I constantly let food holidays slip by. But when I spotted this dairy-free date nut bread recipe in our archives, I knew National Date Nut Bread day was happening. Yes, that really is a thing, and it’s tomorrow, December 22nd.
Dairy-Free Date Nut Bread for Tea Time & Holiday Traditions
Date nut bread is a cake-style bread that is often made with tea to give it a deeper brown hue. The recipe hails from Scotland, and is commonly enjoyed at tea time in countries like Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. Apparently commonwealth residents like to double down on their caffeine!
I didn’t grow up with tea houses, but here in the U.S. – at least where I am from – date nut bread is frequently gifted and served around the holidays.
This dairy-free recipe was originally shared with us by the popular kosher chef, Levana Kirschenbaum. She has several cookbooks under her apron belt, including The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen.
I’ve given this recipe post a big clean up to help make the recipe easier to follow, and to offer some easy options.
Special Diet Notes: Date Nut Bread
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.
For egg-free and vegan date nut bread, see my egg substitute guide. Several of the options should work well in this recipe.
For gluten-free date nut bread, you can substitute your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend, but I recommend using the eggs, rather than an egg substitute, if possible.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, or spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup oil (your favorite type for baking)
- ½ cup agave nectar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup hot strong black tea (okay to use decaf)
- 1 cup packed diced dates
- 1 cup dark or golden raisins (or more dates)
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts, plus additional for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease a 9x5-inch or 6 cup loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a another large bowl, mix the oil, agave, eggs, and vanilla until well combined. Add the black tea and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined; do not overmix. Fold in the dates, raisins, and walnuts.
- Scrape the batter into your prepared pan and even it out. Optionally sprinkle the batter with some chopped nuts.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Mini Loaf Option: Scrape the batter into a 6 cup mini loaf pan and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean.