Date Nut Bread

This is one of our favorite recipes. Baking it in cans gives pretty round slices for a dessert tray. I slice it thinly and top or sandwich the slices with cream cheese spread. The slices are also very good served, buttered, with summer main dish salads.  A popular buffet spot where we used to live always had this on their menu.  The Vermont Country Store sells cans of this for $13.90 for 2 (8 oz cans) plus shipping.  This recipe makes 2 for $1.39.
Save two 15 ounce cans for this. This is a recipe where you want to try those cooking sprays with flour added to make it easy to grease and flour the cans – be generous. It the bread won’t fall out to the can, try squeezing the bottom of the can a little, then shaking the loaf out. If this doesn’t work, open the bottom and push it out. I use my hand mixer in a 2 quart bowl or measuring cup. Add the flour and date mixture by hand.
Wrap and refrigerate the cool loaves overnight before slicing. I slice the loaves and freeze them with a little waxed paper between the slices. These freeze extremely well, very handy for entertaining. 
Date Nut Bread
1/2 Cup Dates -- chopped (3 ounces)
1/2 Cup Pecans -- or walnuts , broken (4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 cup Hot Water
2 tablespoons Shortening
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 large Egg
1 Cups Flour, All-purpose -- (4 1/4 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Combine dates, nuts and soda in a 1 quart bowl. Stir in hot water; set aside to cool. Grease and flour cans. Measure and combine flour and salt, set aside. Cream shortening; gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed. Add egg and beat well. By hand, combine flour and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with date mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Mix just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour into greased and floured 16 ounce cans, about 9 1/4 oz. batter in each, smoothing down the tops. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes until pick comes out clean. Cool in cans 10 minutes. Remove from cans and cool on wire rack. Wrap and refrigerate overnight before slicing. Slice into 1/4" thick slices and serve with cream cheese spread, plain or buttered.
Makes 2 loaves; about 8 slices each.  This recipe uses 2 - 16 oz (303) cans.
In 2010: Costs $1.39 per recipe.


  1. Great idea to use the cans for baking- the perfectly round slices are so pretty! Do you think this would work with a fruitcake recipe?

  2. Yes, I do think so. I wouldn't fill them more than 2/3 full, I think - if you've made the recipe before you may know how much it rises. I think the time would be about what you would use for little bread pans - I just like the round slices and this old recipe actually called for using cans.


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