Here’s a recipe that was tucked away in an old recipe box that was clipped from a newspaper, date unknown. The introduction states that this family recipe was used regularly during WWII, so it’s an oldie. Recipe is typed below along with a scanned copy.

Vintage Date Loaf Recipe Clipping

This Date Loaf has been a favorite in the Duncan family for years and was used frequently during World War II. “The keeping qualities of this loaf are excellent,” writes Mrs. Duncan. “In fact, it is better when baked 4 to 6 weeks ahead of the holidays as it seems to ripen with age. This loaf packs well as it is firm and chock full of goodies. It doesn’t crumble easily. For home use, the loaf can be stored in a cool dry place in a metal can until used.”

Here’s her recipe for Date Loaf:

1 pound pitted dates
1 pound English walnuts
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 egg yolks, beaten
4 egg whites, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons brandy, wine or fruit juice

Shell and chop walnuts, chop dates and combine with flour. Beat egg yolks, add sugar, salt and baking powder. Add date mixture and nuts. Beat egg whites until stiff. Add to date mixture. Add vanilla and fruit juice or wine and blend. Bake in floured, greased small loaf pans in slow oven at 300 to 325 degrees for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (until nicely browned.) Makes 2 small loafs. Top of loaf may be decorated with walnut halves, candied cherries and pineapple pieces before baking.

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4 Responses to Vintage Date Loaf Recipe Clipping

Published 3 December, 2016 in 8:31 pm

Great recipe.I have the same one in my Ma’s recipe box.I also remember Jean McBride. She was on a local tv station here in mich many years ago.And also the local papers.Good to see that others remember this talented lady.Now you see one example of her before the Divas we see now.keep up the great work and everyone please try this loaf it is A One!

Holly Breadner
Published 18 December, 2016 in 6:31 pm

Been looking for this recipe for a long time.My grandpa made it for X-Mas, He started making them in Sept.First he wrapped with wax paper, tin foil then X-Mas paper, Thank You! Memories!

Margo Haynes
Published 12 November, 2018 in 7:44 pm

Thank you so very much for posting this! I am 81 & my grandmother used to make these cakes every Christmas, one for each of her 5 sons & 5 daughters. Two Christmases I got to help her before she died when I was 15, Mama’s recipe was in her head It was never written down, her mother before her made it. The last time I helped Mama make these was in 1948 when I was 11 years old. At that age I never thought to write down what I was helping her make. I remembered the pound of dates and chopped walnuts but could not recall how much flour and sugar. I remembered the oven temperature. The only difference I see is that mama baked baked hers in a greased & floured tube pan. she placed 2 layers of waxed paper over the top of the tube pan pressing the waxed paper down over the prongs on the top edges of the tube pan and secured the waxed paper with twine. She baked them at 325 degrees and she paced a pan of water beneath the tube pan. She began making them back in September. The cake was only about 2 1/2 to 3 inches high. it was so rich. She would wrap them in a brandy soaked cloth and place them in the round metal canisters with a lid that were about 3 inches high with Christmas scenes all over them. I really do not have time for them to ripen well before Christmas but I’m making one for my husband and I this week. I have searched for this recipe since I was 15 years old. You never know what this means to me! Wishing you and you family blessed holidays this year.

Published 5 January, 2019 in 9:50 pm

How much is 1 pound of SHELLED walnuts converted into Cups?

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