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Kahlua Date Nut Bread

Kahlua Date Nut Bread is the quick bread recipe you didn’t know you needed! The flavor of Kahlua is the perfect complement to sweet dates and chopped nuts, making a loaf worthy of holiday gifting.

Plate with two slices of date nut bread, with remaining bread in background

Perfectly Moist Kahlua Date Nut Bread

When you think holiday baking, you probably think cookies, but might I suggest mixing things up with some quick bread? It’s easy to get cookie’d out after several weeks of indulging, but quick bread is the kind of sweet that goes from breakfast to brunch, snack to dessert. I love making a big batch of this Kahlua Date Nut Bread for holiday gifts because it’s still festive, but a nice break from sugar cookies and peppermint.

Date nut bread is a popular variety of quick bread, but the Kahlua version takes it up a notch, with the Kahlua flavor coming though in each bite. The slices are quite solid and sturdy, with a satisfying amount of chewiness. It goes well with a cup of coffee, so if you’re gifting these loaves for the holidays, you might want to consider making gift baskets with a bag of coffee beans and a cute themed mug.

Overhead view of Kahlua Date Nut Bread ingredients

What You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need to pick up to make this recipe:

  • Dates
  • Kahlua – The Kahlua is what sets this recipe apart. I know some people don’t like using alcohol in baking and cooking, and if that’s true for you, I suggest making a traditional date nut loaf or my Hazelnut Date Bread rather than trying to adapt this recipe.
  • Warm water
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Brown sugar – You can use either light or dark brown sugar; dark has a richer, more molasses-y flavor.
  • Unsalted butter – The butter should be left on the countertop for about half an hour to soften.
  • Egg – Take the egg out of the fridge at the same time as the butter so it can come to room temperature, too.
  • Chopped nuts – Pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, or whatever you prefer or happen to have on hand!

How to Make Kahlua Date Nut Bread

Like most quick bread recipes, this one is fairly straightforward—and if you’re making it for the holidays, you’ll appreciate how easy it is compared to other holiday staples!

Prepare. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a standard 9×5-inch loaf pan with butter or nonstick spray.

Overhead view of Kahlua and dates in bowl

Soak the dates. Combine the dates, Kahlua, and water in a small bowl. Let the dates soak up the Kahlua while you work on the rest of the recipe.

Overhead view of dry ingredients in mixing bowl

Mix dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Cream the sugar, butter, and egg. In another mixing bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the brown sugar, butter, and egg until smooth and creamy.

Combine wet and dry ingredients. Reduce the mixer speed to low, then alternate between adding the flour mixture and date mixture to the bowl with the wet ingredients. You should begin and end with the flour mixture. Fold in the nuts.

Overhead view of bread batter in loaf pan before baking

Bake. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and let it stand for about 5 minutes, then place it in the oven. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the bread from the pan and return it to the wire rack to finish cooling.

Whole loaf of Kahlua date nut bread on round wire rack

Tips for Success

Here are some tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way for making this recipe.

  • Making different size loaves. If you’d like smaller loaves of bread, simply reduce the cooking time. Medium loaf pans will need to bake for 50 to 60 minutes, while small loaf pans will be done after 45 to 50 minutes.
  • About the dates. Dates can be pretty polarizing! If they’re not your cup of tea, use raisins instead. You can skip chopping them.
  • Easy upgrades. If you want to push this tasty treat over the top, spread a little cream cheese frosting on it. Even better, a little cream cheese frosting mixed with pecans. (You can use the recipe from my Italian Cream Cake.)
Sliced Kahlua date nut bread on round cooling rack

How to Store

Wrapped tightly in plastic, a loaf of date nut bread will last about 2 to 3 days at room temperature, or up to 5 days in the refrigerator. If you refrigerate it, I recommend letting it come to room temperature before serving.

Can This Recipe Be Frozen?

Like all quick breads, this recipe freezes well! Wrap it in plastic, then pop it in a freezer bag for maximum protection from freezer burn. Use the bread within 2 months; when you’re ready to eat it, you can place it on the countertop to thaw.

Kahlua date nut bread slices on plates

Kahlua Date Nut Bread

Yield 1 standard 9"x 5" loaf (10-12 servings)
Prep Time 19 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 29 minutes

This spin on classic date nut bread adds Kahlua for a festive touch!

Loaf of Kahlua Date Nut bread on round wire rack

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped, pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) Kahlua
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups (240g) sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (133g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup (90g) chopped nuts, such as pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a standard 9" x 5" loaf pan.
  2. Combine the dates, Kahlua, and water. Set aside and let stand. while you make the batter.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the brown sugar, butter, and egg until creamy.
  5. Reduce mixer speed to low. Alternate adding flour mixture and date mixture to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Stir in the nuts.
  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Let the batter stand in the pan for about 5 minutes.
  7. Bake 60-70 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Then transfer the bread from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

For medium loaf pans, bake 50 to 60 minutes. For small loaf pans, bake 45 to 50 minutes.

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    8 Comments on “Kahlua Date Nut Bread”

  1. No need to apologize for anything with Kahlua in it!

  2. Oooh, you had me at Kahlua. Those ubiquitous recipes usually get that way because they are really good, so no need to apologize. I, too, had trouble with the recipe link.

  3. I’ve never seen the kahlua version, so I don’t mind this recipe at all! Love dates, love making quick breads…awesome!
    Julie

  4. Thanks for the compliments, everyone!

  5. I have never baked with dates and this loaf seems like a good idea to start with, Jen!

  6. Quick breads are something I could eat every day! Date nut bread has always been a favorite & your suggestion of cream cheese with pecans spread on top is perfect for me!

  7. JEP, I love them, too. I don’t make them nearly as often as I would like. As for the cream cheese, it is indeed lovely, especially on warm bread.

  8. If you don’t have Kahlua, try mixing vodka or Ouzo (Absinthe or other anise cordial will work too) with a teaspoon of instant coffee. Ouzo will add a bit of anise flavor that might be delicious too. For diabetics, I use coconut or date sugar and Splenda can also be used. The posted sugar is not so much but every little bit counts for us. : )

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