Cinnamon apple, date and nut loaf

Prep 15 Mins

Cooking 75 Mins

Serves 8

Let’s face it, tucking into anything baked is not exactly the nutritional equivalent of munching on a piece of lettuce. But there are ways to satisfy your baked goods craving by making slightly smarter choices when baking – using less sugar, using less fat, introducing more fibre and using nuts, seeds and fruit. We think of it as wholesome baking. And that’s exactly what we did when we devised this cinnamon apple, date and nut loaf. It’s wonderful just as is with a cuppa, and it’s a total knockout when served with a teeny sliver of seriously strong extra mature cheddar. The fresh apple in this makes it so incredibly moist, and the perfumed cinnamon notes herald the mellow days of autumn.

What you will need

  • 125g stick of salted butter, cut into blocks, at room temperature
  • ½ cup unrefined muscovado sugar
  • 2 extra large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup stone ground unsifted wholewheat flour
  • ¾ cup self raising flour
  • 2 tsp Natural Cinnamon
  • 100g packet of walnuts, chopped
  • 6 fresh dates, stoned and chopped
  • ½ cup peeled and grated Granny Smith apple
  • ¼ cup milk, plus 1-2 Tbsp extra
  • ¼ cup milk, plus 1-2 Tbsp extra


Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line the bottom of a small loaf tin with baking paper and spray the entire tin with non-stick cooking spray.

Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and use a handheld electric whisk to cream together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Whisk in the egss one ate a time. Add the flours and cinnamon and stir until just combined. Use your hands to squeeze the grated apple lightly to remove some of the juice. Add the apple, nuts, dates and quarter cup of milk to the mixture and stir to mix. The batter should easily drop from a spoon if you give it a very firm shake. So it will most probably be necessary to add just a touch more milk. Add just one tablespoon at first and test the batter. If need be, add a second tablespoon of milk.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Use the back of a spoon to smooth the mix and place it in the pre-heated oven. Check it after one hour by inserting a thin skewer. If it comes out clean it’s ready. Ovens differ though, so you may need to bake it for a further 10-15 minutes. Allow the loaf to cool slightly in the tin, then turn it out and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. If you slice the loaf immediately it will be quite crumbly. It settles down beautifully though once it has stood for four hours. This little loaf keeps brilliantly and will be utterly divine a few days after. Simply wrap it up in cling film to prevent it from drying out and keep it in the fridge. But it won’t last that long!

Recipe concept & photography by Lizet Hartley.

Lizet Hartley is a freelance stills and reel food stylist, food photographer and recipe developer. In her spare time she – rather predictably – cooks. Get more of her recipes on her blog at


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