Date, banana & rum loaf

Date, banana & rum loaf

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(55 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 1 hr

More effort

Cuts into 10 slices
A tasty cake with no added fat or sugar - try it to believe it. Plus it's easily made gluten-free

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal310
  • fat8g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs57g
  • sugars49g
  • fibre3g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.39g
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  • 250g pack stoned, ready-to-eat date



    Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits - it's thought that they were a staple part of…

  • 2 small or 1 large banana (140g/5oz in weight)



    Probably the best known, most popular tropical fruit, their name probably derives from the…

  • 100g pecan, 85g/3oz roughly chopped, rest left whole
    Pecan nuts



    Related to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…

  • 200g raisin
  • 200g sultana
  • 100g fine polenta



    An Italian storecupboard staple, polenta has its roots in the peasant cuisine of northern Italy…

  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp baking powder (use gluten-free if needed)
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 3 tbsp dark rum
  • 2 egg white
  • a few banana chips and 1 tsp sugar (optional), to decorate



    Probably the best known, most popular tropical fruit, their name probably derives from the…


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line a 900g/2lb loaf tin with non-stick baking paper, using a little oil to make it stick. Put the dates into a small pan with 200ml boiling water and simmer for 5 mins. Drain the liquid into a jug, then put the dates into a food processor. Add the bananas and 100ml of the date liquid and whizz until smooth. Mix the nuts, dried fruit, polenta, spice and baking powder in a bowl, then add the date purée and rum, and stir until combined.

  2. Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks and fold into the cake mix. Tip into the tin (it will be quite full), then top with the remaining pecans and the banana chips and sugar, if using. Bake for 1 hr until golden and crusty and a skewer comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting into slices.

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Comments (80)

sarahleetes's picture

Excellent cake! More like an alternative to fruit cake than the banana loaf I normally make! I used 3 small bananas as I think it needed the extra moisture and just nutmeg as we don't like the cinnamon in mixed spice as a family! Also used ground almonds as family not a lover of nuts! Dried egg white powder made up according to packet instructions as I did not have enough fresh eggs! tasted yummy, more like a tea loaf! Just spread with butter and great for afternoon tea or with a cup of coffee!

misslongbody's picture

Very very good, made a few changes (can't help myself) and it was DELICIOUS. I used self raising flour in place of the semolina (no problem with gluten in our house) and used walnuts instead of pecans, whisky instead of rum (half quantity) which I put on the dried fruit whilst getting everything ready, used whole eggs not just whites and left off the crunchy topping. Used allspice instead of mixed spice (is this the same thing?) with a bit of cinnamon. I also found that the dates (which are the key to this recipe for me) used all the water when cooking so I didn't need to discard any. I cooked this a lower temp, for longer than stated as others suggested. Be warned it is very moreish if Christmas fruit cake/pudding is your thing. It is definitely sweet enough unless you have a very sweet tooth in which case put the topping on but really less is more.

bananacity's picture

49g of sugar per serving seems a little excessive, I realise this is from all the fruit in the mixture, but still

kaog210683's picture

This was really really good. Delicious served warm with custard. I used 2 whole eggs so I didn't waste the yolks and turned out fine. Also, I used Amaretto instead of rum as that was what I had. My father-in-law who is coeliac thought this was great. Would definitely make again.

kt_nizette's picture

I soaked the fruit overnight in the rum!!! Fantastic cake that we all loved, although I'd omit the toppings next time round as the banana pieces didn't do anything for the cake for my family.

cshobbs's picture

I was more careful this time as I was making it for a coeliac rather than just a good way to use up ripe bananas. My semolina was NOT gluten-free so I used (fine) polenta this time. I used a mixture of pecans and walnuts as that was what was in the cupboard, and didn't top with fruit - just nuts. It didn't slice very well - perhaps it would be better to chop up the nuts into smaller pieces. Tasted just as good as before!

ujs2010's picture

what a fab cake!!! if you can leave it for a couple of days- which is not easy!!!- it develops the flavours and tastes even better!!

