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Pear, Date and Walnut Loaf

This easy to make spiced Pear, Date and Walnut Loaf cake is made with fresh pears and studded with sweet dates and crunchy walnuts. It's perfect for serving as a snack or light dessert!

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Top view of Pear, Date and Walnut Loaf on wooden cutting board.

This Pear, Date and Walnut Loaf spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg is flavorful, tender and moist. It's only lightly sweetened with sugar as the dates add plenty of natural sweetness. The toasted walnuts add a nice crunch to the loaf but can be omitted if you prefer not to have nuts in your bread.

If you make this pear loaf cake you'll find it bakes up beautifully and when you take it out of the oven the smell is intoxicating!

If you would like to try a similar recipe that doesn't include pears, this recipe for a simple Date and Walnut Cake is just as delicious!

Bowl of three pears.

How to make it

One of my favourite things about quick breads is how easy they are to make. Though there is a bit of preparation involved with making this pear bread, none of it is too demanding and the batter can be easily mixed by hand.

Ingredients Overview:

  • Dried dates
  • Pears
  • All-purpose and whole wheat pastry flour. Or you can use only all-purpose flour.
  • Baking powder, baking soda and salt
  • Ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Use freshly grated nutmeg for the best flavor.
  • Bown sugar 
  • Light tasting oil. You can use canola, vegetable or even a light olive oil.
  • Eggs
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Walnuts. Can substitute pecans. You can also leave nuts out if allergies are a concern.

Steps Overview:

The dry dates in this recipe need to be softened before using in the recipe. To soften them, simply add the dates (and a touch of baking soda) to a small bowl and add half a cup of boiling hot water to the bowl. Let the dates sit for 15 to 30 minutes to soften.

While waiting for the dates to soften, you can combine the dry ingredients and set them aside. Then peel, core and grate the pears.

Once the dates are soft, combine the wet ingredients, the grated pears and the softened dates (with the water used to soak them). Now it's just a matter of combining the wet and dry ingredients together.

If you're adding walnuts to the loaf now is the time to add them in, give the batter a quick stir and pour it into a greased or lined loaf pan. It will take about 55 to 60 minutes to bake the loaf.

Sliced Pear, Date and Walnut Loaf cake on cutting board.

How to Serve

This Pear, Date and Walnut Loaf cake can be served slightly warm or at room temperature. I like to serve this loaf still warm with a bit of butter to spread on the slices and a hot cup of coffee or tea for a delicious treat.

How to Store

Store the bread in an airtight container for up to three days at room temperature. It can also be refrigerated for up to a week. 

You can also freeze this date and walnut loaf for up to three months. Wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in a freezer bag before freezing. Thaw the bread overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

If you love pears, this Pear and Blueberry Crumble is one of the most popular recipes on this site!


More Quick Breads

Top view of Pear, Date and Walnut Loaf on wooden cutting board.

Pear, Date and Walnut Loaf

This delicious and easy to make spiced Pear, Date and Walnut Loaf is studded with sweet dates and crunchy walnuts. Enjoy a slice for breakfast, as a snack or dessert!
4.60 from 10 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dessert/ snack
Cuisine Western
Servings 12
Calories 304 kcal


  • 1 cup dried dates pitted and chopped
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 medium sized pears, medium ripe peeled and grated
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup light tasting oil
  • 2 eggs large
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup walnuts toasted (see notes) and chopped


  • Place a rack in the middle section of your oven and preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the longest of two opposite sides (this will make it easy to lift the loaf out). Or butter and flour the pan.
  • Add 1/2 cup boiled water over the chopped dates. Add baking soda and let sit 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Peel and core the pears, then grate them. Set aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl, combine and whisk together the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • In a small bowl, beat sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Add the grated pears and the dates (along with their liquid) and stir until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stir the mixture until evenly incorporated and then add the chopped walnuts and mix in.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for approximately 55 to 60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • Place pan on rack for 10 minutes to cool before lifting loaf out of pan. Serve warm or cooled. Loaf can be kept at room temperature for a few days.


  1. Toasting the walnuts will add to the texture and the flavour of your loaf. You can toast walnuts in a 350ºF oven for about 10 minutes or until fragrant, let cool and chop coarsely.


Calories: 304kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 4gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 111mgPotassium: 253mgFiber: 4gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 50IUVitamin C: 1.4mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 1.5mg
Keyword Pear, Date and Walnut Loaf
Tried this recipe? Have any questions, comments or suggestions? Leave a comment below!Mention @sweetandsavourypursuits or tag #sweetandsavourypursuits!

This post wast originally published in September 2017. It has been updated. The recipe remains unchanged.Save

Recipe Rating

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Sunday 24th of October 2021

You didn’t mention when to add the baking powder or mix the flours in

Sweet and Savoury Pursuits

Sunday 24th of October 2021

Hello Cate,

Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I've now added those details to the instructions in the recipe card. Have a great day!


Sunday 11th of October 2020

A lovely moist cake but I would double the spices.

Sweet and Savoury Pursuits

Sunday 11th of October 2020

Thank you for letting me know what you thought of the loaf. I'm sorry you didn't feel the spices were strong enough. Luckily it's an easy fix if you decide to make the loaf again .


Saturday 3rd of October 2020

Such a beautiful and delicious loaf! I love the combo of Fall flavours.

Sweet and Savoury Pursuits

Monday 5th of October 2020

Thank you so much!


Thursday 23rd of July 2020

I've used sour cream in my loaf cakes. . The yummiest caramel icing on my banana cake. 60g. Butter, half cup brown sugar firmly packed, 2 tailspin sour cream, 1 1/2 cup icing sugar. Melt butter and sugar in pan stir over low heat 2 min. Do not boil. Add sour cream bring to boil. Remove from heat, stir in icing sugar till smooth.. pour over cooled cake. Try it.

Sweet and Savoury Pursuits

Thursday 23rd of July 2020

Sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing :)

Saturday 21st of October 2017

Sounds like a great recipe. I love quick breads. I made spiced pumpkin ricotta cookies with caramel icing this fall for my blog but, am in love with my neighbor's pumpkin choc chip bread.

Sweet and Savoury Pursuits

Monday 23rd of October 2017

Thank you!

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