Date and walnut loaf cake is a traditional old fashioned British tea time cake that’s packed full of plump dates and crunchy walnuts. Made from simple store cupboard ingredients, it’s very simple to make and keeps well for several days.
If you’re a regular reader here, then you’ll know I’m a big fan of a loaf cake. Why do I love them?
Well, the fact they are quick and easy to make is a huge bonus. As much as I love elaborately decorated cakes, I just don’t have the time to make them right now.
Loaf cakes are also very easy to slice, you can freeze individual slices and are also ideal for transporting. No wonder they are a favourite bake for picnics and bake sales!
They are often cheap to make as well, using basic ingredients most of us usually keep in the cupboard at any given time.
Lemon drizzle cake, easy banana bread, coconut and raspberry jam loaf cake, raspberry bakewell loaf cake, malt loaf, golden syrup loaf cake and gingerbread loaf are just a few of my most popular loaf cake recipes.
This classic date and walnut cake makes a delicious snack with a cup of tea at any time of day – I love a slice spread with butter.
- Dates. I think dates are one of my all time favourite ingredients!
- I love them in my date and walnut scones and my indulgent sticky toffee pudding pancakes. If the dates aren’t pitted, make sure to remove the stones in the middle.
- Walnuts. I adore the crunchy texture of walnuts in a cake. Do make sure your walnuts are as fresh as possible – nuts can turn rancid very quickly.
- Butter. You can use real butter or a baking margarine. Whatever you use, make sure the butter is nice and soft so it creams with the sugar.
- I prefer to use soft dark brown sugar in a date and walnut cake – it gives a lovely, treacly flavour and I believe it enhances the toffee flavour of the dates. Kind of like a sticky toffee pudding vibe.
- If you also love treacle, take a look at my treacle scone recipe.
- Bicarbonate of soda (along with self raising flour) helps the cake to rise and create a light, fluffy texture.
step by step instructions
(please scroll to the bottom of the post to find printable recipe card with ingredient amounts and detailed method)
- Pour boiling water over the dates and leave to soak until the water is lukewarm.
- cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Lightly stir in the dry ingredients, followed by the dates, any remaining soaking liquid and the walnuts. Pour in the milk and lightly stir until you have a smooth, even batter.
- Spoon into a lined loaf tin and bake for about 45 minutes (180C) or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake emerges clean.
how long does date and walnut cake keep for?
Stored in an airtight tin, a date and walnut cake will keep for up to five days. Individual slices (or the whole cake) can be frozen for up to three months.
more loaf cake recipes to try
- blood orange olive oil loaf cake
- orange, cranberry and walnut loaf cake
- chocolate chip orange drizzle cake
- coconut and cherry cake
- Irish Barmbrack
- courgette and apple loaf cake
- cinnamon swirl pumpkin loaf cake
did you make this recipe?
I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know what you thought by leaving a comment below – I love to hear from you! If you would also take the time to rate the recipe by clicking on the stars in the recipe card, I would be most grateful.
- 225g self raising flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 175g dates, stoned and roughly chopped
- 100g walnuts, roughly chopped
- 250ml boiling water
- 50g soft butter
- 100g soft dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 5 tablespoons milk
- 5-6 whole walnuts for the top (optional)
- Grease a line a 450g/1 lb loaf tin with baking paper or a loaf tin liner.
- Sift the flour with the salt and bicarbonate of soda.
- Place the dates in a medium bowl and pour over the boiling water. Cool until lukewarm.
- Cream the soft butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy. Beat in the egg until the mixture is well combined and creamy.
- Lightly stir in the flour mixture, dates with any remaining liquid and the chopped walnuts. Add the milk and lighty stir until just combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and place the whole walnuts on top, if using. Bake for around 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake emerges clean. Place on a cooling rack and leave to cool for 10 minutes before carefully turning out to cool completely.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 287Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 421mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 3gSugar: 22gProtein: 5g
Calories and nutritional information are provided by a third party application and should be viewed as indicative figures only.