Date, banana & rum loaf

Date, banana & rum loaf

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(67 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 dates



    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 pecans, 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 raisins
  • 200g sultanas
  • 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 whites
  • 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, questions and tips

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kitchenmouse's picture
4th May, 2018
I have now made this on several occasions with success. Having first read all the previous comments I have made a few tweaks. Firstly I soaked the dried fruit in 5 tablespoons of dark rum overnight. I weighed out 140g of very ripe banana. With regards to the dates, I used Whitworths chopped dates (coated in rice flour) . Could this explain a total lack of fluid when cooking the dates in 200mls water. Next time I am going to use Sainsbury’s whole dates & chop them up myself. Having blitz the dates with the bananas, I added the egg yolks. The result was a moist, sticky cake mixture that smelt divine even before being baked! On top I sprinkled 1tsp of Demerara sugar having opted out on the banana chips but replaced with pecan nut halves. I baked for 55mins. Would definitely recommend as a gluten free recipe to add to my repitoire of recipes.
dave6376's picture
29th Nov, 2017
I have a sweet tooth but even so I found this a bit on the sweet side. It's much more like fruit cake than any loaf I've ever seen. If I make it again I certainly won't sprinkle any additional sugar over it and I won't waste money on banana chips which added nothing.
18th Feb, 2017
It simply didn't work. Followed it to the letter and was not cooked after the hour. 2 x further 10 mins didn't improve it at all. The skewer was still sticky and after final 10 mins it sank in middle. Very disappointed as we had gluten free guests.
missflops's picture
5th Dec, 2016
Have just popped this in the oven. I tweaked the recipe just a little. I used two small very ripe bananas and two whole eggs. Made it gluten free by using Doves Farm plain white gluten free flour and subbed walnuts for the pecans. Oh, and as I didn't have any rum, put Tia Maria in, instead. Smells delicious as it bakes.
2nd Nov, 2016
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!
5th Mar, 2016
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.
5th Sep, 2015
49g of sugar per serving seems a little excessive, I realise this is from all the fruit in the mixture, but still
2nd Jul, 2014
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.
21st May, 2014
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.
4th Feb, 2014
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!


12th Oct, 2016
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goodfoodteam's picture
31st Oct, 2016
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5th Sep, 2015
Could you substitute the dates for prunes in this recipe? Thanks!
26th Mar, 2014
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
11th Apr, 2014
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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