Walnut, date & honey cake

Walnut, date & honey cake

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(56 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr, 10 mins

Skill level



Cuts into 8-10 slices

A tea-time treat - packed with sweet honey. A great way to use up those ripe bananas too

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving for eight

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  • 225g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 175g softened butter
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 medium, ripe bananas, about 250g/9oz total weight in their skins
  • 100g stoned dates
  • 50g pack walnut pieces

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  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas 3/fan oven 140C. Line the base and long sides of a 900g/2lb loaf tin with greaseproof paper, buttering the tin and paper.
  2. Tip the flour, cinnamon, butter, sugar, 2 tablespoons of the honey and the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Mash the bananas and chop the dates (kitchen scissors are easiest for this) and add to the bowl. Beat the mixture for 2-3 minutes, using a wooden spoon or hand-held mixer, until well blended.
  3. Spoon into the prepared tin and level the top. Scatter the walnut pieces over. Bake for 1 hour, then lightly press the top – it will feel firm if cooked. If not, bake for a further 10 minutes.
  4. Cool for 15 minutes, then lift out of the tin using the paper. When cold, drizzle the remaining honey over. Cut into thick slices.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, February 2002

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ARankin's picture

I've been baking cakes for almost 20 years now and have probably used at least 50-100 cake recipes from this site alone. I've never really felt compelled to comment but today having baked this cake and read other comments, I've decided to add my two-pennies worth. This cake is lovely and moist and incredibly easy to do. If does cook properly in one hour if you RAISE the temperature to 180C or gas mark 4. Follow it to the letter and you'll be happy with the results ( assuming of course that your oven is calibrated correctly).

bijibags's picture

Fabulously scrumptious looking cake, utterly delicious too! Only had one banana but it was still great though would add the two next time for a little extra moisture. Thought this cake would need some cream as was expecting it to be dry but was pleasantly surprised as to its texture. Can't wait to make it again as definitely on my list of top 5 cakes I have ever made! 5+ stars!

jacqui1bones's picture

The cake tastes gorgeous I make my father a cake every week and was looking for a new recipe, is easy to make but does take longer to cook than stated about another 40-50 minutes I covered it with foil for the extra time. Will be making again. The honey I used has stem ginger in the jar. Take care with the bananas as the weight is with the skins on.

moremeat's picture

Made this the other day and followed the recipe to the letter. Like others it was nowhere near cooked after an hour, l loosely covered with foil to stop it burning and left it in the oven testing every 20 minutes. After 2 hours and 20 minutes it looked cooked so I removed from oven - it sank in the middle immediately. I think it has too much banana making the mix too wet. Complete waste of good ingredients. I shan't be making this again.

Salhasani's picture

Loved this recipe. I only used 160g of butter as all I had, and added 3tbs of milk based on other reviews and the cake was very spongy snd scrummy! I did add 1 tsp of baking powder, which I think is a must in any cake recipe. I baked at 160 (fan) for one hour, which was too long as it slightly over cooked, I think it really depends on your oven. Oh and I also used only one banana as all I had which seems like enough as taste has come through. Bake in a big rectangular Pyrex dish to ensure cooks through properly. Will def make again!

raihanmoi's picture
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Went down a treat! Especially popular with the weight watcher (aka mum). Made a few adjustments, as was suggested by previous commenters:

-Reduced sugar to 30g. The dates, bananas and honey compensated for the rest. If however, after baking it, you find that it's a little lacking it sweetness, you can always drizzle more honey on top of the cake.
-Used 75 g of dates and 25 g of raisins.
-Added 3 tablespoons of milk.
-Added 1/2 teaspoon of mixed spices.
-Added 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Good luck!

Yorkshire Jeff's picture
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Make one of these at least once or twice a month, soon as the word gets out my two daughters pop around for a brew.

Apteryx's picture

Lovely cake, although I did make some amendments based on other comments - I used 30g sugar and 100g butter, was perfectly sweet and moist enough due to the fruit content and honey. I used sultanas instead of dates as they were in the cupboard. I baked the loaf at 160C (fan) for 60 mins, then left loaf in turned off oven for 20 minutes. Was devoured by guests so must have been alright!

LuluT's picture
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This loaf is so delicious and easy to make. I added 1/2 tsp mixed spices for more taste, 1 tsp baking soda for a better rise and 3 tbsp milk for fluffiness. I pressed the walnuts onto the top of the cake and they stayed there after baking and slicing. I baked it at 180C for 1 hour and further 30 min at 160C. I think banana cakes always take longer to bake due to the banana consistency itself.

Cherry pie's picture
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Followed the recipe step by step. Took much longer than the time it was supposed to be cooked in. Too sweet. Not worth the wait, time and effort! Shan't be making this again.

Doris the dinner lady's picture
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Cooked this cake to the letter, left for a further 5 mins as suggested as a little springy on top.
Served it slightly warm with a dollop of Greek style yogurt as well as the honey. Delicious; looked exactly like the photograph. Much nicer than usual banana loaf I've made in the past. Put left over dates in a lamb tagine I was making that day.

Sashabel's picture

The first time I baked this cake I followed the instructions regarding oven temperature and it still wasn't cooked after 90 minutes (and my oven has a pretty accurate temperature setting).
The next time I cooked it I put it in a 175 degrees c. and it came out fine, although it took nearly 90 minutes yet again. I also added a little extra baking powder to the SR flour so the rise was really good.
Very pleased with the results the second time around and my family loved it.

denidax's picture

Very easy to make and so delicious!

feef23's picture

Took longer to bake but came out beatifully light and moist. Mmm!

SCD80's picture

I didn't have any dates so added more walnuts, I also used brown sugar instead of muscovado.....anyway, this cake was delicious and moist and I can't wait to make it again. I took it to a mother & baby group and only one tiny slice remained at the end if it. Highly recommended.

suhoha's picture

I made this today. Slight differences to recipe. Used pecan nuts and golden caster sugar. Gluten free self raising flour. Cooked it at 160 degrees in fan oven for 1 hour 10 mins. It has turned out really delicious

lellybelly54's picture

Delicious !! Easy to make, looked just like the picture. Gone in a flash!
About to make it again :)

qas5saq's picture
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Disastrous results! Like others, followed recipe to the tee, cooked for ages in the end, middle remained raw and gooey. Waste of time and money, will not try again.

cshobbs's picture
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Very easy, very tasty.
I used gluten free SR flour, added chopped almonds to the mix and decorated with walnut halves. It took a little longer to bake than 1 hour - but then I suppose it depends on oven type, amount of moisture in the bananas etc.

fbexon's picture
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My attempt at this cake turned out badly, ended up with unedible stodge. Wondering whether my bananas weren't ripe enough. May try again with very ripe bananas and see if it makes a difference.