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Posted on Wed, Apr 3, 2013 : 5 a.m.

Vegan Date Bread - sweet and delicious

By Vicki Brett-Gach


This yummy Date Bread is a perfect addition for Sunday brunch.

Vicki Brett-Gach | Contributor

I always thought I disliked dates. I was entirely incorrect. Turns out I love them. This whole grain Date Bread may change your mind, too.

If Date Bread sounds old-fashioned and homey, to be sure, that's part of its charm. But this version has an updated spin.

Made with 100 percent whole-wheat flour, no dairy and zero added fat, the whole-grain flavor is just the right counterbalance for sweet, sticky dates, creating a perfectly satisfying combination.

Quickly assembled in a single bowl from simple pantry items, the bread gets a delightfully chewy dimension from the dates, which also help keep it nice and moist. It makes a lovely warm-from-the-oven companion with coffee or Sunday brunch. The last few slices can double the next day for breakfast on-the-go or a late-night snack. And it freezes beautifully.

With their mild caramel-like flavor and paper-thin skins, dates are full of fiber, antioxidants, and valuable nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, iron, and manganese. Interestingly, the date palm is thought to be the oldest tree crop cultivated by man.

If you thought you were not a date fan, you may be surprised how good this bread really is. And then you too might start looking for excuses to bake this one again and again.

(Adapted from Happy Herbivore Abroad, by Lindsay S. Nixon.)

2 cups white whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups chopped dates

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have ready a lightly greased (or an ungreased, non-stick) standard loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Mix in the applesauce and vanilla. Set aside.

Place dates in a bowl, and pour hot water over the top. Let sit for a few minutes. Then pour the softened dates, along with the water, into the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.

Transfer batter to the bread pan and bake 45 minutes to an hour, until the bread has risen and is crusty on the outside, and firm through the center. Remove from oven, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Vicki Brett-Gach is an artist, writer, wife, mom, and enthusiastic vegan, and loves to help family and friends discover that you do not have to be vegan to enjoy delicious vegan food. Vicki understands the challenges a new vegan can face, and welcomes your questions and comments at


Mary Bilyeu

Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 2:15 a.m.

I love dates, I love date bread, I love quick breads ... you've got it all here, and the bread looks amazing!


Thu, Apr 4, 2013 : 2:34 a.m.

Yes, I agree. And, to top it off, Vicki at least answered my question about the use of white whole-wheat flour.

Sarah Rigg

Wed, Apr 3, 2013 : 12:22 p.m.

Vicki - I love this recipe. I'd love to see more like this from you where the recipes are naturally vegan without having to substitute in uncommon ingredients to make up for dairy and eggs.

Vicki Brett-Gach

Wed, Apr 3, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

Thanks Sarah. I love this type of recipe too -- very simple, requiring no substitutions at all.


Wed, Apr 3, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

This looks great! One question, though. Why does the recipe call for white whole-wheat flour vs. regular whole-wheat flour? I understand the color would be somewhat darker with the latter (though I wouldn't see that as a liability), but would there be a difference in the taste or texture if one vs. the other is used? I have no experience with white whole-wheat flour. Thanks.

Vicki Brett-Gach

Wed, Apr 3, 2013 : 12:49 p.m.

Hi DBH, Yes--I like white whole wheat because it's a milder-tasting whole grain, with 100% of the nutrition found in traditional whole wheat. It does bake up lighter in texture than traditional whole wheat, but still includes the bran, germ, and endosperm (because it is a whole flour). But you can easily substitute traditional whole wheat for white whole wheat if you prefer.

Sarah Rigg

Wed, Apr 3, 2013 : 12:21 p.m.

I don't know what Vicki will say, but I really adore white whole wheat flour for baked goods. You get most of the nutritional advantages of regular whole wheat but more of the tender texture of more processed white flour.