Date and Orange Bread

Is it a bread? Is it a cake? Either way, this simple Date and Orange Bread is soft, crumbly and sweet. This time it doesn’t come from one of my many retro recipe books, it’s from a small newspaper clipping (although I can’t remember which newspaper) submitted by my childhood next-door neighbor.

It’s a straightforward method, just rub butter into the flour and then mix in the remaining ingredients and bake. The smell coming from this bread when I took it out of the oven took me back a year or two. And judging by the response from Mr Traybake and Little Miss Traybakes, I will have to make this more often! Date and Orange Bread is best eaten fresh from the oven while still warm (it does dry out a little after a day or two) but it’s also good with a smear of butter.


8oz/225g self-raising flour

a pinch of salt

4oz/110g butter

2oz/55g sugar

4oz/110g dates, chopped

1 egg, beaten

zest and juice of 1 orange


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C and line a loaf tin.
  2. Rub the butter into the flour. Then add the sugar, chopped dates and orange zest. Try to grate the orange zest over the bowl as this will ensure any oils from the orange will be added to the mix.
  3. Add the beaten egg and orange juice. If the mix doesn’t feel wet enough, add a little milk to make a fairly soft dough. It will depend on the juiciness of your orange!
  4. Put into a lined loaf tin and bake for 45-50 minutes until golden on top and a skewer comes out clean.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin, then slice and enjoy!

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One Comment

  • Mum

    Yes, I remember that loaf really well. Our next door neighbour entered it in a competition in The Belfast Telagraph and won a prize. I haven’t made it for a long time. Would only eat too much of it.!