Pumpkin Date Loaf


Oh wow, four pumpkin recipes. Did I mention I made muffins too at some point? Compared to the other wondrous delights I’ve created, they’re not worth our time though. This loaf however is most definitely worthy of a conversation.  Perhaps over a cup of tea?


Remember my go-to pumpkin recipe mentioned way back (circa pumpkin cookie) well this is it! Actually, it’s a new variation, but any type of pumpkin date loaf, is one of the desserts I associate with fall the most. My mom had a recipe, she got from a friend, who got it from a friend (don’t you love these stories?) and would make it every autumn. Maybe you don’t notice the spice smell as much when you’re cleaning up your own dishes, but I remember anticipating this loaf vividly as a kid. Not that I don’t still love it – what a silly notion! There’s something about coming home from school, expecting carrot sticks as your snack, only to have your socks knocked off with a pumpkin loaf.


This loaf is dedicated to childhood autumn afternoons, carried into the present – where milk is replaced with espresso and school is replaced with work…Funny how these things come around, isn’t it?


A note on the loaf: it is pretty loosely based on the Baked version. I wanted it to be a bit healthier, and ended up cutting both the sugar and oil in half. It’s not overly sweet or overly ‘healthy’ tasting, so don’t worry! That being said, I love mine slathered with salted butter. And streusel topping. And a vanilla drizzle.


Another strange and delicious combination (for any pumpkin treat) is cheddar cheese. My dad has been eating sweet and salty, savouring and sweet combinations forever-way before it was cool- apparently. Whether you melt a piece of cheese on top, have it on the side or even make a grilled cheese sandwich, (I  have yet to try that) I think you’ll be surprised at how great a pairing it is.


Pumpkin Date Loaf

Makes 1 loaf

Adapted from Baked Elements

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpoes flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or grape seed oil
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup  room temperature coffee
  • 1/3 cup room temperature water
  • 6 ounces chopped, pitted dates
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚. Butter 9x5x3″ loaf pan. Dust with flour; tapping off excess.
  2.  Whisk flours, baking powder, soda, salt and spices. Set aside
  3. In another large bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, oil and yogurt together. Add sugar and whisk again.
  4.  Add eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla.
  5. Add coffee and water, whisk until combined. Stir in dates
  6.  Fold dry ingredients into wet until just combined. Do not over mix.
  7.  Put batter into prepared pan and bake 65-85 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  8.  When the loaf is cooked, turn out onto rack and cool completely 35-45 minutes, I dare you.
  9.  The loaf can be stored at room temperate covered for up to 2 days, it stays relatively fresh uncovered too, doubtfully yours will last that long.

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