Note: If you use granular instead of powdered coffee, dissolve it in the boiling water with the baking soda to pour over the dates, instead of adding it to the butter mixture.


  • 8 oz. (1 packed cup) pitted dates
  • 5 0z. (1 cup) raisins (may be half light half dark,or all dark)
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • Optional: 1/2 t. powdered instant espresso or other powdered instant coffee (see note)
  • 1 egg (graded large or extra large)
  • 1 1/3 c. sifted all purpose flour
  • 7 oz. (1 3/4 cup) walnut or pecan halves or large pieces


Adjust a rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preset to 350*F. Butter an 8 or 9X4 1/2 or 5X3-inch loaf pan or any loaf pan with at least a 6-cup capacity. Dust all over with fine, dry bread crumbs, then,over a piece of paper, tap to shake out excess crumbs.
Cut the dates into medium-sized pieces (each date should be cut into 4 or 5 pieces.); if you wish, cut with scissors frequently dipped into cold water to keep them from sticking. Place the dates and raisins in a mixing bowl.
Dissolve the soda in the boiling water and pour it over the dates. Stir to mix, then let stand until tepid.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter. Add the vanilla, sugar, salt and optional coffee, and beat well. Add the egg and beat well. On low speed add the flour scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula and beating only until incorporated. Remove from the mixer.
Add some of the liquid from the dates and raisins and stir it in well;add most of the remaining liquid and stir it in. Then add all the dates and raisins and stir well. Stir in the nuts.
Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top. The batter might fill the pan to about 1/2 inch from the top.
Bake for about 1 1/2 hours. About 30 minutes before the baking time is over check to see if the top is becoming too dark;if so, cover loosely with foil. To test for doneness, insert a small, sharp paring knife into the center of the loaf almost all the way to the bottom;when the knife comes out clean the loaf is done.
Cool in the pan for 20 to 30 minutes. Cover with a rack, turn over pan and rack, remove the pan, and carefully turn the loaf right side up to cool. When it is completely cool, wrap in plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate at least overnight, or freeze it for about an hour. (This can be sliced, or even served, while it is frozen.)

1-nine inch loaf

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Submitted 6/13/05.
Source: Maida Heatter-Great Desserts
Submitted By: Eileen Werth
Date- Nut Loaf