Hi Guys, I had such rave reviews from the folks last week on my Cinnamon Swirl Quick Bread that I decided not to rest on my laurels but to forge ahead & make Pat Nixons Date Nut Bread. I don’t think I’ve made or had Date Nut Bread for years, maybe decades, but I came across a fun, retro recipe credited to Pat Nixon and couldn’t resist! making it.
Everyone loved Pat Nixons Date Nut Bread: my Dad and Stepmom, and much to my surprise so did I. I remember when I was a kid, I’d always avoid Date Nut Bread on the platters of various quick bread that showed up at each family gathering. It was straight for the Banana Bread or Pumpkin Bread for me. I guess I have more grown-up tastes now that I’m in my late 50’s, lol!
About Pat Nixons Date Nut Bread:
When I looked at the recipe, I thought, “Now, should I trust the wife of a man known the world over as “Tricky Dick?” I wasn’t completely sure, but I felt much better after realizing it was almost item by item the same recipe my Grandmother used. I guess it was extensively passed around. Ya gotta love those tried and true recipes. Sold.
This recipe was originally published in the Washington Post, Hints from Heloise, in 1961, and reprinted in 2010. It seems like there was an error in the amount of butter, so I was glad I had Grandma’s recipe to compare it with. I did include the changes in my recipe, below. I mean everything’s better with butter, right? Mo’ butter, mo’ better.
The recipe didn’t specify what kind of nuts to use in the bread. Typically, you’ll see walnuts, pecans or Brazilian nuts, or a mixture of them. Use whatever you’d like. Keep in mind that very hard nuts will not be quite as easy to chew as the nuts that are a bit softer. Almonds would be an example of one of the harder nuts. Peanuts, which aren’t really a nut, aren’t really complimentary to the dates.
Did you know that most quick bread is even better if tightly wrapped and refrigerated overnight? The texture improves and overall it just seems moister. It is a little bit counter-intuitive, but give it a try with any quick bread and see if you don’t agree. It was the case with Pat Nixons Date Nut bread. I mean we loved it the first day, and loved it even better the second. It was lucky there were two loaves or we might not have ever realized this; the first was pretty much demolished in hours.
My final conclusion after more than a few tastes? Tricky Dick might not have ever had my full confidence, but Pat is a different story! This bread is wonderful with absolutely nothing on it, even better schmeared with butter but for a real treat, try cream cheese or cream cheese with a little fruit in it. Apricot cream cheese is a beautiful thing with Pat Nixon’s Date Nut Bread.
Save time on Pat Nixons Date Nut Bread:
Like most of these old-fashioned recipes, Pat Nixons Date Nut Bread makes two loaves. I suppose the ordeal of baking was a lot more strenuous, and families were usually larger, so a baker would want to maximize their time. I love it because if I’m taking a loaf of Date Nut Bread somewhere, I have one to bring and one to keep, or if it’s for home, one for now and one to freeze for later. And quick bread freezes very well. Wrap them first in plastic, then tightly in foil. Unthaw overnight in the refrigerator. Thawing them slowly allows in the fridge for the moisture to distribute back throughout the loaf.
If you’d rather cut the recipe in half, don’t sweat the slight discrepancies in the measurements. Date Nut Bread is not so particular that you can’t just guesstimate the sugar and flour measurements.
Save Money on Pat Nixons Date Nut Bread:
I nearly forgot my shopping tips for Pat Nixons Date Nut Bread! Any dried fruits or nuts are at their low during the time period around the Christmas holidays. Stock up then! Since my store stopped doubling coupons, I don’t use them as much but I do tend to start to gather them or print online and use them around Thanksgiving and Christmas, or a few weeks before Easter. Both of those holidays are really the best times of the year to buy most baking goods and related items and that makes it a little more worthwhile to watch deals and coupons. The producers put out scads of coupons and the stores have great sales.
Both nuts and dried fruits are at their lowest prices during the fall/winter season. Keep the nuts in the freezer where they’ll stay fresh for ages. If the dried fruit is in flimsy packaging, put them in a heavy-duty freezer Ziploc. Aldi and Costco both have very good prices on nuts, too, all year round. Dried fruit seems to be pretty hit and miss at Aldi, but I do see it at Costco from time to time; it always seems to vary in availability there. And if you don’t have either of those options, take a peek around your store and see if the bulk items are a little less pricey.Print
Pat Nixon’s Date Nut Bread
An old-fashioned date nut bread, moist and flavorful.
- Yield: 2 loaves 1x
- Category: Breakfast or Brunch
- Cuisine: American
- 1 pound packaged dates
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 3/4 cups flour
- 1 cup chopped nuts
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Cut dates into small pieces and place in a bowl. Add baking soda to boiling water and pour over dates in bowl. Set aside and let mixture stand. You will be using BOTH the dates and the SOAKING WATER in the recipe. (DO NOT DISCARD WATER)
With a mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Add the egg. Strain the soaking water from the date mixture INTO the creamed butter, sugar, and egg mixture. (See note) Add flour and beat well. Add nuts, dates, and vanilla.
Pour mixture into 2 greased 8 x 4″ loaf pans. Bake for one hour in a 350 F oven.
Note on straining: If you have a strainer, just place it over the bowl after you’ve creamed the butter, sugar and egg mixture and let the liquid flow in while reserving the dates for the next step. If not, just hold the dates back with a spoon as you pour the soaking liquid in.
Makes 2 loaves and freezes beautifully
- Serving Size: 2 slices
- Calories: 235
- Sugar: 40g
- Sodium: 16mg
- Fat: 7g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Carbohydrates: 45g
- Fiber: 2g
- Protein: 2g
- Cholesterol: 17mg
Keywords: Bread, Breakfast or Brunch Dish, Dates, Dried Fruit, Fruit, Nuts and Seeds, Pat Nixon, Quick Bread, walnuts
I’ll be linking Pat Nixons Date Nut Bread to Angie’s Fiesta Friday – this is Number 132! Many of my fave bloggers hang out there every weekend and this week’s co-hosts are Sandhya @ Indfused and Nancy @ Feasting With Friends! It’s always a fun line up of bloggers and linkers.