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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4th Jan, 2012
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?
27th Sep, 2011
Used semolina instead of polenta. Covered with greaseproof paper from the start but fruit was starting to burn. Tastes good.
9th Aug, 2011
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!
17th Jul, 2011
Easy to make even without a food processor. Just cut everything in tiny pieces. Yummy! Thank you Jane!
18th Jun, 2011
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.
24th May, 2011
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.
18th May, 2011
Just wondering what you could use instead of the rum?
15th Apr, 2011
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
9th Mar, 2011
love this stated before! any ideas for converting it into a rich spicy carrot cake??
28th Feb, 2011
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.


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