Half date loaf in metal pan on wooden table

Date and Walnut Loaf

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: International


A wonderful loaf cake, fragrant, sweet and old-fashioned. Dates and walnuts combine with brown butter (yes!) and brown sugar to fill your kitchen with the most wonderful aroma!



  • 5 Tbs (75g) unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup (150g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room t°
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 Tbs light molasses (optional)
  • 1 ¾ cup (235g) all-purpose or cake flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A few grindings of fresh nutmeg
  • ¾ cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 5 oz. (about 8 pieces) medjool dates, pitted and cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


To make the brown butter:

  1. I a small saucepan melt the butter.
  2. Let it bubble and foam, until it starts turning a deep amber color, similar to caramel.
  3. This will take about 4 or 5 minutes. Don’t let it burn.
  4. Transfer to a small bowl and freeze for about 30 minutes, until solid but not rock-hard.

For the loaf cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Grease a non-stick 8×4-inch loaf pan. Or line the bottom with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, beat brown butter with sugar until very creamy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add molasses if using.
  5. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk in two additions. Add the vanilla.
  7. Finally, add the dates and pecans with a spatula and mix well. It may look somewhat curdled, it’s fine.
  8. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth top.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a tester comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack.
  10. Unmold and keep, well wrapped, at room tº for a few days, or freeze for a few months.


Keywords: date loaf, date walnut cake