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Retro Date nut bread

Retro Date Nut Bread

A throwback to the days of date nut bread and cream cheese at luncheonettes, this version is both delicious and pretty. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Laura


  • 1 & 1/2 cups chopped dates 8 ounces
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/2 stick, 2 ounces, or 1/8 pound
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup sugar (white)
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a loaf pan and set aside. 

  2. Put the chopped dates and raisins in a bowl. Add the baking soda to 3/4 cup boiling water. Pour the water/baking soda mixture over the dried fruit and set the bowl aside.

    soaking dates and raisins for date nut bread
  3. Mix the butter and the sugars with the mixer for about 3 minutes on medium high speed until they are creamed together. Add the egg and vanilla.

  4. Mix the flour into the batter until well combined. It starts to get stiff at this point. Then, add the dates, raisins. and nuts, as well as the liquid (water & baking soda) that the dried fruit was softening in. I added the solids first before pouring in the remaining water. You can do it all at once as long as you mix the batter until all the ingredients are well incorporated.

    mixing date nut bread
  5. Spoon the mixture into the loaf pan and smooth it out. Bake the bread for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. If the top appears to darken and look finished before the inside is fully baked, cover the top with foil so that it won’t burn.

    date nut bread before baking
  6. Let the bread cool in the pan on a wire rack before unmolding it.
    Date nut bread cooling on rack