This Date Loaf is the most deliciously moist, sweet bread filled with sweet pieces of juicy dates.
Plus, this date loaf recipe is also egg-free, dairy-free, and made healthier using wholesome ingredients.
I love anything made out of dates. They are the best way to sweeten and add flavor to food. I usually make raw baking recipes from dates or simply make stuffed dates as a quick snack.
But today I revisited an old-time Australian favorite loaf recipe, made healthier with no eggs or dairy.
What Is A Date Loaf?
A date loaf, also called date bread, is a sweet loaf made with chopped, soaked dates.
It’s a sweet breakfast bread with a hint of cinnamon and a moist, fluffy crumb that is perfect for any time of the year.
How To Make Date Loaf
It’s very easy to make a date loaf, you just need a little of time to soak your dates before starting.
First, let’s see the simple ingredients you need to make a great loaf with dates.
- Dates – You can use any variety of dates for this date loaf recipe. However, I recommend skipping the expensive Medjool dates. They are better for raw recipes like my date caramel. Instead, buy Deglet dates. They are cheaper and work as well in baked goods.
- Boiling Water– Freshly boiled, to soak and soften the dates and extract their flavor. You will use boiled water in the recipe, so it matters to measure it carefully.
- Avocado Oil – Or melted plant-based butter but avocado oil makes the loaf fluffier and packed with healthy fats.
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Almond Milk or any non-dairy milk you have on hand, like soy milk, oat milk, or cashew milk.
- Vanilla Essence or vanilla extract.
- All-Purpose Flour – This is basically plain flour.
- Brown Sugar, coconut sugar, or date sugar to enhance the date flavor of the bread. The last two options darken the loaf crumb a bit, but the flavors are amazing.
Before you start, line a 9-inch x 5-inches loaf pan with parchment paper. Lightly oil the paper and loaf tin with cooking spray.
Set it aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Cutting The Dates
As mentioned above, don’t break the bank for this recipe and skip the expensive yet tasty Medjool date when you bake.
Instead, pick packaged dates like Camel dates and Deglet dates. They are less rich, but in baking, you won’t taste the difference and save money.
Pack the dates in a measuring cup, then transfer them to a chopping board. Use a sharp knife to halve each pitted date lengthwise.
Then, chop them in the other direction to form small bits and pieces of dates.
In a large mixing bowl, place the chopped dates and cover with boiling water. Set aside 20 minutes.
Bring back the bowl with the date mixture and pour the remaining liquid ingredients: almond milk, avocado oil, and vanilla extract, and stir to combine.
Add the brown sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Stir until all the ingredients come together into a consistent loaf batter.
At this point, feel free to stir in 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans, or almonds for a little crunch.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake it on the center rack of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes at 350°F (180°C), or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool down for 5 minutes in the tin before releasing it on a wire rack.
Cool it completely at room temperature for 3 hours before slicing.
Store the loaf in the fridge, whole, and slice just before serving to keep it moist.
You can place the loaf in an airtight container or wrap it in foil or a towel to keep the crumb soft and fluffy.
Keep up to 4 days in the fridge or freeze it for up to 1 month in freezer bags. Thaw at room temperature the day before.
Below are some ingredients substitutions if you need:
- Dates – This recipe works with any dried fruits like prunes, apricots, or raisins.
- Gluten-Free – I didn’t try the recipe with all-purpose gluten-free flour yet. The crumb might end up gummy and dense since the recipe has no eggs.
- Nut-Free – Swap the almond milk for any nut-free milk you love like oat milk, coconut milk, or rice milk.
- Sugar-Free – Use a crystal brown sugar-free sweetener like a natural Monk fruit blend.
- Refined Sugar-Free – Try coconut sugar, demerara sugar, or date sugar.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are my answers to your most common questions about this loaf recipe.
Yes, you can totally remove the crystal sweetener but the bread won’t be very sweet. The dates themself are not enough to sweeten the crumb.
Yes, you can bake the recipe in a 9-inch cake pan lined with parchment paper and greased with avocado oil.
In Australia and New Zealand, we call bread a loaf. A date loaf is basically a sweet bread, a bread baked in a loaf pan and filled with pieces of dates.
A date loaf keeps fresh and moist for 4 days in the fridge.
The best is to wrap the loaf in a towel, or foil on a plate or place in an airtight cake box.
Pop in the refrigerator and keep it for up to 4 days.
More Australia Recipes
If you like Aussie recipes, you’ll love these other options:
- 1 cup Deglet Noor Dates - pitted, finely chopped
- 1 cup Boiling Water
- ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¼ cup Avocado Oil - or light olive oil
- ⅓ cup Almond Milk
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 ¾ cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- ½ cup Brown Sugar - or cocontu sugar
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a 9-inch x 5-inch loaf tin with parchment paper. Slightly oil the paper with avocado oil. Set aside.
- Finely chop the pitted dates into small bites. I like to cut each in half lengthwise and then chop in the other direction to form small cubes.
- In a large mixing glass bowl, add the chopped dates and boiling water. Set aside for 20 minutes.
- Bring back the bowl with the date mixture, and stir in brown sugar (or coconut sugar), almond milk, oil, and vanilla extract.
- Sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Stir to combine and form the loaf batter.
- Pour the loaf mixture into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake at 180°C (350°F) on the center rack for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf come out clean.
- Cool down for 5 minutes in the loaf tin, then transfer to a cooling rack. Keep at room temperature for a few hours before slicing.
- Store the loaf in the fridge, in an airtight box or foiled on a plate, for up to 4 days.