mozzarella-pearl's picture

This is a phenomenal loaf/cake. I omitted the Rum as I didn’t have any in the house, but it was still spectacular, and have made it a few times with added fresh grated ginger and some cinnamon – it’s good!
I have since made this for 3 different celiac friends all of whom think I am a genius and have asked for the recipe!

dorothyd's picture

Truly a wonderful cake. I used Gluten free flour and it worked great. Also like other comments, I used more rum to soak the fruit. OH thought this was one of my better cakes and couldn't believe that it contained, no fat or sugar. Will be making this on a regular basis in future

2rachel6's picture

I used cornflour, as I couldn't find polenta. Mine took an hour and 15mins in the oven (fan 160c), probably because of the change in ingredient, but it was worth the wait. I filled part of the loaf with chocolate chunks for my cousin who doesn't like raisins and isn't bothered about the extra fat and both parts were delicious. For a 'healthy' cake it was packed with flavour and had a nice moistness to it, like a heavy fruit & nut cake. Yum!

andymate's picture

I just made this and it came out fantastic. Used three egg whites instead of two and used mixed fruit instead of just raisins and sultanas. Baked in a fan oven at 160 not 180, for one hour as some other reviewers suggested. Prep time took me one hour (i'm a cake novice) and the inclusion of egg whites made it quite hard in my mind. It turned out amazing though- my other half couldn't get enough and broke her diet numerous times to eat! Oh, and I used Ron Zacappa premium rum. Mmmmmmmmm.

dyzfunktional's picture

I loved this loaf cake, followed the recipe exactly but used walnuts instead of pecans. Checked after 40 mins and noticed (in a normal gas oven toward top) and it was browning slightly so covered with foil for last 20 minutes. Came out great, moist and not crumbly at all. I used fine cornmeal (polenta) which was gluten free. Was the only fine polenta I could find (asda) didn't taste grainy at all for me. Definitely similar to Christmas pudding. My 3 and 5 year olds enjoyed a little bit too. Probably wont last long!

lisaann612's picture

NOT GLUTEN FREE! Be careful with this one. I made it for my brother as he is wheat and gluten intolerant. After I had made it I just happened to check the polenta packet and it said it contained gluten. Thankfully I noticed before my brother ate any. I think this recipe could still be successful without the polenta as it really did not seem to do anything except add a horrible grainy texture to the cake. Tasted ok, but definately not my favourite.

the_wurst_is_yet_to_come's picture

Well, to be fair, the recipe says "is easily *made* gluten-free", not "is gluten-free". Of course it won't be unless you make the necessary changes. When you see a lasagna recipe that says "may substitute vegetables for meat", would you post "NOT VEGAN!"?

sllyst's picture

REALLY impressed with this cake! I bake a lot and was really dubious about a cake with no butter and sugar but it's lovely. It only took 50 mins and i put a layer of foil over for the last 20 mins to prevent burning. It's like a cross between malt loaf and christmas cake, will definitely be making this again!

littlecooks's picture

I feel bad about saying I don't like this cake because all those lovely ingredients I thought the outcome would have been delicious, unfortunately this didnt go well for me. I'm still in search of the perfect banana loaf

betty27's picture

Sophie Dahl does a lovely banana recipe - can't remember if it's a loaf or cake, but I too have struggled to find one I enjoyed as much as that!

salamandahk's picture

For the banana quantity, is it about 140 grams once it/they are peeled?
Also I'd love to try using polenta, but I can't find any labelled "fine" the packet I've got looks pretty chunky... more like breadcrumbs than flour. Any advice? Is that description right or should I go with flour instead?

nadiajohnson84's picture

Great moist cake, you can't tell it is polenta rather than flour. I didn't use the toppings on the cake but apart from that followed the recipe word for word and it tuned out very tasty!


Questions (5)

Smags44's picture

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last edited: 15:35, 31st Oct, 2016
cherub-rock25's picture

Could you substitute the dates for prunes in this recipe?


newbaker18's picture

will this turn out okay without the egg whites? and I see someone else has asked about diabetics - is it okay for diabetics? (re-fruit sugar). thanks! :-)

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there. You need to add the egg whites for the recipe to work. It does have no added sugar just sugar from the fruit.

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