Lady Grey Date Nut Bread #BreadBakers

Dates really are nature's candy.  It's no secret that I've had a serious sweet tooth all my life.  When I was a kid it was quite a treat for my mom to get a bag of chopped crystallized dates.  They were usually hidden so they would last for actual recipes.  I used to pick them first out of any mixes we got that contained them.  But I never actually had a real whole date until I was an adult, and that creamy, sweet experience (and I do prefer the soft, creamy medjool dates), was barely comparable to those hard little nuggets of my childhood.  Needless to say, I have found many ways to enjoy whole and freshly chopped dates in my baking ever since.  Mom loves a date nut bread so I thought that would be a nice bake.  But delicious as they are, dates are rather plainly sweet.  I wanted to boost the flavor just a little bit.  One of our favorite Christmas cookies is an Earl Grey shortbread.  They are outrageously good and I thought the tea would complement the bread beautifully.  So I added a double dose of tea to this bread with both brewed and loose additions.  A little ginger for warmth and some lemon zest for a brighter note, and you have a sublime date bread.  (Hint, if you really love ginger and want to actually taste it instead of it being just a subtle enhancement, by all means add more or even add some crystallized ginger with the dates.)  I love pecans, but this would be equally good with walnuts.  

It is wonderful fresh with butter, but goodness me, it is out of this world toasted and buttered for breakfast.  A very nice treat for any occasion.  And I find it quite suitable to have a version of tea bread with actual tea in it.  And so if you haven't already guessed, this month the Bread Bakers group has baked Quick Bread Loaves.  After the recipe, be sure to check out the amazing collection of breads.  And thank you so much to Stacy at food lust people love for hosting the theme this month!

Lady Grey Date Nut Bread
makes one 8x4" loaf of tea bread

185g (6.5 oz.) (about 1½ cups) coarsely chopped, pitted dates
¼ cup strongly brewed Lady Grey or Earl Grey tea, still hot
2 tbsp (1 oz or 28 grams) butter, well softened
2 tbsp sour cream
½ cup (97g) muscovado sugar, lightly packed
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1½ tbsp grated lemon zest
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ tsp ginger powder
2 tsp Lady Grey or Earl Grey tea (about 2 bags worth)
¾ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3 oranges)
¾ cup (3 oz or 85 grams) coarsely chopped pecans

¾ cup powdered sugar
½-1 tbsp orange juice

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Combine the chopped dates, hot brewed tea, and 2 tsp vanilla in a small bowl and set aside for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Lightly butter a 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan.  Line the bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper, then butter or spray again lightly.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, and brown sugar together on medium speed until well combined.  Beat in sour cream and scrape down the bowl.  Add the egg and lemon zest and mix well.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, loose tea, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture alternately with the orange juice to the creamed mixture, beating only until just combined.  Fold in the dates with their liquid, and the pecans by hand.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile whisk together the powdered sugar with enough orange juice to make glaze of your desired thickness. Start with ½ tbsp juice and add by half teaspoons until drizzling consistency.  Spread the glaze over the cooled bread.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all of our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Check out our other quick bread concoctions this month:

  • Banana Nut Bread from Sneha's Recipe 
  • Cheddar Bacon Chive Quick Bread from Karen's Kitchen Stories 
  • Chocolate Quick Bread from Sara's Tasty Buds 
  • Coconut Sweet Bread from Passion Kneaded 
  • Cranberry Pecan Quick Bread from Food Lust People Love 
  • Espresso Banana Quick Bread with Espresso Streusel from All That's Left Are The Crumbs 
  • Irish Soda Bread from Anybody Can Bake 
  • Keto Low Carb Coconut Flour Bread from Cook With Renu
  • Lemon Blueberry Bread from Palatable Pastime 
  • Lemon Pistachio Loaf from Ambrosia 
  • Summer Shandy Beer Bread from A Day in the Life on the Farm 
  • Zucchini Bread from Simply Inspired Meals

  • Approximate nutrition per slice of bread:



    1. Gorgeous flavors and gorgeous loaf! That orange glaze adds a lovely shine as well!

    2. I love dates too and I have a tea event coming up soon. Perhaps I will showcase this delicious looking bread.

    3. This sounds amazing. I have to hide crystalized ginger from myself or I'll eat it all. Welcome to Bread Bakers!

    4. Loved this bread. What a wonderful texture it has got. And love those pecans in between. I too love to add dates as a sweetner in my bakes.

    5. I've never had dates, I need to give them a try. And I love the use of tea in your recipe. This sounds yummy.

    6. Wow, this sounds seriously good, Kelly. I love date/pecan bread but have only ever made the one that Mum made (she and her long-time friend made it for the first time in her friend's mother's kitchen when they were 12 years old) - the recipe calls for boiling water to be poured over the dates and allowed to cool. Next time, I will have to use just brewed Earl Grey tea!

      Date bread with thin slices of aged cheddar or gouda is the best....

    7. This is a sublime bread Kelly. I loved everything about this loaf. Such wonderful flavours. The slices look divine. I am going to bake this for sure!

    8. Bread looks delicious.... Adding dates to bread gives a unique taste and flavour........

    9. I too love dates, my mum used to make a delicious date cake by overnight soaking of the dates in boiling water. I like the use of Earl Grey tea in this recipe.


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