Spiced Date Loaf with Toffee Sauce

  • 200g dates, pitted, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 80g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 180g self-raising flour, sifted
  • Vanilla ice cream, to serve
  • 6 medjool dates, halved, pitted


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly butter and line a deep, 24cm x 10cm loaf pan. Combine the dates, soda and 200ml boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Stand for 10 minutes, then whiz mixture in a food processor to a rough puree. Using electric beaters, cream butter, sugar, spices and zests for 5 minutes until thick and smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Gently fold in flour, followed by date mixture. Pour into pan and bake for 45 minutes or until firm and coming away from sides. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out pudding and cut into thick slabs. Top with ice cream, drizzle with sauce and serve with Medjool dates. Serve any extra sauce on the side. Serves 6.

Toffee sauce

  • 100g brown sugar
  • 200ml pure cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla paste
  • 40g unsalted butter


Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring.
Simmer for 2 minutes over medium heat until thickened and combined.