Date and Walnut Loaf

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Preparation info

  • Yield:


    or More Servings.
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1987

  • About


  • ¾ pound pitted dates
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • cups boiling water
  • cups plus 3 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • cups sugar
  • 2 small eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • cups coarsely chopped or broken walnuts, preferably black walnuts, although English walnuts may be used, preferably toasted (see note)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • If the dates are not already chopped, chop them coarsely. There should be about cups. Put the dates in a mixing bowl.
  • Blend the baking soda and boiling water. Pour this hot mixture over the dates.
  • Sift together the flour and spices and set aside.
  • Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and blend. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  • Start beating on low speed while alternately adding the flour mixture and the dates with their liquid. Add the walnuts and blend well.
  • Butter the inside of a standard loaf pan, measuring 9 × 5 × 2¾ inches. Pour in the batter and place in the oven. Bake about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a straw or thin wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.