Hazelnut Date Bread

Jennifer, Bake or Break

While I do sometimes like muffins and breads that are as sweet as a dessert, I prefer their less sweet counterparts.

This spiced bread features a winning combination of hazelnuts and dates. The nuttiness and the little bit of sweetness pair together to make a delicious not-too-sweet quick bread that’s just right for a breakfast treat.

Hazelnut Date Bread
Makes 1 standard 9×5-inch loaf


3/4 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup boiling water
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup chopped hazelnuts


Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.

Place dates and baking soda in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over dates. Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat egg lightly. Add melted butter, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix well.

Stir in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk. Begin and end with flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Stir in hazelnuts and dates.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Run a knife around the edges of pan. Cool in pan on wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then, remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool.

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Bringing butter to room temperature helps it incorporate better with other ingredients.

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  1. My favorite spring break in Florida restaurant serves a fabulous fruit and salad plate with little cream cheese sandwiches on the side, made with a bread like this—I could eat the whole loaf!