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 (79)

lorryhawk's picture

yummy!! i too used more water with the dates and used the egg yolks too, left off the toppings and i turned the fan oven temp down to 150 when it looked like it was browning a bit too much on top. it took less than an hour. lovely moist cake.

princessroxyxx's picture

Baked for an hour at 160 and added twice as much rum. Turned out a gorgeous cake, v moist and moreish. Couldn't stop eating it!

jennysmith's picture

Made this according to the recipe, but found it too moist to cut into slices. The taste was delicious.

aliodp's picture

Hi there, I am planning to make this for a gluten intolerant vegan. Any ideas about what to substitute the egg whites for? Corn Starch?

cowanv's picture

Made this and it turned out perfectly. So delicious, everyone loved it. Will definately do this again.

eleanormayo's picture

We made this using walnuts instead of pecans and left out the rum. I was surprisingly impressed with the end result and would recommend it as a gluten free/low fat option.

unrulyjulie's picture

Could you use extra dates or some other type of fruit as I hate anything raisiny, curranty or sultana-y, or could you just omit the raisins & sultanas?

cshobbs's picture

Used semolina instead of polenta. Covered with greaseproof paper from the start but fruit was starting to burn. Tastes good.

mikaela285's picture

Really like this healthier alternative to a fatty sugar fest that I would normally head straight for when considering what cake to bake! Lovely blend with the dates and bananas, though I think the polenta makes it a little dry so I served mine with a nice big dollop of greek yoghurt (obliterating the fat free bonus of course but hey, it's probably better than butter!). Thanks!

emilia01's picture

Easy to make even without a food processor. Just cut everything in tiny pieces. Yummy! Thank you Jane!

ievasaule's picture

Well, this was lovely! I did alter it a fair but but still nice base recipe! I added much more water to it (total of 300 ml maybe) sop that the mix was quite flowing and I could pour it into the cake tin - maybe that's why it didn't turn out too dry as some posters have pointed out.

I also used sermolina, raisins and sultanas were replaced with mixed dried fruit (plus some rum soaked raisins). I put 3 egg whites and 1 yolk in.

It was wonderful, very moist and rich in taste, nice texture. Took it to work and it was cleared off within minutes.

laurenflincoln's picture

I made this without the topping and followed the amendments above. I also added the egg yolks as didn't want to waste them and the cake was delicious. It was lovely and moist and not too sweet. I went back for seconds! Would definately recommend - just keep an eye on it in the oven and if it looks to brown to soon turn down the heat.

karensps's picture

Just wondering what you could use instead of the rum?

zedzoom's picture

Very good - I've just had a slightly warm slice and it's delicious. I only just caught it in time before it got too browned - I gave it 50 minutes at 160 in the fan oven and it was getting a bit dark. I used fine oatmeal instead of polenta. It is a very easy cake and should be popular tomorrow with the grandchildren

aoifel5's picture

love this stated before! any ideas for converting it into a rich spicy carrot cake??

julietfood's picture

Good recipe. Nice to find something yummy and with no added fat or sugar. Mine was lovely and moist and packed full of fruit. Will be making again as a healthier alternative to pudding! Cooked at 160C in fan oven for 50 min.

aoifel5's picture

really enjoyed. i used wholemeal flour as opposed to polenta...worked perfect. such a healthy cake...pitty i couldnt stop eating it!!

skye38's picture

This really is delicious. Sadly I have discovered that it goes beautifully with a big hunk of mature cheddar...which kind of cancels out the fat-free benefit!!

roseanne's picture

I'm about to make my third loaf. The other two were eaten within a day. A lovely recipe which I have varied with different types of nut and fruits Apricots mixed with the dates are nice as is the addition of almonds. The cake is quite crumbly but we just cut thicker slices. I prefer to leave in the rum as this add to the flavour. The cake is a little like a Christmas pudding as was commented on before

cbabbs's picture

Fantastic! This is the first time I have cooked a Gluten Free cake and was a bit nervous as to how it was going to turn out. I read some of the comments and decided to cook this with semolina instead of polenta and it turned out fine. The cooking on 160C (fan oven) took a little longer than an hour but I only had Pecans on top and so no burning occurred. My partner loved this cake and he is a real fruit cake fan. I even had comments on the smell in the house before it had even got into the oven...


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