Wholemeal ginger date and walnut loaf

    2 hours 10 min

    My version of an old family favourite - not quite as naughty, but still nice! I use granulated sweetener instead of caster sugar when I make this for myself - tastes just as sweet, just not as many calories!


    Lancashire, England, UK
    41 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 1 knob margarine
    • 150ml hot water
    • 200g dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
    • 75g crushed walnuts
    • 2 eggs
    • honey to taste
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • 200g wholemeal self-raising flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
    • 100g caster sugar (or equivalent Splenda®)
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 4 tablespoons ginger preserves

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:1hr20min  ›  Extra time:40min cooling  ›  Ready in:2hr10min 

    1. Preheat oven to 160 C / Gas 2 1/2. Grease an 8 inch loaf tin with the knob of margarine, using a pastry brush if possible, for better coverage.
    2. Measure out 150ml of hot water (as hot as you can handle, but not boiling) into a large Pyrex-type jug. Chop the dates and add them to the hot water, stirring them in so they don't stick together. Allow to soak for a few minutes.
    3. Crush the walnuts with the blade of a wide knife (ie: meat cleaver) using the heel of your hand, then scrunch with your fingers as you add to the dates and water mixture whilst stirring in with a spoon. I find this method gives a chunkier consistency than using an electric chopper or grinder.
    4. In no particular order, add the eggs, honey and almond extract to the mixture, and whisk for about 2 minutes (by hand) or until the eggs are fully blended in. If using an electric whisk - about 15-20 seconds.
    5. Sieve together the flour, bicarb, sugar and nutmeg into a large mixing bowl. You will end up with the wholemeal husks left in the sieve, just throw it in on top afterwards; the sieving was more to get rid of any lumps in the flour and mix the dry ingredients more evenly. Make a well in the centre and pour in the wet mixture, stirring in with a whisk as you pour.
    6. Whisk thoroughly until the whole thing looks like really lumpy bowl of porridge. Fold in a few times with a spatula, to make sure all the wet mixture has been blended into the dry. Stir in the ginger preserves. Pour the mixture into your pre-greased tin and pop into the oven.
    7. Bake for about 80 minutes, checking at about halfway through and altering according to your own oven's efficiency. If the top is looking a little dark, cover loosely with a piece of foil, to prevent it burning. At full-time, run a metal skewer through the middle to check if it comes out clean.
    8. Allow to stand for about 10 minutes, then tip out onto a wire rack to cool for about half an hour before slicing. Enjoy!

    Make ahead

    This loaf (due to the wholemeal flour I think) firms up more after a day or so of storage, so I tend to just double up the ingredients and make 2 at a time. However it is equally yummy while still warm from the oven, but can be a little stodgy. Goes great with a cuppa! ;o)


    I save up the tubs I get my mushrooms in from the supermarket and use them as a "Make-Line" to prepare my ingredients beforehand. I weigh out all the dry stuffs into one tub, and as much of the "wet mix" ingredients as I can into another, then it's all ready to go. Makes it quicker than rummaging about in bags and packets and cuts down on clutter! I only have a small kitchen.

    Make it healthier

    I use granulated sweetener instead of caster sugar when I make this for myself - tastes just as sweet, just not as many calories! Also you can substitute the nutmeg for cinnamon and the almond essence for vanilla essence if you want a lighter, sweeter flavour.

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