Date Nut Bread

In our latest box from Imperfect Foodsnee Imperfect Produce – I ordered a bag of Medjool Dates. No particular reason, except we both like dates. Imperfect Foods, if you haven’t heard of them, is a great produce and food delivery service. They’re especially good in the time of Covid – less time spent in a grocery store and their prices are good!

As I said, I had no particular idea for the dates, but the moment Victor saw them, Date Nut Bread flashed before his eyes! And in no time, it was in front of mine, as well!

Date Nut Bread

He found an interesting recipe on the King Arthur Flour website, calling for a cup of hot coffee. It is often said that cooking is an art and baking is a science. Well… in scientific terms, the acid in the coffee works with the baking soda to create the leavening, so, while it doesn’t add a deep coffee flavor, it’s a necessary ingredient.

The recipe also calls for a tablespoon of vodka or brandy – Victor used Meyers Rum. Alcohol works as a flavor enhancer, serving to disperse flavor molecules throughout the bread. More science. Fortunately, the recipe itself is pretty basic and straightforward – you don’t need to be a mad scientist to make it or even know why it works the way it does. Personally, I find it helpful to know why things work the way they do so I can play and experiment.

No experimenting needed with this, though – it came out perfect! Moist, nutty, rich, and flavorful – the perfect dessert – or breakfast!

Date Nut Bread

I have a kitchen scale and use it whenever possible when baking. Weighed measurements really are the way to go. I also wish we had gone on the Metric System back in the ’70s when the rest of the world did. It really makes more sense… But I digress…

Date Nut Bread

adapted from King Arthur Flour


  • 2 cups (227g) chopped dates
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup (142g to 159g) brown sugar
  • 1 cup (227g) hot brewed coffee
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) vodka or brandy, optional; to enhance flavor
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups (206g) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup (113g) coarsely chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan. Place the dates, butter, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Pour the hot coffee into the bowl, stirring to combine. Allow the mixture to cool for 15 minutes.

Add the egg, vanilla, liquor, baking powder, and flour, beating gently until smooth. Stir in the walnuts.

Pour the batter into the pan, gently tapping the pan on the counter to settle the batter.

Bake the bread for 45 to 55 minutes, tenting the loaf gently with foil after 30 minutes, to prevent over-browning. Remove the bread from the oven; a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean, and an instant-read thermometer should read about 200°F.

After 10 minutes, gently turn the bread out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Wrap airtight, and store at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

In less than 2 hours you can be enjoying a slice!