Date and Nut Roll


A while ago, I decided I wanted to make the date and nut roll I remember my mum making.  I had my mum’s Willow nut loaf tins and had never used them.  My mum used the CWA Cookbook so I went straight to it, thinking I would find the recipe in it but it wasn’t there.  I decided to look a little further and found this recipe in my Macquarie Dictionary of Cookery.

I made it; it was fabulous but, alas, it was not the recipe mum used.   It was nicer.  Since then, I have been way-laid, trying to find mum’s recipe. I just make this one. It is lighter than I remember my mum’s being and I don’t think mum used honey.  The honey is quite distinctive.

Maus loves it.  She wanted to have a slice before I had taken a photo!   Sacrebleu!!   Once the photo was taken, three slices quickly disappeared.

I am not very good with cakes.  I never know when they are cooked and it is even harder to tell when the cake is in a sealed tin 😦 .  The recipe said to bake at180°C for 40-50 minutes.  I took mine out after 40 minutes and I think it is a little over-cooked.  I can’t remember what I did last time.

If you don’t have roll tins, you can make the recipe in loaf tins.


  • 60g butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups SR flour
  • ¾ cup chopped dates
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup milk


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. (see below)
  2. Cream the butter, sugar and honey until light.
  3. Add the egg, beat well.
  4. Add the milk, stir to combine.
  5. Fold in flour.
  6. Add dates and walnuts, mix to combine.
  7. Spoon the mixture into two roll tins (or loaf tins) lined with baking paper.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  9. Eat, slathered in butter.

Postscript:  I made another date and nut loaf a couple of days later.  Here is the post.  I baked that one at 160°C and it was perfect, so you may wish to bake this one at 160°C.  I will next time.


35 thoughts on “Date and Nut Roll

  1. Pingback: Spicy cranberry nut tea bread | Passion Fruit Garden

  2. i have the same tins but it came with another recipe with walnuts and mixed spice, and it was amazing. i’ve since lost the recipe but if you or someone might have it i’d love a copy, there are no dates in it. i have an apricot one if you like its real yummy

      • i did check out the other recipe i’ll have to give it a try. but here’s the apricot roll rep

        apricot rolls

        makes 2

        2/3 cup chopped dried apricots
        125g butter
        3/4 cup castor sugar
        2 eggs
        3/4 cup plain flour
        1 cup self raising flour
        1/3 cup milk

        cover the apricots with hot water, stand 30 mins then drain well.

        grease 2 nut roll tins. cream butter and sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy; beat in eggs one at a time, beat until combined. stir in half the sifted flours with half the milk, then stir in remaining flour and milk. stir in apricots. spoon mixture evenly into prepared tins. bake in moderate oven for 1 hour. stand rolls in tins with lids on for 10 minutes. remove lids and cool on wire rack.
        keep time 3 days

        i got this rep from an old neighbor 20 years or so ago, i think she got it from a magazine in the 80’s. enjoy!

      • hi glenda, i’ve tried your mothers recipe and decided with xmas coming i’d try it with something else, so i used craisins and pecan and half a teaspoon of cardamon in the spice mix, then after it cooled i rolled it in white chocolate and coconut, and i have to say it was nice but i might mix some dried cherries when i make it again for xmas brunch

  3. Pingback: Date and Nut Loaf – Mark II | Passion Fruit Garden

  4. That’s looks so moist & done to perfection…and that’s a good point about figuring out when the cake is done if it’s in a sealed tin. I think the honey in there is a great idea. Can’t say that I blame Maus for wanting a piece before the photo op – I mean it wouldn’t look as good if you hadn’t cut off a nice slice and who would know?

  5. Hi Glenda – Yes I too remember Mum making this loaf which we all enjoyed very much.
    I have a recipe from the CWA Cook Book 2 listed under Irene’s Date & Walnut Loaf. Would you like the recipe?

  6. My Nanna too made a wonderful date and nut roll, which even as a little kid I loved, smeared with butter. Food evokes such wonderful memories.

  7. love date and nut rolls..and yours sounds delicious with the honey in’s not just the taste of them which is wonderful..there’s something about the shape that’s also really appealing..x

    • Hi Jane. I think they are so appealing because our mum’s made them. We all have fond memories of being given a slice slathered in butter.

  8. Yum. I used to make a delicious homely date and nut loaf steamed in used food cans, but since they started plastic lining the tins I’ve not made it. You’ve inspired to to fine another way…..thanks Glenda

  9. Sacrebleu indeed! I love this one Glenda… have never ever made one but now I want to… I remember selling plenty of those tins when I had the shop… I know some folks use washed out food tins too!

  10. The cake look fabulous Glenda and love the shape. I have also have a nut roll tin and use a biscuit tin as my second nut roll tin. I got my recipe from the Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook. 🙂

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