Sunday, February 23, 2014

Date & Walnut Loaf

I have loved Date & Walnut loaf for a very long time but, with a nut allergic child in the house, it hasn’t been on the menu for a while. 

Now that the bird has flown to its own little nest, I still feel incredibly guilty for reintroducing nuts into the house.  I didn’t realize how much I missed them until I found myself dropping mini packets of peanut M&Ms (I’m not sure I actually like these but they’re so moreish) and the odd jar of crunchy peanut butter into my shopping cart, much to the chagrin of the Irish one who maintains a fierce loyalty to no peanut butter but somehow doesn’t apply it to buying bags of fresh nuts for snacking.  Go figure.

The Irish one may prefer his Barm Brack which is nice, but I think the sweet stickiness of the dates against the crunch of the walnuts make this my favourite tea loaf.

Date & Walnut Loaf

225g stoned dates, chopped
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
300ml hot water
275g self-raising flour
100g butter, chopped into pieces
50g shelled walnuts, chopped
100g soft brown sugar
1 egg, beaten

Grease and line a 1kg loaf tin. 

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the dates, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a bowl and pour over the hot water.  Set aside until cool.

Sift the flour in a bowl.  Add the butter pieces and rub into the flour until combined.  Stir in the walnuts and sugar until thoroughly combined.

Mix the dry ingredients into the cooled date mixture and beat in the egg. 

Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 1 to 1¼ hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.

Store in an airtight tin.  The loaf keeps well and even improves with age!

And this gets shared for the first of this year's Sweet New Zealand treats hosted by Sweet NZ founder, Alessandra.


  1. Lovely loaf, it must be great to be using nuts again, nut allergy is really scary so I understand you feeling guilty even when the sufferer is not there!

    Please enter this into Sweet New Zealand, I am hosting and also have prizes this month :-)
    info here


  2. that's a loaf I haven't eaten for a while, looks great Lesley.