Date Loaf


My grandmother stopped working when she got married.  She lived in an era when most men believed it was their job to be The Provider and the woman’s role was to manage the home.  It was a shame really because she was an incredibly smart woman who had begun a highly promising career.  So anyway , she moved into her new home and diverted her boundless energies into being the best of the best home makers.  Ultimately this led to a level of domestic obsession that has become legend, but those are tales for another day.

Annie was up early each day, and she began most mornings in the kitchen whipping up some essential meal or treat.  Friends would often pop in around breakfast time for a morning coffee.  So it was a good idea to have a freshly baked loaf of something scrumptious to hand…

This date loaf is dense and filling and absolutely lovely.  Like most of my favourite recipes it is also easy to make. The recipe calls for 1 cup of nuts (I think pecans work best) but these days I just put a couple of nuts on the top because the sprogs don’t like cooked nuts.


  • 1 1/2 c dates
  • 1 1/2 c boiling water
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c wholemeal flour
  • 1 3/4 c plain flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t cream of tartar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 c nuts (optional)

Cut dates, pour boiling water over. Add butter, sugar and salt and mix well. Once cool, add egg, vanilla, flours, cinnamon, soda and cream of tartar. Add nuts if using. Bake in large load pan lined with baking powder for about an hour at 175C.

About baking bohemian

My name is Jen and I am the baking bohemian. My blog identity comes from the cultural background of my mother’s family, (Bohemian), and my mother’s more left wing lifestyle (bohemian). The big ‘B’ Bohemian refers to the rich cultural heritage of our family that emigrated from Bohemia when it was still its own country (it now comprises two thirds of the Czech Republic). Food featured prominently in the family and broader social life of that part of my family. No social interaction was without sustenance, and any celebration, large or small, was an invitation to cook up a storm. My own family emigrated from the United States to Australia when I was a child. For the most part we lived with our mother, and my dad eventually moved back to the US. The little ‘b’ bohemian relates to the semi-alternative lifestyle we led with our mother. I hesitate to refer to her as a hippy, for that conjures up so many misconceptions, but certainly she was on that side of the fence. She was probably more eccentric than radical at the end of the day, but she could really cook. We always set extra plates at the dinner table because inevitably people would visit at dinner time. I started cooking when I was about eight. Cookies. Obviously I was motivated by desire! I loved cooking, I loved that the kitchen was always, in every way, the heart of the house, so I was always part of anything else that was happening while I was cooking. I loved people loving my food. With all the different things that I have done in my life and am interested in, food has remained my most consistent and enduring passion.

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