This Healthy Date Loaf is full of flavour and made for sharing. It's vegan, refined sugar free and on the table in 40 minutes.
This healthy date loaf was first published exactly a year ago, and since then has become one of the most popular recipes on the blog! Every day a steady stream of googlers find their way to this recipe, so I thought it was about time I gave it a facelift. New photos. Recipe tips. And a pre-amble that was more fitting to this delicious loaf.
Dates are natures candy, and I won't fool you into thinking this loaf is "sugar free". But it's filled with good for you ingredients and is the perfect treat for morning or afternoon tea. I love that I nearly always have the ingredients for this on hand, so I can whip it up when in a pinch to feed unexpected guests.
This date loaf lends itself well the modifications, so if you don't have an ingredient in the cupboard, don't stress. There is probably an easy substitute that you already have.
1. What can I substitute for rice malt syrup?
Any liquid sweetener you prefer or have on hand. Honey or maple syrup would work well.
2. What should I top my loaf with?
I've made this loaf in 3 different ways - no topping, topped with sliced banana, and topped with sunflower and pepita seeds. I love them all equally, I just happened to have seeds on hand the day I photographed it. Banana will caramelise and add even more sweetness to your loaf - so let that be your guide if you are a sweet tooth like me!
3. Can I substitute wholemeal flour for anything?
I've made this with plain white flour before and it worked well. I can't vouch for others but if you generally have success substituting wholemeal flour for another type of flour - go for it! And then let us know how it went in the comments 🙂
4. Not a fan of coconut oil - what else can I use?
Olive oil, rice bran or whatever you use at home as long as it has a mild flavour should work.
5. Can I add walnuts into the mixture?
Absolutely. Just mix them in right before you pour your mixture into the date loaf. No other changes to the recipe required.
6. I hate dates - what else you got?
May I introduce you to the world's best healthy banana bread recipe. You're welcome.
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Healthy Date Loaf
This Healthy Date Loaf is full of flavour and made for sharing. It's vegan, refined sugar free and on the table in 40 minutes.
- 1 ¾ cup plain wholemeal / wholewheat flour
- 10 medjool dates, chopped finely
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp. rice malt syrup / brown rice syrup
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon all spice
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
Optional Topping Options
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- 1 tablespoon pepita seeds
- OR 1 very ripe banana, sliced in half
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F
- Place oil, syrup and dates in a mixing bowl. Pour over boiling water and mix until all combined.
- Add in sifted flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, vanilla extract and spices and mix until combined. If you are adding banana on top, press down on top of mixture with the cut side up.
- Pour into baking tin and place in oven for 30 minutes, until cooked through and a skewer comes out clean.
- Leave in tin for 5 minutes then move the loaf to cool on a rack.
- You can sub rice malt syrup for honey, maple syrup etc.
- You can sub coconut oil for another oil of your preference - rice bran, olive (although only use a very mild olive oil)
- I'd start checking on the loaf around the 25 minute mark. Cooking times can vary dramatically between ovens so best to be on the safe side!
- Nutrition is a rough estimate and is for one slice if you slice loaf by 10.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 170Carbohydrates: 35gFiber: 3.9gSugar: 17gProtein: 3.2g
Can you make this with gluten free flour?
while I haven't tried I can't see why not! you may find you need to use a little more than what I have here for the mixture to not be too runny, and don't forget to use gf baking powder.
Hey Cassie, hope you're doing well. Just have a query - by mixing in everything - do you mean manually with a whisk or spatula or with an electric beater/mixer stand? Thanks
Hey Neha - just mix manually for this one. I usually use a spoon but whisk or spatula will work great too.
Not sure if I did something wrong or not, but my mixture is too dry, it does not look like going to stock together as bread or cake 🙁
Hey Amanda, I'm sorry to hear you were having some troubles with this one - I know how frustrating it can be when something doesn't workout.
Did you add in the cup of boiling water at the start on top of the dates? I have found this gives enough liquid to mix with the flour.
With this loaf and my banana breads the mix is usually firm (not very liquidy) but is well combined so you can't see any flour.
You've reminded me that this recipe needs to be updated with step by step photos so I'll do that ASAP which will take out the guesswork.
Amanda McKinnell says
Thank you so much for this recipe. I was looking for a healthy recipe and was unsure if my kids would like it. They loved it! The loaf was eaten within a day. Absolutely delicious 🙂
YAY! I'm so happy to hear that Amanda 🙂 It's definitely one of my favourites and so easy too.
Hello. I prepared this recipe and is absolutely amazing. I would like to know if I will need to refrigerate after cold. Thank you!
Hey Leticia - I'm so happy to hear you loved this one. If you're planning to eat it within 1 or 2 days and it's not very hot where you are it will be fine in an airtight container at room temperature. Otherwise pop it in the fridge. You can also freeze it 🙂 Enjoy!
Oh no, how scary there was some unexpected surgery! Glad all is well! 🙂
This looks like such a tasty loaf too - even though I'm not a fan of dates I'd be tempted to try a piece! 🙂
I hope that you are having a lovely weekend! We have the sun back again after a pretty rainy week which is nice! 🙂
Away From The Blue Blog
Thanks lovely 🙂 I think dates are definitely an either love or hate thing!
Dr. K. Lee Banks says
I've never made date loaf, but this looks and sounds amazing! I also like the idea of adding the sliced banana on top. I mean, why not? Banana bread is delicious on its own, so banana added to a sweet batter bread would naturally taste great, I'm sure1
I was surprised at how delicious it was! Well worth a try 🙂
My son loves bananas and bread! I'm sure he'd love to try this one out, I'll have to see how he likes it! Thanks for sharing!
