Whole-Wheat Date Nut Bread

date nut bread
Photo: Johnny Miller
1 9-inch loaf

This date-sweetened whole-wheat quickbread makes a much-appreciated holiday or hostess gift because it holds up well for several days and is a wholesome breakfast treat. The spread of tangy Neufchatel cheese balances the sweet-nutty flavor of the dates and pecans. Martha made this recipe on "Martha Bakes" episode 813.


  • 2 tablespoons safflower oil, plus more for pan

  • 1 ½ cups hot water

  • 1 cup pitted dates, chopped

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar

  • Neufchatel cheese, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with oil. In a medium bowl, pour hot water over dates and let stand until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in oil, egg, and vanilla. In another bowl, stir together flours, baking soda, salt, pecans, and brown sugar. Fold egg mixture into flour mixture until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

  2. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a tester inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, about 65 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack, 20 minutes, then turn out bread and let cool completely. Wrap in parchment if giving as a gift, or slice and spread with Neufchatel and serve. (Loaf can be tightly wrapped and stored at room temperature up to 3 days.)

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