old-fashioned date bread
Quick Breads

Old-Fashioned Date Bread

An old-fashioned date bread recipe made with butter, eggs, pecans, and chopped dates and baked in a loaf pan. Serve this quick bread for breakfast, brunch, or as a dessert.

I happen to love dates. They are sweet, chewy, and nutty. This recipe is from my mom’s recipe box collection and I still make it today. Besides this recipe, I have a special fondness for date pinwheel cookies and filled date cookies.

Bring back the memories of sitting at Grandma’s house and enjoy a warm slice of this delicious date bread. Let the wonderful aroma of fresh baked date nut bread fill your home. This bread is not as sweet as you might think it would be. Instead it has a natural sweetness about it that stems from the dates. Try it warm right out of the oven with some butter.

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Remember, this is an old retro recipe, so just buy the dates from the baking isle in the grocery store. Save those expensive dates and enjoy them on their own.

This is also referred to as date cake, date loaf and date nut cake.

This brunch recipe makes enough for 2 loaves of quick bread. Make one for yourself and send one home with your guests. By making two loaves at once you can save time in the kitchen. These loaves also freeze well for up to 2 months.

You can also thinly slice one of the loaves of this bread and serve it for a tea party or brunch buffet with this cream cheese spread on top.

Previous Comments

“Turns out great but it really would have made a nicer looking loaf if it were baked in 8 x 4″ pans. The loaves were a bit small.” – Suzanne C. via FB

My response: That sounds like a great idea! Double check the length, height, and width measurements of your loaf pans to make sure you know their true sizes. Your loaves may not turn out as you hoped if the pan size is slightly different.

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Old-Fashioned Date Bread Recipe

5.0 from 2 reviews
Old-Fashioned Date Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An old-fashioned date bread recipe made with butter, eggs, pecans, and chopped dates. Serve for breakfast, brunch, dessert, or tea.
Recipe type: Quick Bread
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8-12
  • 16 ounces dates, chopped (I used 2-8 ounce packages of Dole California whole pitted dates)
  • 2 Cups boiling water
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Cups flour
  • 2 Teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 Cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)
  1. Chop the dates into ½" pieces with a kitchen scissors. Place chopped dates in a medium mixing bowl and pour the 2 cups of boiling water over the dates. Let stand for 30 minutes to soften the dates.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 (9" x 5" x 3") loaf pans.
  3. In a separate large bowl, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla, and eggs.
  4. Add the dates and water.
  5. Stir in the flour and baking soda and mix just until incorporated.
  6. Stir in the chopped nuts.
  7. Divide batter in half and spread into two loaf pans.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Serve date nut bread plain or with butter on top, just slightly warm for breakfast or brunch.
Makes 2 loaf pans of date bread.

Makes 8-12 servings.

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AboutLaura Jean Warnke

Laura Jean Warnke is a mom, wife, and Midwest cook that enjoys sharing many of her family's favorite comfort food recipes. She grew up on a farm in Wisconsin and loves to bring that farm-style home cooking to your table.


  1. I have had a craving for date loaf for a while now, but I had somehow misplaced my recipe that I got from mom. Now that she’s gone, I guess that one is lost forever. I was checking Pinterest for something similar and when I saw this only had 2 tablespoons of butter I knew this had to be close, mom’s recipe had the same amount! The only thing I could remember that was different from this one was some brown sugar so I used 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar and 1/2 cup of brown. I made one loaf and 12 muffins and it smells soo good! Thank you for bringing back some happy memories with this!

  2. I saw this recipe on Pinterest and made it- 2 perfect loaves of date bread-I froze one and sliced a couple of pieces off the other one to sample.And I was NOT dissapointed! Moist chewy and perfect for any time of the day!

  3. I buy whole pitted dates, do I still Need to add boiling water since they are already soft.

    Gerri H.

    1. Hi Gerri,
      Thank you for your question! You do still need to add the 2 cups of water to the recipe, as that is about the only liquid in the recipe. If you choose not to soak the dates in the boiling water, that is fine. It sounds like you have nice fresh dates!

      However, the water still needs to be part of the recipe, but you can just use room temperature water. It only needs to be boiling if you are soaking the dates. Please also be aware this recipe is a denser, flatter bread. It doesn’t rise as high as perhaps some other date breads.

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