Terri Steffes says
I wasn't sold on the sliced banana on top until you said "carmelized!" Thanks for the unique tip!
I think it adds to the flavour but you can always leave it out!
Thena Franssen says
Hoping for a quick recovery!! This bread looks amazing. Im making for my family!
It's so tasty!
This looks totally delicious. I will have to make this for my niece and nephews soon, they will love this.
I'm sure they will Luci!
Mayuri Saxena says
This looks dee-licious! I need to try this recipe for my daughter who would definitely be going to love it. 🙂
awesome! Hope she loves it!
This looks like a great bread! My daughters would probably like it simply because it looks so different than our traditional banana bread.
Thanks Heather 🙂
How many grams fat in this late loaf ?
I love using dates in recipes!! They are still so sweet but so much better for you! Thank you for sharing!
Anything for you Mal 🙂
David Elliott says
This does look awesome. I would have never thought to add the bananas like that right atop the loaf. But now that I am thinking about it, I am going to have to try this out in the near future with some other loafs I do.
It adds delicious flavour with the caramelisation of the banana!
Chloe Lee says
Nice recipe and sounds yummy too!
Debbie Savage says
This recipe might just get my family to love dates! I love dates and this is why this post caught my attention! This is perfection!
They are so sweet which makes them perfect for baking!
This is a really good recipe. I also love how you presented it in a unique way with the sliced bananas on top.
Thanks Stacey 🙂
I hope Adam gets better soon. Surgeries can be scary. Your lightbulb moment has lead to a great recipe 🙂
Thank you! He is on the mend thankfully!
Cindy Ingalls says
I love using dates and bananas in my baking. They are so sweet and full of flavor and allow you to enjoy sweet treats without processed sugar.
My thoughts exactly Cindy!
Susan Minich says
Drooling! Looks so yummy!!!
It was so good - what kind of flour do you use in your baking?
Dates are kind of miraculous!! Thanks for the recipe, I'm going to give it a try.
They are aren't they!
Lifestyle Blog says
That bread looks gorgeous, I want it all for me, forget about a date. Who needs a date when eating such a delicacy anyway? 🙂
Haha good one!!
i love cooking with banana and this looks like the perfect way to incorporate it into a bread!
Throwing a banana on top of bread is soooo good
Nice recipe! I love that there's no dairy! 🙂
That sounds like a delciously sweet and wholesome recipe! I bet it tastes caramelly with the dates too.
It sure does!
I've never thought of lying the slices of banana on top for decoration. I am also not that good at cutting things so that might be part of it!
Haha I actually didn't cut this banana in a perfect half for this either - but luckily once you press it into the mixture no one can tell!
Claudia Krusch says
I am always looking for healthier recipes to try. I will have to get the ingredients I need to make this recipe on the weekend.
Enjoy Claudia 🙂
I have never even heard of a date loaf. This looks like it would taste so good!
I'm happy to introduce you to it!
Jessica Joachim says
This looks delicious. I don't think I have ever cooked or baked with dates before. This is something I will have to try out
Dates are the perfect natural sweetener!
Carol Cassara says
I hate unexpected events that involve surgery or the hospital! I hope you guys are okay, especially the husband. Girl, this loaf is so beautiful, it's tough not to give it a try!
Thanks Carol! He is on the mend - although I suspect he might milk it for a few weeks to come haha. Typical! Hope you enjoy 🙂
Stephanie Pass says
This looks delicious! I love the way you sliced the banana and put it on top.
Thanks Stephanie 🙂
Mama in Heels says
That looks delish! I have to try this recipe!
Hope you enjoy!
Adriana Lopez Martin says
What a nice idea love banana and dates so this is something I would enjoy eating
It's a great combination!
Ya know, I'm not sure if I've ever eaten dates! How weird is that? I've eaten, probably every other kind of nut there is out there.
It's not weird - but you gotta get onto that haha
AnnMarie John says
That's one interesting recipe! The kids aren't much fans of dates but I am! I would love to try this recipe one of these days.
I think it's something you acquire a taste too haha
This looks really delicious. I am going to have to give this a try, I love the addition of the Banana.
Thanks so much - let me know how you go!
Karen Morse says
I hope your husband is doing better! What a week. I think this recipe is a must try especially if you love dates. It looks really good!
Thanks Karen - he is doing well now thankfully!
Bernadette Callahan says
I have not had dates in forever! Might be picking some up this weekend to make this. Looks delicious.
Hope you enjoy if you do!
Oh my goodness I am bookmarking this! I love banana loaf, but have yet to make a vegan one. This must taste amazing with the added sweetness of dates.
So sweet without much need for a sweetener!
tara pittman says
That banana on top gives the bread a cool look. My boys love quick bread/
I can't stop doing it now haha
Joely Smith says
Thank you for this healthier recipe! We do not need loads of sugar when the recipe is this good! I am drooling on my keyboard here lol.
Haha it is so good! I have had to exert lots of self control to not eat the whole loaf at once!
My children will love this. Looks great!
Thanks Pip 🙂
Roger D Willis says
I love dates and banana bread! This looks so delicious!
I like dates and this loaf looks yummy!
Definitely hit the spot!
Joanna Everyday Made Fresh says
Oh, I love dates so much, and never buy them, unless I have a reason. I think I found a reason! This looks so good.
It is SO good!
Kelli A says
I'm one of the only people I know that actually like dates. I think I would love this bread. Saving this recipe! Thanks for sharing 🙂
I love them too!
robin rue says
I've never had a date before. Does that make me weird? I am sure I'd like them, so I need to make this loaf so I can finally say I've tried a date.
Haha I don't think it makes you weird but they seriously are perfect for sweetening recipes!