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Quick and easy Date and Coffee loaves

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A lovely moist Date and Coffee loaves that tastes delicious on their own or spread with a little butter and served with a nice crumbly cheese.

Date and Coffee loaves
Try making more and freeze them

I made two of these quick and easy Date and Coffee loaves. Both were devoured immediately. So I made two more. One of which I decided to freeze for later. I don’t normally freeze cakes, but I hate waste and wanted to see if there is any change in taste and moisture after being in the freezer for a few weeks. I’ll report back later with the outcome.

Why use bicarbonate of soda with dates?

When I decided to make these loaves, I noticed that many date recipes use Bicarbonate of soda during the date cooking process. After a bit of research, I discovered that it helps to soften the date mixture. Thus avoiding tough skins. And it works.

Once I’d added the bicarb of soda, after simmering the dates and water, I left it to cool a little and the result was a lovely smooth mixture that incorporated quickly and easily into my cake batter.

This resulted in a really nice moist cake, with an even bake and spread of dates throughout the cake. There was very little aftertaste from the bicarbonate of soda.

Invest in baking tins and cake liners

Some of my favourite tins to use when making loaves are the 1lb loaf tins. I’ve had them a while. You can buy similar from Lakeland. I always line loaf tins with cake tin liners.  They make washing up so much easier. And they help keep the moisture in if kept in an airtight container.

How to serve a date or tea loaf.

Much like a tea loaf, you could eat this on its own. But being a yorkshire gal, I’d be tempted to spread a slice with butter and eat it with a good wedge of cheese. But that’s me.

This is a lovely alternative for an afternoon tea menu. But if dates are not to your liking, you might want to try this Yorkshire Tea loaf recipe.

Sliced Date and Coffee loaves

Date and Coffee loaves

A lovely moist cake that tastes delicious on its own or spread with a little butter and served with a nice crumbly cheese.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Afternoon Tea, Tea Time
Cuisine: British
Keyword: Date Coffee Loaf
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 - 9 slices
Calories: 438kcal
Author: Lynn Hill


  • 225 g Medjool dates pitted and roughly chopped
  • 250 ml freshly brewed coffee. Made either from instant or ground coffee
  • ½ teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 170 g unsalted butter softened
  • 170 g dark brown sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225 g self raising flour


  • Preheat the oven to 180deg fan assisted. Line 2 x 1lb loaf tins with baking parchment or cake liners
  • Place the chopped dates and coffee in a saucepan over a high heat and gently bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 5 mins to soften the dates and reduce the liquid. Stir occasionally. Remove from the heat and leave to one side to cool slightly.
  • Add the Bicarbonate of soda. It will fizz a little. Mix until well combined.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until well combined and lighter in colour. Scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go along.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, adding a little flour each time. Mix until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the remaining flour, vanilla extract and the cooled date mixture. Mix until well combined.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tins and bake for 35 – 40 mins or until baked, testing the centre of the loaves with a skewer until it comes out clean.


Will keep for a few days in an airtight container. If freezing, wrap individually in baking parchment and a freezer bag.


Calories: 438kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 280mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 660IU | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know how you got on. Tag me on Instagram at @clandestinecake and include hashtag #clandestinecake


  1. By how much should you reduce the date and coffee mixture? Should you aim for half of the original volume, for example?

    • Sara. If you are only reducing the volume of Date and Coffee mixture and not the rest of the recipe. Yes, you could reduce the Date and Coffee volume by half and see how it goes. I’ve only baked it using the quantity listed.

      • Thanks, but that’s not quite what I meant. The recipe says to simmer the dates and coffee to soften the dates and reduce the liquid. How much does the liquid need to reduce by?

        • Apologies Sara. I see what you mean. No. Not reduce by half. I’d say reduce by a quarter. You need some liquid for when you add the bicarb of soda. It fizzes and then softens the Dates further. You can then mash it a little bit more if you wish. Hope this explains things a little better. Thanks for the comment.

          • Thanks – I used the recipe before I saw your last comment and just timed the simmering for 5 mins and went with what was in the pan! I made individual muffin-sized cakes with mixture, baked for about 18 minutes, and they turned out beautifully! Drizzled them with melted dark chocolate to decorate, and they went sown a storm at a charity bake sale, will definitely be using this recipe again!

          • Hello Sara. Thanks for the update. I’m delighted to hear how they turned out and to know that the recipe works as cupcakes.

  2. Just made this and it’s yummy. I baked mine for only 30 minutes. Very easy to make.

    • Lynn Hill - Clandestine Cake

      Thanks for sharing your baking time Emma. It will be interesting to see how other peoples’ ovens fair with this recipe.

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