Banana and Date Bread

As we all know, banana bread is one of those extremely useful recipes that most of us crack out when we wish to avoid waste. Indeed, for some unknown reason people often seem to be left, by the end of the week, with two or three rather brown and partially inedible bananas. It is as though they’ve read about their health benefits and have promptly forgotten their dislike for the unadulterated fruit. Still, this is a great way to use up those superfluous bananas that, in my opinion, renders the usual texture of the fruit bearable. In fact, perhaps one could go so far as to say that bananas rather improve the texture of cake, making it more dense and moist, thus avoiding in every way the process of drying-out.

The recipe for this bread can be found here. It is an adapted version of my earlier and extremely successful chocolate and banana loaf cake. In order to make the current version of banana bread one simply has to substitute the dark chocolate for 150g of chopped dates. However, for ease of appreciation the recipe shall be provided below.

The responsibility for the inclusion of dates in this recipe partly lies with Katherine; it was only after she had made this bread following another recipe that I attempted the same. Indeed, before making this cake I had never tried a date, so it was with some trepidation that the necessary act of sampling one was performed. As it turns out all fears were misplaced, dates are rather delicious and sweet, in a rather dark way. In fact, the darkness of the dates worked very well with the banana, in much the same way as the chocolate had. Not only that, but once cooked the dates become incredibly sticky and moist, combining with the banana to make, what I think is, a rather unbeatable banana bread.

Banana and Date Bread

Makes 1 2lb loaf tin cake


• 230g/8oz self-raising flour

• 115g/4oz butter or stork

• 170g/6oz caster sugar, granulated will do

• 2 eggs

• 3 ripe bananas

• 150g dates, roughly chopped


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease a standard size 2lb loaf tin. Mash the bananas in a bowl. Separately, cream together the sugar and the butter, then mix in the eggs one by one. Fold the flour and dates into the sugar and butter, before combining with the bananas.

2. Spoon this into the loaf tin and cook for 40 minutes, before turning the over down to 150C and cooking for a further 30 minutes. Turn out and leave to cool before eating.

Cost: The cake should set one back around £2, but its real value is in preventing the waste of bananas. The word preventing always gives a sentence a charitable quality, don’t you think?

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99 comments on “Banana and Date Bread

  1. Chocolate Chilli Mango®
    March 4, 2012 at 10:46 am

    oh that looks SCRUMPTIOUS!!!! I would have to substitute out the flour but oh my I love banana date bread :-))) Lovely pics, lovely recipe …

    • littleredowl
      March 5, 2012 at 6:24 am

      YUM! Thanks for the comment on my blog, this sounds delicious!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

      Thanks! Well, yes, but I’m sure you can come up with something just as delicious!

  2. throughthemagicdoor
    March 4, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Ooh I do love a good banana bread! I made one just yesterday but didn’t add any extra ingredients, i’ve always been a little wary of taking away from the bananary goodness.

  3. Jen
    March 4, 2012 at 10:56 am

    That looks amazing. I’m not a huge fan of dates, but I do think they add something to cakes and breads. I’m definitely going to try this – thanks for posting!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 11:34 pm

      Thanks! I don’t love them on their own, but they work VERY well in this. I hope you do.

  4. countrywoodsmoke
    March 4, 2012 at 11:07 am

    This looks so good. I love banana and dates, I always think they taste like banoffee together. A banoffee (banana and date) shake would go pefrectly with this.
    I’m going to send this recipe to my wife as she’s the banana bread baker in our house. Thanks for posting.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 10:25 am

      I’m glad you like it, Marcus! Yes, I can see why you might think that actually. I hope your wife likes it!

  5. Chica Andaluza
    March 4, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Lovely, even banana haters like me usually enjoy banana bread – I know I do! Love the idea of including dates, very nice indeed.

  6. giovanna
    March 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Very nice recipe. Does this recipe only work with ripe bananas? Because I can’t wait 😉

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      Thanks. No, but they will require more mashing if they are fresher 😀

  7. Bam's Kitchen
    March 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I really like your addition of dates instead of bananas. Pass over the butter and slice me off a piece, please.

  8. marygmu
    March 4, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I need to try this, I hate when bananas go to waste and this is a great solution 😉

  9. Michelle
    March 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    And here I was just staring at a pile of mushy bananas on the counter… Thanks!

