Bananas and Dates, a Delicious Mix

With a couple of perfectly ripe bananas on my counter, the baking pans called out to me once again.  There’s nothing like the smell of fresh banana bread wafting through your entire home. Or that of banana macadamia chocolate chunk cookies too!  But I also had an enormous supply of the most moist, sweet Medjool dates – due not only to my obsession with them, but also to a funny misunderstanding at the farmer’s market the other day.  I had attempted in German to buy a (small !) box from an Italian, who was speaking Swiss German back to me!  But that’s a whole other story!

Banana Date Cake

I couldn’t decide whether to make banana bread or to make one of my many recipes using those irresistible dates.  So… I didn’t.  And what resulted was a most delicious and tender banana date cake, which I will be making many more times in the future.

Banana Date CakeBanana Date Cake

Feel free to play with the recipe below, add chopped walnuts if you like, maybe a teaspoon of cinnamon too.  In general, I always prefer to use whole wheat flour when possible.  But white flour will work just fine here as well.  I made both a small loaf that I cut up in slices, as well as a pan of muffins, some topped with a little slice of banana.

Banana Date Cake

Banana Date Cake
Makes 2 small loaves or about 20 muffins

2/3 cup (150 grams) butter, softened
7/8 cup (150 grams) brown sugar, packed
4 eggs
1 2/3 cups (200 grams) whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 bananas, very ripe
About 10 (200 grams) Medjool dates, roughly chopped
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Peel the bananas and smash them with a fork, to obtain a smooth purée. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the sugar and whisk rapidly for one minute. Add the butter and cream together. Add the flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk until combined. Then add the banana purée and the dates in the end. (Do not use an electric mixer when adding the dates if you want a lot of chunks in your cake.)

Pour the batter into a loaf pan or muffin cups.  Add small pieces of banana and/or date on top for presentation.  Bake the loaf for 35 minutes and muffins for 25.  Let cool before removing from pans.

Banana Date Cake

18 Responses to “Bananas and Dates, a Delicious Mix”

  1. Romy says:

    Mmmm that sounds delicious… and so do the cookies! I think I will be getting myself some Medjools this week…

  2. Lani says:

    This banana bread/muffins sound so yummy I would love to have them with my coffee this morning. Of course, the whole wheat flour is alot healthier then white flour and I bet it makes it a bit sweeter too. I am surely going to pass along this recipe to a friend of mine that just loves banana loaves….

  3. jen laceda says:

    Your husband must be so lucky to get to taste these banana date loaf / cupcakes. Can you Fed Ex some to Toronto now? :)

  4. Sam says:

    That sounds delicious! Too bad I already ate my breakfast, or else I would whip up a batch this morning before my run…! I am definately passing this recipe on to a friend as well…. and I agree, Olivier is one lucky and well fed guy!

  5. Steve says:

    The shot of the muffin looked so delicious and moist, i wiped the screen on my computer. I’ll be after my wife for these for sure. I’ll even help!

  6. andrea says:

    Can you get American style soft brown sugar in CH? Or is it the “crunchy” kind? how do you bake with that? Does it leave the same taste and texture? Andrea

  7. Uncle Beefy says:

    I was whipping up some banana bread this weekend too, Kerrin! Great minds think alike! But mine didn’t take things up a notch the way your’s does! Mmmmm, dates and bananas! Never would have thought so glad that you did!

    Hope you’re still feelin’ “the love”! ;)

  8. Kerrin says:

    Andrea, excellent question about baking with brown sugar. I have to say, I only use the soft “packable” brown sugar we are both familiar with. I haven’t seen it here in Zürich yet, hence my heavy suitcases when coming back from NY! :) I’ll ask my friends who bake on both sides of the Atlantic and see what they have to say. If anyone else can offer some tips on the subject, jump in ! Thanks!

    Uncle Beefy – great minds do think alike ! Bet your banana bread was fantastic as well. And YES, still feelin’ the love – for you readers, check it out:
    http://thebedlamofbeefy.blogspot.com/2009/03/mykugelhopf.html

    Jen – uh, about that FedEx package to Toronto… um, we uh, kinda, well, already finished all the cake and muffins… sorry! ;)

  9. tanya says:

    re: American brown sugar (aka molasses sugar, not raw cane sugar) – you can order it from the expat grocery sites like http://www.tasteofamerica.ch/ or http://www.afoodave.ch (about 3sfr for 1 pound). You can also add 1-2 TB of molasses (“Melasse” available at healthfood stores like Reformhaus on Renweg – don’t get the stuff from Coop, it’s not real molasses) to 1 cup sugar and the result is exactly the same for baking (if you are baking, just add the molasses straight to your mix without mixing beforehand with the sugar). Brown sugar has a different acidity than regular sugar (molasses restores this chemical balance) which causes special reactions in your baking. If you use regular sugar, something will be slightly off (though I haven’t tested it extensively). Hope this helps.

    I think I’ll go back that banana date bread now – dates in any baked good make it magical.

  10. Kerrin says:

    Tanya, huge thanks for your excellent info here. Two great sites for American expats for sure. And just the expertise we were looking for on the sugar front. Perfect, that definitely helped. Enjoy the banana date cake . . . I see you and I are on the same page when it comes to dates! I eat a generous handful a day! And that’s not counting when they’re in my baked goods too! :) Enjoy !

  11. Stéphanie says:

    Je vais en faire, comme dirait Naïs “delishiooooooooooooous darling” :d

  12. Tammie says:

    I’ve never considered the use of dates! But I love the idea. So exotic for those of us living in the Midwest — and exotic is always good!

  13. Tammie says:

    P.S. your photography is fantastic and so very inviting.

    P.S.S. you ate it all, already! nothing for the freezer! Then you’ll have plenty of counter space for those chocolates from South Dakota.

  14. Archana says:

    how do you make the simplest of pictures and setting look so good! am drooling for the banana-date cake now,will try them this evening :D

  15. Jeni says:

    Love your camera :)

  16. Rosalie Lincoln says:

    Recipe sound delicious but what is whole wheat flour? I’m and aussie and we use plain flour or self raising flour for cooking. I’ll give it ago today using self raising flour and see how it turns out.

  17. Kerrin says:

    Rosalie, whole wheat flour is simply white flour with all the healthy stuff in it! It’s not refined like white flour is, so it keeps the entire grain. You could use white or whole wheat flour interchangeably without a problem, as with this recipe above. Note that self-raising flour has leavening in it, and thus can not replace the others as freely. So did you try? How did it go?

  18. El says:

    What can I say? Yum.

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