These yummy date nut loaves are baked in tin cans making them easily giftable. The batter is quick to whip up and they are perfect for breakfast or tea time.
This quick bread is loaded with chopped dates and walnuts for a delicious combination. You could bake it as a loaf, but it is fun to bake it in emptied tin cans for a retro twist.
You can freeze the extra mini loaves to enjoy at a later date or gift them to family and friends. The round slices are great plane or spread with a little bit of butter or cream cheese.
Origins of this date loaf bread recipe
This particular recipe comes from my husband’s grandma Ruth. She has delivered a round loaf of date nut bread with the tell tale ribs from a can each Christmas and I look forward to it every year.
It is one of those traditions that I started this blog to help keep alive. I want to be able to pass these cherished recipes to future generations as well.
So I finally asked for the recipe. She not only dropped off the recipe, she also included a special can opener that makes smooth rims on the cans.
That makes cleaning the cans and removing the bread much easier. It took Little Dude and me a second to figure out the crazy equipment, but we were impressed with how it lifted off the lids.
Prepping the cans
Having the special can opener isn’t required, though it is handy. You want at least 5 emptied 14.5 oz cans.
Remove the lids and the paper wrapper. I threw the cans in the dishwasher to get them extra clean, but you can wash them by hand.
You can use the same five cans over and over or start fresh each time. Once the are cleaned, you are ready to start baking!
Making the batter
The actual batter is really easy to make. You soak the chopped dates in hot water to get them big and plump.
For the darker colored Scottish version, use hot tea to soak the dates instead of water. Either way, the results will be delicious.
You melt a little bit of butter in the hot water as well. That makes stirring in the rest of the ingredients super simple.
I used a bag of chopped dates that were coated in dextrose. That is what grandma uses as well.
If you are using dates without the sugar coating, you may want to add an extra quarter cup or so of sugar. Buying the prechopped dates saves some effort over pitting and chopping the fruit though, so I suggest just buying them that way.
Use an ice cream or large cookie scoop to easily transfer the batter into greased cans. Then put the cans on a cookie sheet and pop them in the oven.
They come out with a dark delicious crust and soft moist interior. Allow them to cool slightly before dumping them out of the can.
Cool them completely and then slice and enjoy!
Enjoying and storing your date nut loaves
Wrap the cooled loaves in plastic wrap for storage or gifting. I gave extra loaves to my brothers and dad and they were a big hit.
Your round loaves of bread will be good at room temperature for about 4 days. Or freeze them for up to three months.
The bread is best seeved at room temperature or slightly warmed. It has plenty of flavor on its own but is also great with a bit of butter on top.
More recipes from grandma Ruth
Grandma Ruth joked that she just knew she’d see this recipe on Facebook if she shared it with me. Of course she was right.
How could I not share it? It’s delicious and the very idea of it puts a smile on my face every time I think of it.
Besides, the recipes grandma has shared with us in the past have been really popular. So check out a few more of her favorites.
Grandma’s chicken and broccoli casserole is a great way to get dinner on the table quickly. It is a perfect way to use leftover chicken or turkey as well!
Party chicken is another classic from grandma. I hear she served it quite frequently during a certain era.
The sweet, buttery, crunchy caramel corn you love can be done in the microwave to make it faster and easier. It’s perfect for a snack and fun for a party!
The warm fall flavors of pumpkin, apples and pumpkin pie spice always go so well together. Soft pumpkin apple muffins bring them all together in every tasty bite.
Or try making date balls for another festive classic treat. They use more of those deliciously sweet dates.
Did you make this great recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!
Grandma’s Date Nut Loaves – Baked in Cans
- 1 cup chopped dates
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1⅓ cups granulated sugar*
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour 5 cleaned 15 oz cans. (I used the spray with the flour in it.)
- Place dates in large bowl. Add boiling water and baking soda.1 cup chopped dates, 2 cups boiling water, 2 teaspoons baking soda
- Stir in the butter until melted. Allow to cool some.2 Tablespoons butter
- Mix in the vanilla, sugar, salt and eggs.2 Tablespoons vanilla extract, 1⅓ cups granulated sugar*, ¾ teaspoon salt, 2 large eggs
- Add the flour, stirring until just combined.4 cups all purpose flour
- Fold in nuts.1 cup chopped walnuts
- Scoop batter into prepared cans.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in the cans for 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.