Holiday Orange, Date, and Pecan Bread

By • December 11, 2009 1 Comments

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Author Notes: Though I made quick breads year-round, I always save date-nut bread for the holidays. The sweet dates, zesty orange, and spicy cloves make it smell and taste like Christmas. I like to bake them in mini-porcelain baking dishes, then wrap them in cellophane and tie them with a bow. That way the recipient can enjoy the baking dish well after the holidays are over. Food Blogga


Serves 4 mini-loaves

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 large eggs, plus 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • zest of 1 large orange (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup pitted, coarsely chopped Medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Coat 4 (5 X 3- inch) mini-loaf pans/tins with cooking spray. Adjust the number of pans accordingly based on the size you use. Just remember, with smaller pans, baking time will be shorter; with a larger loaf pan, baking time will be longer, by about 15 minutes.
  2. In a medium size bowl, whisk the flours, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, oil, orange juice, and orange zest.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and using a rubber spatula, mix until just incorporated. Fold in the dates and pecans. Divide the batter evenly among the pans.
  5. Since breads bake more quickly using small pans, bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cakes are a deep golden brown and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack; let cool for 10 minutes, then unmold and place on a rack to cool to room temperature.

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