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Date, walnut and sultana loaf

I do like a ‘healthy’ cake. I’m always looking for a recipe I can adapt so that it feels more nourishing. This means I can eat a lot of it, and feel good giving it to my son too. It cancels out the fact that I sometimes bribe him with Maltesers to tidy his toys up. This loaf has been adapted from a Mary Berry recipe, swapping chocolate for sultanas and also Brazil nuts for walnuts (this is just my preference, feel free to go Brazilian if it’s what you fancy).

Serves: 8-10
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

150g stoned dried dates, chopped
1/4 pint boiling water 
150g sultanas
150g walnuts, chopped roughly
50g melted butter 
225g plain flour
50g caster sugar 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
150ml milk 


  1. Preheat oven to 160C (or 180C non-fan). Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin. 
  2. Stone and chop your dates, and let them soften in the boiled water for about 30 minutes. 
  3. Mix your dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, bicarb, sugar, chopped walnuts. 
  4. Whisk your milk, melted butter and egg together. 
  5. Combine your wet and dry ingredients and add your dates, as well as the liquid they have soaked in. Beat well and pour into your tin. 
  6. Cook for 1 hour (after 20 minutes or so I loosely covered with some foil to avoid the top burning) then check with a skewer. If it comes out clean it’s done, but if it’s still wet in the middle give it 10 more minutes. 
  7. Leave to sit for 10 minutes before removing cake from tin to a cooling rack. Once cold, spread a thick slice with butter and enjoy with a cup of tea. 

>> Check out more cake recipes!



  1. October 1, 2013 / 8:49 am

    Simple recipe. Love it. Made it yesterday and it's delicious!

  2. June 11, 2014 / 9:52 am

    Thanks – sorry only just saw this comment. Slowest reply EVER?! X

  3. Anonymous
    April 12, 2016 / 9:55 am

    Just copied recipe, I'm officially mad! I cannot see any mention of the sultanas in the Instructions! Kind regards Sas.

  4. Suzanne
    February 2, 2021 / 2:24 pm

    Really tasty and moreish. Had two slices in one sitting. More recipes like this please.

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