vaccinated now, and we have about 33%. I see that England/Scottland/Northern Ireland reported no COVID deaths today – the power of herd immunity!

        Liked by 1 person

      • brilliantviewpoint says:

        I didn’t realize you were still on Lockdown. That is tough. We are gaining our freedom again. It’s nice, but back to traffic, busy grocery stores, etc. It was nice having some peacefulness last year.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        That’s good. At least Peanut Butter is a good source of protein. I could never do all the walking you do on just oatmeal which is mainly carbohydrate…I would be hungry in an hour. Sure hope it warms up soon – walked today wearing a hat and mittens.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Sometimes I have a hard-boiled egg with my oatmeal for my protein, but usually a big scoop of the natural peanut butter instead and save the egg for a sandwich. I do come home starving every day as I eat early. The furnace guy came today and he had to replace the circuit board (brains of the furnace) and a pressure switch. He said the guy who put the new circuit board in on 12/31/19 wired it wrong … (nice … on top of it you may recall he forgot to connect the wire and I had to call for service last Memorial Day!) Then our internet at work went down all afternoon. I worked on work stuff on home as my boss sends everything to home (Comcast) too. I am ready for it to be Friday.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Hope you got out today Joni – it was beautiful and finally, we have turned a corner weather-wise. When you make your date nut bread, be sure to look carefully for pits. I also put the chopped dates and/or raisins into my oatmeal. This morning, in the chopped dates, was a part of a pit. My first worry was my tooth. Sigh. I think it is okay, but I bit down on it hard. I make my oatmeal up a week at a time … not on the stove, just dry ingredients and put everything in it into cups, then just add hot water from the tap – it cooks the oats. Less muss, fuss and bother. Anyway, a word to the wise about chopped dates.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I’ve never encountered a pit and I just buy the cheaper generic store brand, but good to know. Hot water from the tap wouldn’t be hot enough for me! My mother makes her instant coffee that way. I need boiling hot water for everything! I didn’t really get out yesterday as I sat by the phone waiting for a virtual doctors appointment, so finally when an hour passed and no call, I called in and she said I was scheduled for November, that he had already talked to me during the echo. test. Well he did briefly, but when I asked if there was any change he said he’d have to compare it to the last one? What a waste of a beautiful afternoon. Then the lawncutter showed up, so I didn’t actually get to sit outside with my book, but I’m going to today, as soon as the bank person calls! I guess I could have used my cell phone, but I so seldom give that out I never think about it. Looks like we’re in for a whole week of nice weather, finally!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        I started using the tap water even before my inability to boil water as the laptop sitting on the glass-top stove. Had I known in June 2019 when he brought it, that two years later we’d still not be using it, I’d never have told him to bring it. I have no other outlets to plug it in as I’d need a table for it to sit on. So many outlets are behind dressers, chests … serious lack of outlets and the one I could have plugged it into is where the weather radio is plugged in (my mom’s room). Like your mom, I use instant coffee and just run the water for about three minutes and it is hot … I can see the steam rising and it is not drinkable unless I blow on it. Likewise for the oatmeal. I make them up a week at a time, just run the water and stir. I used to make it in the microwave, then gave the microwave to my neighbor. I will get one eventually but want to have an electrician look at the wiring upstairs to ensure it is okay. My mom used her toaster oven and had to use an extension cord and the toaster oven cord was hot … that’s why I don’t use the toaster oven. I’ve looked around for a toaster oven with a longer cord and they don’t come like that … I have the crock pot sitting on the counter and that’s not convenient. Now it is sitting on a table in front of the countertop, due to the ants … the ants are on the wane in the kitchen thankfully, only one in the bathroom, but still in my room. Yes, be careful of the dates, though they warn you on the package. After yesterday’s little pit, no more dates for me, just raisins which I like in my oatmeal.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Raisins are better anyway…..I put them in my oatmeal too, although I haven’t been eating it lately – it’s winter fuel. Enjoy your tv shows tonight Linda!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Linda Schaub says:

        Yes, I love raisins in my oatmeal, but occasionally for a change of pace … no more though. A near miss! Sometimes in my yogurt I mix in Special K Protein flakes … they are really good and when they are on sale I stock up on them. Nice and crunchy, but cold cereal does not fill me up like oatmeal does.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Dave says:

    “… some people think eating a raisin will kill them…” LOL. Raisins get no respect, but I’ll eat them in anything (ditto olives). Your final photo of the date loaf looks like a perfect creation, too nice to cut into. I will try this recipe. Thanks, Joni!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I think one of my readers said raisins would kill them, but I can’t remember who? It’s an easy fool-proof recipe Dave. I hope you like it.

      Like

  5. J P says:

    Ooh, this is big. When I was a kid, my father used to buy a canned date nut loaf at the grocery. He would get it out of the can, slice it in 1/2 inch slices then make little sandwiches with cream cheese in the middle.

    They (Crosse & Blackwell) stopped making the stuff years ago. Marianne had a recipe from her mother for a brown bread with raisins that bakes in a can and we experimented a couple of times – the date nut bread was sweeter and more moist than her mother’s recipe. Somehow we abandoned the project and I was actually recalling it just within the last week.

    We start with a darker flour and molasses for sweetening, and also to get a rich brown color. You may inspire me to take up the quest once again!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Sounds like a blog for you JP! I’ve never heard of buying it in a can or baking it in a can. Crosse and Blackwell – is it a British thing? I know the Irish were great for a dense brown bread as I ate it every morning at breakfast for the three weeks I was there. It was on every breakfast menu, no raisins though, and served only with orange marmalade.

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