Date Loaf Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 1 (9 by 5-inch) loaf or about 10 servings
  • 5 oz (140 g) pitted, chopped dates
  • 1 cup (235 ml) warm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Middle Eastern Cake Spice Mix (see Note below)
  • ½ teaspoon mahlab spice (see Note below)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup shelled walnuts, chopped (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F; line a 9- by 5- by 3-inch loaf pan with parchment paper (or butter and flour it, if you prefer).
  2. Add the dates and water to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Cool a couple minutes and then process in the eggs, oil, molasses, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cake spice mix, mahlab spice, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, being careful not to over-mix; fold in the walnuts if using.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs, about 45 to 55 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, and then transfer the bread to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  6. Cool completely before slicing.
Middle Eastern Cake Spice Mix: This is a mix of warm spices that’s used in Middle Eastern sweets. I have a recipe for it in my cookbook.

Mahlab: This is a spice that’s commonly used as a flavoring in Middle Eastern cooking. It is the seed kernel that comes from the center of St Lucie Cherry pits. Mahlab has a lovely aroma and tastes like a cross between almonds and cherries; you can read more about it in my post on Cherry Sauce.
Recipe by An Edible Mosaic™ at