These muffins are absolutely delicious. The combination of date and walnut results in a very moist muffin with great texture. They are easy to make and even easier to eat! A tried and true recipe that really delivers on flavour.
This recipe was given to me by my mother. She came across these muffins from a friend who has been baking them for years both as muffins or in a loaf tin. My family has tweaked the recipe slightly, adding a few more walnuts and topping them with a walnut and a slice of date which adds a nice decorative touch. I think you will love this recipe as much as my family do!
Why I love this recipe:
This recipe results in a beautifully moist and flavoursome muffin.
It is a very simple recipe to make. You only need a large mixing bowl and spoon. There is no need to soften or melt the butter either as when the boiling water is poured into the bowl, this melts the butter. So easy!
I love that you can choose to make this recipe in muffin tins or a loaf tin. The only difference is the baking times which I have given in the recipe.
The muffins or a slice of the loaf makes a lovely dessert too. Simply heat and serve with custard and/or ice cream.
Ingredients to make this recipe:
- Dates – dried dates, pitted and chopped. I just use normal dried dates and chop them into 4-6 pieces (no need to use Medjool dates).
- Brown Sugar – you could substitute with white sugar however the brown sugar gives a lovely depth of flavour to these muffins.
- Butter – cold butter, cubed. Salted or unsalted butter is fine.
- Boiling Water – when added it melts the butter which is a time saver.
- Baking Soda
- Vanilla Extract
- Self Raising Flour
- Walnuts – or pecans, chopped.
- Extra walnuts and dates for topping.
Step by Step Instructions:
- 1. The ingredients required to make this recipe (boiling water not pictured).
- 2. Firstly chop the dates into smaller pieces – I cut mine into quarters and larger ones into 6 pieces. Set aside.
- 3. Chop the walnuts into thirds or quarters. Set aside.
- 4. Combine the dates, sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl.
- 5. Pour the boiling water into the bowl and stir until the butter melts.
- 6 and 7. Stir in the baking soda, beaten egg and vanilla extract then add the flour and walnuts and gently stir again until everything is combined. You don’t want any flour pockets left in the batter.
- 8. Fill the greased muffin tins until 3/4 full. My mixture made 18 muffins, however you could make 12 and have them slightly bigger. Bake in a preheated 180 degrees Celsius oven for 10-15 minutes or until just baked.
- 9 and 10. Remove the muffin tray from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in the tray for 5 minutes before removing to a wire cooling rack to continue cooling. To remove them, I find running a small palette knife around each muffin and then gently easing them out.
- 11. Another option is to bake the mixture in a loaf tin at 180 degrees Celsius for 40-50 minutes or until cooked.
- 12. Rest in the loaf tin for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to continue to cool.
Tips and Tricks for Success:
This is a very easy recipe to make, however here are a few little tips to help you along the way.
Do ahead: the dates and walnuts can be chopped in advance and kept in an airtight container.
Make sure you boil your water just before adding to the butter so it is nice and hot. Stir the mixture well until all the butter has melted.
Using non-stick baking tins really helps when it comes to removing the muffins however it is also important to grease your tins well to avoid any sticking. You can use muffin cases if you prefer.
Allowing the muffins to cool in their trays for 5 minutes before removing them also helps. To remove them from the tins, I recommend running a small palette knife or similar around the edges of each muffin and then gently easing them out.
Make sure the self-raising flour you use is fresh and not out of date. If my flour is getting close to its use-by-date, I will sometimes add a 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder to this recipe.
- Large Mixing Bowl
- 1 or 2 12 hole Muffin trays (or a loaf pan)
- 250 g pitted dates (1.5 cups packed) chopped
- 200 g brown sugar (1 cup)
- 60 g butter chopped into small cubes
- 310 ml boiling water (1 1/4 cups)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 300 g self-raising flour (2 cups)
- 140 g walnuts (1 packed cup) coarsely chopped
- extra walnuts and dates for topping (decorate)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease 1 or 2 muffin trays with butter. If making this recipe in a loaf tin, grease and line the base with baking paper.
- Add the chopped dates, brown sugar and cubes of butter into a large mixing bowl. Pour in the boiling water and stir until butter melts. Stir in the baking soda, beaten egg and vanilla extract. Add the flour and chopped walnuts and stir gently until everything is combined and there are no flour pockets left in the batter. Spoon batter into muffin tins to 3/4 fill them. This mixture makes 18 muffins which I do in 2 batches, or you can use 2 trays. If making in a loaf tin, simply pour all the mixture into a loaf tin.I like to decorate each muffin by placing a whole or half walnut and a slice of date on top of them before baking.
To bake as muffins:
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. I also find pressing on the top of the muffin gently tells me if they are ready. Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in their tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack until cooled completely.
To bake in a Loaf tin:
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before turning the loaf out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- Muffins or Loaf keep well in an airtight container lined with baking paper for 4 to 5 days. Both freeze well too.