italian dessert recipes

Date Bread

"Buttery. EASY! One bowl recipe"

date bread
This date bread recipe is buttery good. It definitely qualifies and an easy cake recipe. It's one bowl from oven to serving.

Dates are a standby in many Italian dessert recipes. My mom loved to cook with them - mainly because she was a health food freak and dates made her feel like she added an extra dose of earthiness to our growing bodies.

This recipe is kinda an Italian cake standard - except it's in a loaf pan. My auntie Rose used to make this for holiday gatherings. We usually served it with dinner, even though it's sweet and most would consider it a dessert. And after while I made a whole section of Italian bread recipes since it seemed to fit better in this category. Just remember - this is sweet like a cake - but made in a loaf pan.

Thanks for stopping by - Lisa

See the substitution section below for tips and questions.

Date Bread

YIELD: 1 loaf


* 1 cup butter

* 1 cup of sugar

* 1 1/2 cup of chopped dates

* 1 cup of boiling water

* 1 1/2 cup of walnuts or almonds chopped

* 2 cups of flour, sifted

* 1 tsp of baking soda

* 1 egg beaten


* Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

* Pour boiling water over the dates and let stand.

* Cream the butter and sugar until light, then add egg and beat again.

* Add the nuts.

* Pour in the dates AND the water. Beat well.

* Add the flour and baking soda.

* Pour into a loaf pan. (A bigger loaf pan!)

* Bake for an hour

Substitutions and Questions

Can I substitute oil for the butter?

Nope. Never. Well at least not in this recipe. The butter is a primary flavoring ingredient. Notice there is no added cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger etc.

Pre-sweetened dates or not?

Not! I think MOST chopped pre-sweetened dates have very little flavor. They have been sitting in a sugar and dried for heaven knows how long.

Always go for an ingredient that is closest to it's natural flavor - or the way it grew. (Ugh, I sound like my mom!) So if you have to buy whole dates and chop - then do it! The flavor is worth it.

Top of date bread.

Lisa Gianotti

Labor Day Is Coming Up!

It's still so hot, it's hard to get excited about cranking up the over. So - there are a couple of NO BAKE stand-by's I use:

Strawberry and Marsala

Amaretto Mouse Cheesecake

The big word is NO BAKE.

And then, there's always my Italian Drinks collection to make a party unique and festive.

Whatever you choose for Labor Day, keep it cool. Keep it simple. And keep it safe!


Would you like to share this page? You know how to do it! Thanks for sharing the sugar love!

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Recipes on this site are from family cookbooks, family traditions, or intentional adaptations from traditional recipes to add an Italian flair. If a recipe was adapted or used from another cook - it is mentioned on the recipe page and the recipe author is given credit.