Date nut muffins are a variation on classic date nut bread ~ these moist muffins are perfect with a cup of coffee or tea!
Date nut muffins are a handy variation on date nut bread, which originated in Great Britain (specifically Scotland) as a tea time treat. The first known recipe for date nut bread was published in 1939 and it has since become a traditional holiday bake (fittingly, December 22nd is National Date Nut Day.) The rich sticky dates and the toasty walnuts make these muffins perfect for a midwinter breakfast or afternoon tea break. Date nut recipes have gone somewhat out of fashion, but I’m determined to bring them back. If you’re looking for something a little different to bake, these muffins are my suggestion.
what you’ll need to make date nut muffins
This recipe yields a thin batter that you can make in one bowl. Using oil instead of butter makes a moister muffin.
- medjool dates
- slice them in half to easily remove the pit, and then chop to about the size of raisins.
- brown sugar
- vegetable oil
- baking soda, baking powder, salt
- vanilla extract
Medjool dates are plump and soft, even when dried. They have a sweet caramel-like flesh and are perfect for baking. These dates are so lush they’re often eaten, as is, like candy. Medjools are the most widely available dates, just look for them in the dried fruit section of your supermarket.
storage for date nut muffins
There is nothing better than a warm, freshly made date nut muffin, split open with a pat of butter. But no worries if that’s not possible…
Muffins will stay moist and fresh for a few days at room temperature. Cover them with foil or place them under a glass cake dome.
For longer storage you can freeze date nut muffins. Just wrap the completely cooled muffins in plastic and then foil.
tips for making date nut muffins
Chop your dates into pieces about the size of raisins. Walnuts should be fairly finely chopped so your muffins have an even texture.
Orange zest is a traditional flavoring for date nut bread, and can be added to these muffins as well.
Heat leftover muffins for 15-20 seconds in the microwave for that just out of the oven experience.
got leftover dates?
- Date Nut Bread
- Date Nut Overnight Oats
- use them in granolas
- they can be baked in quick breads or yeasted breads
- add them to muesli
- sweeten smoothies and flavored milks
Date Nut Muffins
- 6 ounces chopped pitted dates (about a heaped cup)
- 1 cup warm milk
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup golden brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup chopped walnuts, plus extra for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease muffin tins or line them with muffin papers.
- Combine the chopped dates with the warmed milk, baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir to break up the chopped dates, which will stick together. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the brown sugar and oil, breaking up any lumps of sugar. Whisk in the eggs.
- Add the milk and date mixture to the bowl and mix to combine well.
- Blend in the baking powder, and stir well. Then fold in the flour and walnuts. Fold until everything is evenly combined, but don't over mix your batter at this point.
- Use an ice cream scoop to fill your muffin cups fairly full. I get 10 muffins from this recipe. Top with an extra sprinkle of chopped walnuts, if you like.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until risen and golden brown. The tops of the muffins should spring back when lightly touched.
- The muffins can be enjoyed warm, or kept for a few days, well covered, at room temperature. Freeze for longer storage.
Questions and Reviews
Oh, what a great inspiration. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Sue, do you think the recipe would work if I swapped all- purpose flour for almond flour for example or any other nut flour. And would the other measurements stay the same? Thank you.
I don’t think it would have enough structure if you just use nut flour Haha, I would use a good gluten free baking mix to substitute for the flour for best results.
Thank you, Sue ?
I just made these muffins using flax meal to replace the wheat bran as I didn’t have that. I also used whole wheat flour, applesauce to replace the oil and raisins in place of the dates. I baked them for 20 minutes as I was concerned about the density but they came out great, light and moist. This will be my go too bran muffin….delicious! Thank you.
Glad they worked out so well!
Sent this recipe to my folks – knew they’d love it. Yep. They did!
i’ve only recently discovered the wonder that is the date, and i’ve really been enjoying them! my favorite use is in sweets, obviously, but these look terrific!
These were amazing, thanks for the recipe!