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

Ingredients:

• 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

Method:

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?

99 thoughts on “Banana and Date Bread

  1. Jen

    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!

  2. countrywoodsmoke

    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.
    Cheers
    Marcus

  3. Conor Bofin

    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.
    Best,
    Conor

  4. Kathy

    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.

  5. katytruss

    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!

      1. katytruss

        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!)

  6. Just A Smidgen

    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!

  7. Jen R

    Great timing had 4 very ripe bananas givin too me yesterday..in 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!

  8. Veronika

    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? ;)

  9. Ragamuffin Diaries

    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!

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  12. Shumaila

    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!

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  14. hookedontaste

    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.

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  17. christinakjaerfavrbo

    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… :)

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