  10. Conor Bofin
    March 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    We are on a strong health kick here at present. One daughter on a diet, one doing karate and extreme fitness. Me training my ass off for a big cycle in May. The bananas never get to the brown stage. Damn it, because that loaf looks awesome. As ever, I love the budget approach.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 10:22 am

      That’s a shame :D. My girlfriend is training for a big cycle in Spain in June/July. You’ll have to do it later in the year 😀

  11. TheDorsetFinca
    March 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    My mouth is actually watering… wish I had some bananas left!

  12. thelittleloaf
    March 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Dates add such a lovely sweetness and texture to cakes – I’ve never tried them in banana bread but I’m definitely going to now 🙂

  13. Deeps @ Naughty Curry
    March 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    i have baked banana bread many times but never with dates in them, what a fabulous idea!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      Oh you must try it if you like banana bread 😀

  14. flowercityfoodie
    March 4, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    My son loves bananas in all their stages–green, yellow, spotted, even totally brown–so I never have any that go to waste. But that also means a lot less banana bread!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 10:20 am

      That’s great for your son… buy WAY too many, that’s the solution…

  15. Kathy
    March 4, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Yum, the dates sound like a great addition to the traditional banana bread. One trick that I learned from my Cooks Illustrated cookbook is that over ripened bananas can be frozen until they are ready for use – great for the one straggler banana that’s not enough to bake with just yet.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      Thanks – they work SO well. That’s a great idea!

  16. Choc Chip Uru
    March 4, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    What a moist and delicious looking bread 😀

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Traditional Lemon Meringue Tart

  17. katytruss
    March 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Your very first date?! Then you must try wrapping some bacon around them and them until all sticky and the bacon crispy! So good. I made banana bread last week, with olive oil instead of butter and a spoonful of peanut butter, pretty good!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      Yep, my very first. I shall try that – it sounds incredible.

      • katytruss
        March 8, 2012 at 7:43 am

        Dates wrapped in bacon are amazing! Just don’t forget to take out the stones and a nice thin wrapping of bacon to make sure its nice and crispy – sweet, sticky, smokey and salty! (hungry now!)

        • frugalfeeding
          March 8, 2012 at 10:56 am

          thanks for the tips – I really must give it a whirl.

  18. Flip's Foodie Files
    March 4, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I have a tub of dates in my pantry (a purchase from Costco of course) and have been looking for ways to use them up. This is perfect, and your pictures is making my mouth water. Great idea! thanks!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 10:20 am

      Awesome – I don’t know what costco is :D. I’m glad you like it.

  19. Norma Chang
    March 4, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    I really like the addition of dates in the banana bread, I must this next time, I am sure it made the bread very moist and sweet.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 10:19 am

      Thanks, it worked very well! Yes, it was very moist and sweet at parts 😀

  20. edibletimes
    March 5, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Sweet idea. I love that you photograph on a wood table – I’ve taken to using my coffee table as a background and it makes the food pop. Happy eating.

  21. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    March 5, 2012 at 1:53 am

    What a great looking bread. I don’t like bananas, but love the smell of banana bread. Go figure.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 10:17 am

      Thanks, Greg. I don’t like bananas either, except in stuff like this… and smoothies.

  22. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy
    March 5, 2012 at 2:37 am

    Wow, dates and banana bread?…now that you mention it…..thanks for a great idea!

  23. mayihavethatrecipe
    March 5, 2012 at 3:34 am

    This looks great. I love dates. I appreciate any recipe that will help me use those bananas that no one wants to eat! I must try it!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      Thanks! Please do, let me know if you do 🙂

  24. Just A Smidgen
    March 5, 2012 at 5:02 am

    This is definitely on my list to try, I love dates and the combination would be wonderful. I love the crack at the top! The crust must have such a lovely crunchy brown bits.. there I go, already craving a slice!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 10:16 am

      Good to hear, Smidge :D. you’ll simply have to make some! 😀

  25. Jen R
    March 5, 2012 at 5:15 am

    Great timing had 4 very ripe bananas givin too me the oven as I type, permissioin to share this recipe on my blog with a link back to you? Oh threw in a few macadamias as well!

