Date Walnut Bread

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Preparation info

  • Makes 1 short tube or Bundt cake, about


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

By Nick Malgieri

Published 2008

  • About

This is a classic of the 1950s and incredibly easy to prepare. My aunt Rachel Malgieri Rocco used to make this loaf every week and served it when her friends dropped in for coffee in the afternoon.

One note of caution: Pitted dates often have a pit or two still lurking inside them—check them carefully before you start the recipe.


  • 1 pound (450 grams) pitted dates, checked carefully for pits and snipped in half
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • cups boiling water
  • 2 large eggs
  • cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (about 7 ounces/200 grams) walnut pieces
  • One 12-cup tube or Bundt pan, buttered, the buttered surface coated with fine bread crumbs, and sprayed with vegetable cooking spray


  1. Place the snipped dates in a heatproof bowl and add the butter. Pour the boiling water over the dates and butter and let the mixture stand for 1 hour.
  2. Set a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325°F (160°C).
  3. Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl to break them up. Whisk the sugar into the eggs in a stream and continue whisking until the mixture lightens in color, about 1 minute. Whisk in the vanilla.
  4. Use a large rubber spatula to fold the date mixture into the egg mixture.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the baking soda and salt. Gently stir the flour mixture into the date and egg mixture along with the walnuts.
  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the bread until a toothpick or a narrow-bladed knife inserted halfway between the side of the pan and the central tube emerges clean, about 1 hour.
  7. Place the pan on a rack for a minute, then invert the bread onto the rack to cool completely. Transfer the bread to a platter or cutting board before serving.


Cut the bread into thin slices and serve with cream cheese. Or, slice the bread thinly, spread with cream cheese and top with another slice of the bread. Cut into 3 to 4 narrow rectangles for tea sandwiches.


Keep the bread under a cake dome or loosely wrapped in plastic wrap on the day it is made. Wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and keep at room temperature for up to 3 to 4 days. Freeze for longer storage.