Thursday, March 10, 2011

The dating game .......Chocolate Orange Date Nut Loaf

Is it just me or has the date nut loaf fallen out of favour? It seems that this once popular quick bread has fallen off the face of the earth; so, feeling somewhat nostalgic, I resurrected one of my old recipes. To help it into the new decade I gave it a slight facelift by introducing cocoa and orange zest to the original recipe. I also decided to add a streusel topping. For one of the small loaves I added a decadent touch by placing a layer of Belgian dark chocolate disks on the top after it was baked. I then returned it to the oven for a minute to allow the chocolate to fully melt before spreading it on the loaf. Who can say this is not a wholesome treat, what with so little butter in the recipe and all the benefits that the dates provide. Dates are not only rich in fiber, but also loaded with a wide range of nutrients like calcium, iron and potassium to name just a few.


Streusel topping
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup toasted pecans
2 tablespoons soft butter

Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and blend using your fingers or a fork.

Loaf batter:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dates
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 cup brown sugar
zest of one orange (about 1 tablespoon)
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon melted butter

In a small bowl sift the flour,salt and cocoa powder and set aside. In another bowl add the dates and baking soda. Heat the orange juice to almost boiling point and pour over the dates. Allow to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl beat the egg and gradually whisk in the sugar, vanilla and orange zest. Blend in the cooled date mixture and then incorporate the dry ingredients, just until blended. Pour into a prepared loaf pan measuring 8 ½" x 4 ½" x 2½ " or 2 smaller loaf tins. Sprinkle the streusel mixture on top and bake at 350ºF oven for 50-60 minutes for larger loaf and 40 minutes for the smaller ones.


  1. Wow..Ooey goey choclaty loaf,..Really really drooling here

  2. I agree...i haven't been seeing this recipe in the blogosphere anymore. That might be because macarons have taken I miss this chocolatey soft loaf too. Yours looks terrific!

  3. Anna dear, please pick up your award from my blog - you are one of the top 3 winners for the best western cake event - hearty congrats :))And please do check out my current cake event "Crazy For Cake" here and do send in an entry -

  4. I feel like I was just slapped with some chocolate love - ooey gooey and rich are probably too light to describe this loaf.

  5. I actually have a bag of dates in my pantry and I've been wondering what to do with them.. now I know!

  6. Like Evan, I too have a bag of dates, but I have them in the fridge, because here in S. Florida, even the onions,and potatoes have to be refrigerated (from bugs, and mildew)
    Anna, you date nut chocolate bread is so tempting and much easier than dealing with making a cake. Love the yummy bred, and the recipe!
    Have a wonderful weekend, my friend!

  7. would love to have it with a cup of hot chocolate !!

  8. another wonderful rich recipe for my mejdool dates! like doggybloggy says...slapped with some chocolate love! ha!

  9. Thanks Shanavi. Just the right amount of chocolaty flavour.

    Cakewhiz, thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment. You are so right, macarons have taken over recently. I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe. Maybe we should take over and start a new trend...LOL Have a lovely week-end.

    Priya, thanks so much for the award...left a comment on your blog.

    Christo, glad you enjoyed this old classic. It's not only chocolaty good but the dates make the loaf even more luscious and moist. have a great day.

    Evan, do hope you give it a try. I don't think you will be disappointed.

    Hi Elisabeth, I just had a piece and thoroughly enjoyed the flavour of the chocolate and oranges mingled with dates. So glad I used fresh moist dates for the recipe. Have a good week-end

    Clarinette, merci beaucoup pour le compliment. Bon week-end!

    Thoma, thanks for the sweet comment. The dates I used were fresh. Lucky I didn't eat them all before starting to bake, or there would not have been a recipe to post. They are so yummy.

  10. This is sinfully delicious. I sure love to have a piece right now.

  11. Sounds good Anna, I love chocolate !Kisses...

  12. So little butter?? I'm confused LOL. Sounds wicked delicious even without a load of buttery goodness. I actually LOVE dates and buy them all the time for snacking. They don't last long here and they are also a great addition to homemade granola bars. Going to have to have to remeber to save some to add to my baking as well.

  13. Ava, I can't believe it little butter, yet such rich flavours. Maybe it's the luscious dates that make all the difference. Instead of using the regular tightly packed block of dates found in the baking section, I went with fresher dates in the fruit section. The only problem was that I couldn't keep my hands off the fresh dates. Somehow I managed to show some restraint, and might even have some leftover for another recipe. How does banana nut date loaf sound to you? Hope you enjoy the rest of your week-end.

  14. love dates. but the dry fruit ones are the only reliable ones :)

  15. Scrumptious - I grew up eating Date-nut bread and it's hard to find in MN - and now I have a grand recipe.

  16. Oh I love dates...but I've never made date bread before. Thanks for sharing your creativity in the kitchen! Your words, recipes and photos always bring a big smile to my face. Have a great Monday!

  17. Olga, Thanks for the tip. I just didn't use the tightly packed ones found in the baking section of the store. The dates I used are labeled 'fresh',bought by the bound or boxed and found in the fruit section.... but still dried. They worked great in the recipe. They're also delicious to snack on.

    Claudia, I felt somewhat nostalgic reviving this once popular loaf. Too bad dates are hard to find in your neck of the woods.I'm sure you would enjoy this treat from your childhood.I couldn't be happier with the way the recipe turned out. Have a wonderful week.

  18. Monet,I'm glad to have shared the recipe. Do hope you give it a try, and let me know what you think of your first date nut loaf. Maybe we can rekindle an interest in this recipe from the past. Hope you have a nice week.

  19. Looks ooey and gooey, my kind of treat! Seriously this is making me want to reach and and grab some, yummy.

  20. Sweet goodness, that looks astounding. I can almost feel it melting in my mouth just looking at the photos! I have never felt such a strong desire to make a dessert with dates in it, and the chocolate...oh the chocolate. :)

  21. Very yummy combination..looks great!

  22. Nice re-do! Looks so delicious and love your changes :)