Now that the holidays have passed, it’s on to winter baking. I feel like winter is when I struggle most with identifying what makes a seasonal baked good. It’s not as clear to me as the pumpkins and apples of Fall or peaches in the summer. I think maybe winter baking is just about food that is flavorful with ingredients you can still find on-hand in the winter. Oh, and comforting and cozy. I think it’s clear that this Date Spice Bread is definitely perfect in winter.
This Date Spice Bread is so moist (sorry not sorry) and flavorful! The dates, brown sugar, spices, and orange zest marry so well, and make the bread *taste* special. I added a sprinkle of raw sugar on top for crunch and a little more sweetness. My kiddos eat the sugared top first, while I save it for last. 🙂
The only ingredient you might have difficulty finding is the dates, but I usually see them in my grocery store all winter long. I used medjool dates, but you can use whatever type of date you prefer. I use as many organic ingredients that I can, so I purchased my dates online [here].
This bread is lovely with a bit of butter–or honey butter!–but it really isn’t necessary. This loaf may look homely, but she stands alone and proud in the flavor department!
I hope you’ll make this bread and enjoy it as much as I do! The flavors are bright and warm–just perfect on a cold day! I think I’ll make a list of more winter recipes to share with you soon! <3
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Recipe adapted from Ina Garten (link here).
Date Spice Bread
- 2 cups dates, pitted and coarsley chopped (I used medjool dates; about 10 oz. pitted)
- ⅓ cup orange liqueur (I used Triple Sec)
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp orange zest (from about 2 oranges)
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 3-4 oranges)
- raw sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
- Combine the dates and orange liqueur in a small bowl. Set aside for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 8.5"x 4.5"x 4.5" loaf pan and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt). Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and bown sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the egg, vanilla extract, and orange zest and mix to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, if necessary.
- With the mixer running on low, add half the dry ingredients, followed by the orange juice, then the remaining dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated, then fold in the date/orange liqueur mixture.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool bread in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.