Orange Date Walnut Loaf - Egg less, Wholegrain and Low fat

A thicket of trees bordering the field on two sides runs into narrow path on the third side that descends and leads to a small river that is born out of a spring. We walked through dense forest, almost dark and cold and dotted with springs that form tiny rivulets that meander downhill to merge with the river. We touched the water, it was warm, fresh and pure - almost untouched as we were very close to the source. It was enchanting. The murmur of the river, the whisper of the breeze through the trees, the soothing silence occasionally broken by the song of the birds.

 A movement in the trunk of a tree caught our attention. It was a Chestnut Bellied Nuthatch that clambered up the moss laden thick trunk like a mouse.

 “Thak….thak….thak….” paused as we neared another tree. High up in the branches was a woodpecker with a beautiful red crown, chiseling the branches for wood-boring insects. This was all during our trip to a village last weekend.

This year is preparing to become history and a new year is about to be born. New hopes, dreams and aspirations begin to soar. Sometimes we measure success and weigh happiness by materialistic achievements. However, being alive, being healthy, being together and finding happiness in small things in today’s tumultuous times is a blessing.

Kids are busy collecting sticks, logs and dry twigs from the field for a bonfire tonight. A sweet aroma wafting through makes me run to the oven to check my cake. This is my last cake for this year- Orange Date Walnut Loaf - Egg less, Wholegrain and Low fat.

Orange Date Walnut Loaf- Egg less, Wholegrain, Low fat


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons unrefined cane sugar
  • 1 ¼  teaspoon baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • Juice and finely grated zest of two big oranges (about ½ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • ½ cup chopped dates
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.  Grease and line the bottom and sides of one 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch loaf pan.
  2. Toss chopped dates in some flour. Keep aside
  3. Whisk together first five ingredients in a large bowl. Keep aside.
  4. In another bowl mix oil, buttermilk, juice and zest of oranges and vanilla essence.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir till well combined. Do not over mix. Fold in walnuts and dates.
  6. Pour in the prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes or till the top turns golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. remove from the pan and cool in the rack. Slice next day.

My Notes: Add zest of one more orange to get a stronger orange flavour.
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  1. What beautiful woods and river- I feel like I was there too thanks to your lovely pictures and description! All the best for 2015 to you and your family, and I look forward to your next year's blog posts Saroj :)

  2. Thats a beautiful loaf and the clicks are nature at it best.Happy new year dear

  3. This year, Stevie-boy and I didn't get overly excited about "Christmas" and all of the paraphernalia that goes with it. We just celebrated a lovely simple meal and the day after there wasn't any of that Boxing Day let down that occurs when you have spent ages planning something and it is suddenly no more. I actually manged to stay up till midnight New Years Day and got to stand on the deck and usher in the new year under a canopy of stars with 2 bleary eyed dogs and Steve. I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people alive. Here's to a most magnificent 2015 for all of us Namita and this cake is a most glorious way to see out the old year and prepare for the new :)

  4. Hi Namita, I baked this orange loaf and it tastes yummmm. My house was filled with the orangey aroma of the cake ! The loaf looked good but when I try slicing it is breaking easily (but it is so soft and I keep going back for another slice!!) I used 1/2 APF and 11/2 wheat flour- could this be the reason?

    1. Hello Arthi, This loaf is very soft because of dates, buttermilk and orange juice. I sliced next day, still, the slices were breaking. If you notice, i've cut thick slices. Yes, you are right, higher proportion of whole wheat flour makes the loaf crumbly.

  5. Thankyou for sharing the recipe..tried it and really yummy to eat

  6. I would love to meet you someday Namita..
    and am sure i would never feel like we are meeting for the first time.. i love every post of yours.. absolutely every post.. i have never madea single one of them - not because they arent worth it but.. i read to keep in touch with my friend Namita.
    Btw, i plan on making this someday.. is it possible at all to sub jaggery for unrefined sugar..? i dislike the undertone of bitterness that it seems to leave behind..

    1. Hello Pratibha,
      So happy to hear from you. Yes, Pratibha, you may use the same quantity of jaggery. I would love to meet you too. Do come over to our hills.

  7. Hi namita,
    My son is vegan, so can I substitute some other ingredient for buttermilk.
    Thank you

    1. Hello, you may use the same quantity of plant based milk.Coconut milk or almond milk would be fine. Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (or the white vinegar). Hope this helps. Happy Baking!

  8. Hey Namita, we tried this recipe over the weekend and my god it was tastyyyyyy! just the right amount of sweetness.. I didnt have a fresh orange to add the cake - so ne zest ,but just used orange juice.. 2 days later its gone :) Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Hello Lavanya, your feed back made my day. So happy that you loved the cake. Love and good wishes!