This unbelievably good date loaf is one of the quickest cakes you’ll ever make. If you don’t think you’re a baker, let this date loaf completely change your mind. I reckon anyone can make it and anyone would like it. It’s not messy, fussy or finicky, but it sure tastes like it should be.
As many of you will know, afternoon tea is the fourth core meal of the day at our place. We stop for a shared afternoon tea most days of the week and this date loaf is a staple. While it spends a while in the oven, it’s just so quick to pull together, is light on the refined sugar and tastes like your day is going really, really well, thank you very much.
+ More afternoon tea favourites: +
If you like them, add walnuts right at the end of your mixing and sprinkle a few on top just before you pop it in the oven. If you want to get rid of the brown sugar (although there really isn’t very much in here), you can substitute with a mashed over-ripe small banana or two tablespoons of apple sauce, or just leave out entirely (I do). The bicarb makes the loaf really light and fluffy, but by all means leave it out and enjoy a denser, less acidic loaf.
Champion date loaf
Makes about 10 slices, depending on generosity
Takes 10 minutes
Bakes 50 minutes
1 cup chopped pitted dates
½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
¼ cup butter, chopped
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 ¾ cups self-raising flour, sifted
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Preheat fan-force oven to 180°C and grease a loaf tin (my tin was 22 x 13 cm).
Put chopped dates, brown sugar and butter in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Stir with a fork until butter has melted. Stir through vanilla and leave to sit for a few minutes.
Sift flour and bicarbonate soda into the bowl and mix well. Pour into loaf tin and smooth top.
Bake for around 45 – 50 minutes.
You can wrap this one and freeze it for about a month. It will keep moist and fresh for about 3 days in an airtight container. If you go nut-free it makes the perfect recess snack in the lunch box too. All the yums!