Coffee Can Date-Nut Bread

Photograph: Evan Sung

This clever and simple bread originates from Cookfight co-author Kim's mother, Ann. She would send this nut-studded, date-sweetened bread to her daughter every Thanksgiving when she was in college.

Reprinted with permission by Julia Moskin and Kim Severson. Copyright © 2013. Published by HarperCollins Publishers. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

Recipe Facts


Active: 15 mins
Total: 80 mins
Makes: 4 coffee can cakes

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  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour coffee cans.

  2. Mix the dates, boiling water, and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside to cool slightly.

  3. Mix together the sugar and eggs in a large bowl, then add the butter and vanilla and beat well. Sift the flour and salt together and add to the mixture, stirring just to combine. Gently mix in the dates and nuts, with their liquid, until just combined.

  4. Distribute the batter among the cans, filling them about halfway. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a rack.

  5. Remove from the cans, wrap in plastic wrap, and mail to friends.

Special equipment

4 clean 12-ounce coffee cans

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