Make Ahead

Vegan Date Nut Bread

April 16, 2014
8 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 8 to 10
Author Notes

Moist, fluffy, and sweet, this bread is equally good for breakfast, dessert, and tea time. —Gena Hamshaw

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted medjool dates, chopped into small pieces (heaping)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup almond or soy milk
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water and allowed to thicken for a few minutes
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Pour the boiling water over the dates and allow them to sit for at least ten minutes.
  2. As the dates soak, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and sugar.
  3. Whisk together the vinegar and non-dairy milk vigorously, till it's frothy. Add the coconut oil and flax meal-water combination. Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ones until just mixed. Drain and fold in the dates, along with the walnuts. Add a splash of almond milk if the mixture is too dry.
  4. Pour into a 9 x 5-inch baking pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Freya Oliver
    Freya Oliver
  • lillianstrange
  • StevenJC123
  • Sarah Feehan
    Sarah Feehan
  • Kelly King Corbin
    Kelly King Corbin

37 Reviews

claudia_kincaid June 23, 2021
Huh. This was just ... nothing special. I like the suggestion on here to add something like dried cranberries to give it a little zing ... I suppose chocolate chips are always a good option, too. I wonder if you added maple syrup?
Noreen April 19, 2020
The loaf looks lovely, but unfortunately, the baking soda overwhelms the taste. I highly recommend decreasing the amount of baking soda by half. Better yet, switch to baking powder.
Hilary March 4, 2018
I made this recipe and it turned out beautifully! I "de-veganed" it because of all the disappointing results others were having and really enjoyed it. Here's how I did that:
- 1 large egg instead of the flax seed and water mixture
- 2% dairy milk instead of the almond or soy milk
Other things I found:
- I did not soak my dates as they were very soft already
- I lined my loaf pan with parchment paper, un-greased, and had no problems getting it out.
- the cooking time is inaccurate- almost all quick breads in a standard loaf pan need about 60 minutes (and this bread is pretty dense for at least 60 minutes).
- As a heads up, it gets VERY brown on the top when it's done- don't be concerned if you think it isn't going to cook properly because the inside is still mushy!
- sugar can easily be reduced to 1/2 cup.

Hope my comments help others! :)
Terry January 12, 2018
The baking time is too short. Actual baking time is 50-60 minutes, as is typical for a bread of this type. Also, the directions for how to prepare the pan are not indicated. I always spray or oil and then line with a strip of parchment that covers the bottom and come up each long side so the bread can easily be removed from the pan. I used Deglet dates, a cheaper not so sweet date, and they worked well. I would reduce the baking soda as others have suggested, you can taste that salty/soapy flavor. I substituted maple syrup for the cane sugar, 2/3 cup didn't quite give it enough sweetness, will add 3/4 cup next time.
Freya O. November 21, 2017
My partner and I loved this recipe. I thought I put too much salt in it but after reading some of the comments, perhaps it was actually the baking soda? I got the measurements for the baking soda and cinnamon around the wrong way initially, then had to add more to bring it up to 1 tablespoon haha. The extra cinnamon was nice. Also needed longer than stated but all in all it was wonderful and came out perfect! I'm going to try less sugar and a little less baking soda tonight. It's fine to use normal oil instead of coconut right?
Freya O. November 21, 2017
By the way, I used what I guess would be dried dates or not fresh squishy ones (for lack of a better term) and not the fresh medjool ones as I didn't want to fork out for those and mine turned out great in terms of moistness :D
tara Z. November 8, 2017
This recipe had a very odd taste to it- I think it could've been the baking soda as well. It just felt like too much, but I gave the recipe benefit of the doubt since Gemma's recipes are always great! Not this one though :/
lillianstrange August 24, 2017
I just made this and it turned out fantastic. I'm glad I read the comments to up the cooking time.
snowye June 26, 2017
I just got through with this recipe. And there was worry about it being too dry? I didn't add extra liquid. The dates were drained. Just now, turning it out of the pan after letting it sit about 10 minutes, it completely failed! This is after testing for a clean toothpick. It was not flat. It raised beautifully. But upon taking it out, It fell apart into a completely wet mash. This must be a recipe for those who like to sell medjools. My oven was correct per the thermometer. I'm completely not happy with this waste of ingredients, time effort and expense! Don't try it. You won't like it. I see below in comments the recommended cooking time is 55-60 minutes per one person. HELLO, before you put recipes out like this THEY NEED TO BE TESTED!
Mm October 13, 2019
No need for rudeness.
StevenJC123 May 13, 2017
Curious to know if anyone has tried this recipe with date sugar instead of cane sugar and if so what the results where? Personally I found the amount of cane sugar to sweet and when I reduced to 1/3 C the taste of the AP flour came through a little too strong so thinking to keep the volume/proportions the same but lowering the concentration of sweetness by using date sugar - let's see!
Diane January 29, 2017
Has anybody tried this with less baking soda? While the bread is good, it definitely has a salty taste of baking soda.
Sarah F. January 16, 2017
I made this yesterday and its so good. I subbed coconut for rapeseed oil. I also baked it in a round spring form tin, so it's more a cake than a loaf. it's delicious. I'll make it again, maybe add more cinnamon next time too. Thanks!
Hina October 24, 2016
In my humble opinion, this bread is anything but flat! I've made it numerous times, and shared as holiday gifts, and friends/family have love it. Also made it as a batch of 12 muffins and the taste/moistness is divine. Only thing I do is cut the sugar by half which seems to elevate the taste of the dates.
kelly March 22, 2016
I made this today and i agree that the flavor is a little flat, so i eat it with fig spread and its delicious :)
Bascula March 14, 2016
I made this over the weekend and have to say that we found the flavor to be kind of "flat". I would be likely to try it again with at least part dried apricots of dried cranberries to help remedy that. I also echo the other comments about needing to bake the loaf much longer than the recommended time (I covered it lightly with foil at about the 40 minute mark so that it wouldn't over brown)
Kelly K. December 24, 2015
I made this for the first time and used large muffin tin. The cooking time was perfect for muffins. I love this recipe.
quetzales August 13, 2015
This bread served as an excellent (and delicious) way to clean out my pantry. It came out moist and with the caramel-y sweetness that dates bring. Would echo the other commenters and recommend a longer cooking time to prevent falling-in or an uncooked center.
Hina November 28, 2014
I made this for Thanksgiving gifts to family. Everyone loved it. Substituted gluten-free oat flour for the APF. Comes out perfect after 55 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
haley October 1, 2014
this is by far some of the best bread i've made. everyone loves it.
AlissaK August 15, 2014
For those wondering about the cooking time, I would recommend 50-55 min. That's also the time I usually see for loaves of this size. I did 55 min for mine--may have been a tad over, actually. When I took it out the bottom of the center was just a bit gooey, and then firmed up due to the carry-over cooking after I took it out of the oven.

I also substituted most of the flour for wheat flour and it worked out well, though wheat flour tends to make a drier loaf so I added a few extra splashes of water (almond/soy milk would work too) to keep it moist.
sheila May 21, 2014
I followed the stated cooking time and it was undercooked and runny in the center. It needs longer to bake than indicated in the recipe. Otherwise its a delicious treat for breakfast and not overly sweet.