Vintage Walnut and Date Tea Bread

Hello. I’m back, and I’m back with recipes! It strikes me the blog has been a little lean on the old recipe front of late so I’ve set out to correct the balance by feeding you a shed load of cake. Walnut and Date Tea Bread to start, from a genuine vintage recipe rooted out of my grandmother’s journal (which I have yet to fill you in on in detail). This cake is so good I have baked it three times in the last week. Three whole times, and each time it has barely lasted until the following morning. I’m going to try substituting the water used to soak the dried dates with strong dark coffee next, as a variation on that old favourite coffee and walnut, but here’s the basic version: great with tea, for breakfast, just great. You can tell how much I like it by my hyperbole.

Vintage Walnut and Date Tea Bread
Author: Gannet & Parrot
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2lb
  • 140g / 5oz stoned dates
  • 140ml / 1/4 pint boiling water
  • 170g / 6oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 55g / 2oz butter
  • 115g / 4oz caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 55g / 2oz chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  1. Chop dates roughly and leave to soak in the boiling water until cool.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set to one side.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg yolk, vanilla essence and walnuts.
  4. Gently fold in the sifted ingredients, alternating with the dates and the water used to soak them until you have a thick batter.
  5. Whisk the egg white until stiff then fold into the cake batter carefully.
  6. Pour into a greased 900g/2lb loaf tin and place in a preheated oven at 180c for 25 minutes. After this time, turn the heat down to 170c and cook for a further 15-20 minutes until the cake is golden on top and cooked through. Check using a skewer.
  7. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to finish.
  8. Serve as is or slathered in butter for an extra treat.


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About Chloe King

I'm a freelance writer, designer and webby type. I live with my husband and daughter in the south of England. I like to cook and can throw a good party.

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2 comments on “Vintage Walnut and Date Tea Bread

  1. September 13, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Sounds delicious! Love the tablecloth too 🙂 xoxo

    • September 14, 2013 at 9:31 am

      Thanks Bake, it’s not a full tablecloth unfortunately, just a remnant – the wonders of photography! Your blog is looking ace x

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