Date & Walnut Tea Loaf


Date & Walnut Tea Loaf Cake has; a super tender crumb, sweet chewiness from dates and just the right amount of bite from crunchy walnuts. The caramel-like sweetness of the loaf is lightened with lemon zest and Earl Grey tea.

It’s no secret I like the date & walnut combination, see date & walnut cookies and date & walnut couronne and as you can see I got the urge to have it again, this time in a near-classic loaf cake form.

I love a classic British date & walnut cake. I’ve eaten it on many occasions in the past, all be it the shop-bought variety.

This time I wanted something a bit different, in steps lemon zest and Earl Grey tea.


Earl Grey tea is a tea blend which has been flavoured with the addition of oil of bergamot orange.

For the Date & Walnut Tea Loaf; dates are soaked in hot Earl Grey Tea (you can use any black tea) along with the zest of a lemon and some bicarbonate of soda. Before being stirred into the buttery sugar egg mixture, followed by folding in flour and chopped walnut halves. The mixture gets poured in a 2lb loaf tin, precisely topped with a line of walnut halves (that go off-course in the baking process!) and baked for a whole hour. To stop the walnuts on top from burning, about half way through I covered the loaf cake with foil.


Remind me never to cut a warm loaf cake again. Talk about crumbs, cracks and the slices just fall apart. Still tastes good though, it’s just not ideal to photograph but who cares?! The addition of lemon zest and Earl Grey brightens the flavours and I feel makes, what would be an ordinary cake that little bit special.

Try the recipe and let me know by leaving a comment or tagging me in on social media. Don’t forget to tag me in on your Instagram photos of any of the recipes you try or inspired from the site #halalhomecooking .

Date & Walnut Tea Loaf


Date & Walnut Tea Loaf

Rating: 4

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 1 x 2lb loaf cake

Serving Size: 16


    • 200 grams stoned dates, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
    • 200ml hot black tea (I used 1 bag of earl grey – you can use any black tea and feel free to make it stronger by using more bags)
    • 80 grams unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing and at room temperature
    • 120 grams light brown sugar
    • 2 small eggs, room temperature
    • 250 grams self-raising flour
    • 50 grams walnuts, chopped
to decorate:
  • walnut halves


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/GAS MARK 4. Grease a 2lb / 900g loaf tin and line with non-stick baking parchment.
  2. Place the dates, baking soda and lemon rind in a bowl and add the tea bag(s) and hot water. Leave to soak for 10 minutes until dates have softened, remove the tea bag and discard.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, then beat in the eggs. Stir in the date mixture.
  4. Fold in the flour using a rubber spatula or large metal spoon, then fold in the walnuts. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and spread evenly. Top with walnut halves.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven (middle shelf) for 1 hour – 1 hour 10 minutes or until risen, firm and golden brown and a cake tested comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin then turn out the loaf and finish cooling on a wire rack


If you haven’t self-raising flour, use plain flour – remove 3 teaspoons and replace with baking powder. Ensure the two are thoroughly mixed before folding into mixture.

Date & Walnut Tea Loaf
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Date & Walnut Tea Loaf

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