    • Jen R
      March 5, 2012 at 9:46 am

      Just had a slice….sooo goood…thank you…forgot how devine dates are 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 10:16 am

      Awesome! I see you liked it 😀

  26. Real Mom Time (RMT)
    March 5, 2012 at 5:25 am

    Dates in banana bread – genius!

  27. Zoe @ Pantry and Fridge
    March 5, 2012 at 6:41 am

    Mmmmm, bread 🙂 Great idea. I’ve been wanting to do something with dates. Great pictures, by the way.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 11:28 pm

      Give it a go them – it is the perfect use for dates 😀

  28. Veronika
    March 5, 2012 at 9:36 am

    You could calculate the value by adding all the rest of the ingredients and substituting the price of the bananas that would otherwise be wasted… but who’s counting?

    Banana bread is great. I really ought to try to make this without the egg whites (allergic boyfriend etc.), but I am one of those people who rarely buy bananas… perhaps I should, to let them go nearly-bad and then make this. But then it’d not be preventing anything, would it? 😉

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 10:14 am

      Well, I suppose so, but I don’t like to cheat :D. Sounds like a plan to me 😀

  29. whilehewasout
    March 5, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I love this recipe, bananas and dates – YUM!

  30. Ragamuffin Diaries
    March 5, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    dates used to frighten me a bit as well; they’re an interesting addition to banana bread, but I’d be hard-pressed to willingly substitute anything for chocolate in a recipe! This sounds like a yummy combo though!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 10:03 am

      Trust me, they work better. They are truly delicious in this.

  31. Canadianbudgetbinder
    March 5, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    This looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the recipe.

  32. lauraloo72
    March 6, 2012 at 4:03 am

    Looks lovely! I wonder, could this recipe work as just date bread? I have lots of date in my cupboard but no bananas at the moment!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 9:59 am

      Thanks! Umm, I suppose it would if you used more of a regular sponge mixture.

  33. baconbiscuit212
    March 7, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Yummy, yummy! The addition of the dates is super great. I usually put in walnuts, but now I want to try this!

  34. Shumaila
    March 7, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    I have never tasted a banana bread with dates in them. I haven’t made a banana bread for ages, after I found out that I might be allergic to bananas. But I so wish I could have a piece of this bread- I love dates, and when I could eat bananas- I absolutely adored banana bread!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 7, 2012 at 6:03 pm

      I’m sorry that you can’t! You should go and have a decisive test to understand whether you are definitely allergic to them!

  35. Meenakshi
    March 8, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Banana bread rocks! I make it quite often. Add dates to that, and you have yourselves a really yummy treat. Looks great.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 12, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      It does, it really does. The dates add so much 😀

  36. Simply Tia
    March 9, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    This looks uber good!!!!

  37. Gabby @ the veggie nook
    March 10, 2012 at 3:45 am

    loooove these flavour combinations!

  38. atasteforchange
    March 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Great photo, yum I want to eat this with a big chunk of salty butter

  39. Rock Salt
    March 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Baking with dates was a revelation for me, too – so sweet and sticky, but kind of good for you, too.

  40. Audrey
    April 4, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    YUMMY!! Going to have to try this one! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Happy Cooking!

  41. hookedontaste
    April 22, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I’ve been searching for banana bread recipes for a while and I can’t decide which one to try. I guess I’ll have to try them all. Your banana bread looks great and so easy to make. I never had dates before, so I know have to try this banana bread. Thanks for posting, I have officially booked marked this page.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 26, 2012 at 12:02 am

      This one works very well! The dates work so well – I hope you give it a pop.

  42. christinakjaerfavrbo
    January 20, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    A few years late on the commenting but just wanted to thank you for a great recipe! I knew I could count on your help to make use of the obligatory over-ripe bananas (why must I always buy ten when I know I will not be able to finish them before they turn to sugar?) . So quick to make – it took less than 10 minutes to mix everything and pop it in the oven – just perfect. I have a huge bag of hazelnuts sitting around so chopped some up and added them. It works quite well but I have a feeling that walnuts would have been a better match. Maybe next time… 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      January 21, 2014 at 10:27 am

      Thank you – I have a few banana bread recipes actually. Hazelnuts would work well I’m sure, but I just love the way walnuts go all caramel-like.

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