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 (81)

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...

skippybartlett's picture

Soak your raisins and sultanas in the rum for a great flavour and a more intense kick!

ebellis's picture

Just made this, but with Disoronno instead of dark rum. I cooked it at 160 for 50 mins in a fan oven and it has come out very well.
It also tastes delicious!

mgrey1988's picture

Amazing! And totally guilt-free. I ommited rum and the topping, baked it for 50 minutes and left to cool in the oven. Great for breakfast. I will definitely make it again.

alicla's picture

I made this today because I wanted a new Gluten free recipe, I baked it as a tray bake, it made 12 generous slices and it tastes lovely. I baked it at 155c in my combi microwave oven for 30 minutes. I didn't put any of the topping on except a pecan half for each slice. Yum I'll be making this again very soon.

ninarose's picture

One of my aboslute favourites! So easy to make, still tastes great after a few days and can easily be frozen.

Will try the oatmeal version next time as my local supermarket only does ready made polenta.

skye38's picture

I found this recipe extremely easy and the resulting cake utterly delicious. I will definately make this again.

homemadesoup's picture

Not bad for a low fat cake. Doesn't cut that well, a bit crumbly. Lovely and sweet though. Other cooks comments helpful with improving the recipe.

juliebahrain's picture

Couldn't wait to make this cake as so much had been written about it. What a lot of whizzing, mixing and whisking and what a lot of washing up! I took the opportunity to use up various packets of dried fruit: lots of sultanas, some dried prunes and even some Craisins (dried cranberries), I used flakes almonds both inside and on the top of the cake and I used orange juice instead of rum. My cake cooked fine but took at least 15mins longer than the recipe stated. The outcome is a moist, crumbly cake which is rather sweet, perhaps if I had used pecans or walnuts it might be less sweet.

clairegerrard's picture

I finally made a date cake that wasn't date, honey and walnut and I must say this is about to become another favourite. I made quite a few compromises, mixed dried fruit instead of sultanas and raisins, walnuts instead of peacans and mocha spirit instead of rum. Oh and flour! I didn't top the cake with anything.
I must say it was delicious. Making it again tomorrow for when my parents come to stay.

spownall's picture

As wheat intolerant it is always good to give a cake recipe a try. I've done this one a few times and found it easy to make.

sspink's picture

Love this cake. Couldn't get polenta so used ground rice. Used brandy instead of rum.

homemaker's picture

I am a complete novice baker but the appealing photo on the front of good food magazine encouraged me to try this recipe. I followed the instructions to a T and am pleased to advise that it was a complete success. I will certainly be using this recipe again. I note that someone else has commented that this is a low GI recipe and I was amazed that the cake tasted so sweet, but can someone advise whether it is suitable for diabetics. Presumably the high level of fructose from the dried fruit means that it isn't ?

smpdit's picture

quite a nice cake. except I have decided I don't like cakes with nuts in. Would make it again without the nuts. didn't bother with the toppings
Very similar to the allbran cake!

rackeech's picture

Used 2 one pound loaf tins. This reduced the cooking time to 45 minutes. I didn't use the banana chips. I loosely put a baking parchment on top of the tins after 30 minutes. Froze on loaf/defrost it in the fridge overnight. Perfect taste and texture for both. Next time I will try to cook it in a muffin tray. This will make a healthy school snack.

wendy2997's picture

My fiancé and I really enjoyed this - and we aren't fruitcake lovers by any means. I used apricots and cranberries instead of the sultanas. It was moist and so tasty, I look forward to making it again. I will try substituting ground flax instead of the egg whites.

richardandkerry's picture

Great cake, easy to make and enjoyed by everyone, including my two year old daughter !

maziminor's picture

I cooked this recipe for my sister and used cherries in place of raisins. Tasted great, i also read katy's comments and also cooked it at the same temprature as a victoria spounge and reduced the time to 50 mins. The family loved it i'll cook this recipe again and have added it to my binded its great A++++++ Maziminor.


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