Monday, November 25, 2013

Arlene’s Dark Date Nut Bread

My friend Arlene’s Dark Date Nut Bread….delicious!
It’s that time of year again!  The time of year when we take out those old trusted family recipes. The recipes steeped with family tradition. The same recipes that sat on your mother’s Thanksgiving table and your grandmothers! You know the dishes I mean.  That sweet potato casserole that has been on the menu since you were a child…with marshmallows on top, of course!  One year I decided to add chopped pecans, to the dismay of my family!  I still haven’t heard the end of that.  The broccoli casserole that really isn’t all that healthy, but so well loved.  And let’s not forget the cranberry sauce!  I always make a homemade version, yet that canned jellied stuff has to be there too!

A perfect bread for Thanksgiving
Still, there is one recipe that is most important to me. It just wouldn’t feel like Thanksgiving if it wasn’t on my breakfast table, smeared with cream cheese.  It’s my Aunt Emma’s Dark Date Nut bread.  I posted it here a few years ago. Then last year, one of my dear friends brought me a loaf of her date nut bread, and it was delicious!  Her recipe includes instant coffee in the list of ingredients, and is moist with a lovely texture.
I enjoy my date nut bread served cold from the fridge, with all the flavors melded together, tasting so much better the second day!  I will always make my Aunt Emma’s date nut bread! It’s tradition! However, this year I made two date nut breads!  I did a taste test and loved them both! Perfect with a cup of tea, coffee, or even a big glass of milk!  I hope you’ll give them a try. They are both quite wonderful, and you can be the judge!
Wishing you all a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!!

Just out of the oven…cooling
Moist, lovely texture and oh so delicious
Perfect with a cup of tea, coffee or a big glass of milk
I like mine for breakfast…with a schmear of cream cheese…yum!

Arlene’s Dark Date-Nut Bread
Adapted slightly from original 

1 lb. dates
2 ½  tsp. baking soda
1 tablespoon of instant coffee (I used Medaglia D’oro)
2 cups boiling water
Chop dates, sprinkle with baking soda and instant coffee, then pour the boiling water over the date mixture and let set for at least 1 hour.

2 sticks of butter
1 ¾ cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 ½ cups of chopped nuts

Beat butter and sugar together till light and fluffy, then add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add vanilla.  Then mix in the flour and date mixture. Fold in the nuts.
Divide the mixture between two 9x5 loaf pans that have been greased and floured.  Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until done and a toothpick comes out clean.


  1. Wonderful recipe, full of dates. I have to try it! Thanks for sharing. ela :)

  2. It's always nice to have a tradition like that - ours is my Aunt Goldie's fruit salad. I can't remember a Christmas or Thanksgiving without it.

  3. Fantastic looking loaf! Very hearty!

  4. The bread looks delicious. I love food traditions. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  5. Dear Kathy, I know exactly what you mean. The holidays are a time when emotions are stirred and memories are vividly brought to the surface. I try to share the memories with my children and the making of the food with my mother, though I hope that I am able to leave them with as many memories as I had. I don't think I could ever come close though I try.

    I am sure this date nut bread does not last long.It sounds wonderful. I love date nut bread with cream cheese too and a cup of coffee would be a wonderful way to begin Thanksgiving morning.

    I pray you have a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.

    Catherine xo

  6. This look amazing and moist kathy!:)

  7. I do love traditions that are passed on from one generation to another, this sounds like a wonderful one Kathy!

  8. These look so great I can barely stand it

  9. I love dense hearty bread like this...YUM!

  10. Hearty and delicious bread, the dates add such an awesome natural sweetness!


  11. I'll take mine with a schmear too Kathy. Arlene's bread looks both hearty and delicious! Thank you so much for sharing...Wishing YOU and YOURS a glorious Thanksgiving, Kathy...

  12. I love those old family recipes too Kathy! This looks great and I even have some aging dates looking for a home!

  13. Oops almost forgot... have a wonderful Thanksgiving Kathy!

  14. What a beautiful bake! I've always admired bakers. I cook a lot, but only bake once a year; during the Chinese New Year period. Hahaha!

  15. Hope you had a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving! I just pinned this bread so I will remember to make this later. I love the deep color of the bread. Your photos are looking so beautiful!

  16. Dear Kathy, I sincerely hope that you spend a fabulous Thanksgiving with your great family, wonderful friends and very good food! I love recipes that that get handed down to keep up tradition and this Dark Date Nut Bread looks blissful and certainly worth handing down to the next generation!
    Hope all is well with you - I saw you on the list for the Christmas Card Exchange - I got my cards today and will start writing them tomorrow. I am looking forward to another round of fun!

  17. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Kathy! I baked the bread over the weekend and we loved it. I have a quite similar recipe from my grandmother that uses prune butter instead of dates.