There’s something quite comforting about a slice of cake that’s been bakes in loaf-form. I think it’s because it reminds me of being in a quaint little coffee shop. And Date and Walnut Loaf is the the perfect accompaniment to your favourite brew.
When it comes to cake loafs, it’s no secret I’m a big fan. Whether it’s Lemon Drizzle, Golden Syrup Cake, Banana Loaf, Sultana Cake, Gingerbread…we’ve countless cake loaf recipes here at Baking with Granny.
I’ve been thinking about adding Date and Walnut Loaf to our recipe repertoire for a while now, due to it being a firm coffee shop favourite. A beautifully moist sponge base, packed with juicy dates and creamy walnuts; enjoy a thick slice with a spreading of butter, or add a little more sweetness with a generous layer of icing on top of your loaf. How could anyone resist?
Whatever your serving preference, you can be sure it will be a hit with anyone you have nipping around for a cheeky wee cuppa!
Often referred to as “Mother Earths all-natural candy”…is it any wonder they are such a popular addition to baking? And of course they really make this cake what it is.
My all-time favourite nut! Just make sure your walnuts are in date – nothing will spoil a Date and Walnut loaf more than coming across a rancid walnut.
Love Walnuts too? Try our Walnut Biscuits recipe!
The dates add a lovely sweetness of their own but no cake would be complete without some caster sugar. You can even trying swapping to Golden Caster Sugar for a more caramel-y taste.
Butter or Margarine
Either will do and it’s personal preference to which you choose. I opt for margarine as a way to omit the dairy but whatever you choose, just be sure it’s at room temperature before baking.
As with most cake, self-raising flour is required. But if you only have plain to hand, fear not! You can use a plain flour with the addition of some baking powder.
Bicarbonate of Soda
This alongside the self-raising flour will give your cake a little lift, creating wee bubbles in the batter and helping the Date and Walnut Loaf rise.
The traditional glue of choice in any cake batter. I don’t tend to stress to much about the size of eggs in a loaf cake, as long as they’re free-range.
This is mainly to soak your dates (which will be somewhat dry) so when you bake the cake, they don’t become too chewy and retain a certain softness to them. It also acts as the moisture in the loaf too.
Date and Walnut Loaf is perfect for:
• Community coffee mornings
• Serving in cafes
• When entertaining friends
• Afternoon teas
• Breakfast on the go
Date & Walnut Loaf
- Place the dates, bicarbonate of soda, margarine and sugar in a large bowl and pour over the boiling water. Mix to break up the margarine and then set aside until the boiling water has cooled.
- Meanwhile, line a 2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper and pre-heat your oven to 170°c (150°c for fan asssisted ovens or Gas Mark 3).
- Once the mixture has cooled, add the egg and walnuts, mixing through to combine. Sift in the flour and mix to create a batter.
- Transfer the batter to your pre-lined tin and bake in your pre-heated oven for 1 hour – 1hour 15 minutes. Keep an eye on your cake toward the end of baking and if you think it's looks done on top, cover with a sheet of tin foil – this will stop the top from burning while the inside continues to bake.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. Serve straight away or for a better taste, keep the loaf in an air-tight container for a couple of days before serving.
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