date, bran & ginger loaves

Oh my God – such wild weather in Auckland over night…and this morning! Rich is flying up from Wellington at 8:30am in gale force winds, yikes ๐Ÿ™ I can’t believe I won’t be at the airport to greet him, I feel like a totally useless mother for sending a cab, but I will be shooting a job for Dish in the morning light at the time his flight gets in. Sometimes working from home is a weird business – I’m ‘at home’ but that doesn’t mean I’m accessible, so fielding phone calls I probably shouldn’t answer as I’m in the middle of photography, or fitting in errands is part of the gig. I’m not complaining though – singing my heart out to Spandau Ballet as I work can also be part of the job, as is wearing a t-shirt and a pair of ripped-jean shorts! Anyhoo, enough of all that – Easter Friday tomorrow – and no, it’s not a chocolate recipe (just search ‘chocolate’ in the search section if you want one of those, there are plenty there), I thought you might be needing something to take away for a long weekend, or at least to have at home with a big pot of tea or strong coffee. These date, bran and ginger loaves are my favourite kind of wholseome-ish baking treat – loaded with bran, lovely and moist with sweet dates and spiced with ginger, all you need add is a smear of butter.

I’ll be missing Pog this Easter, we’ll be on Waiheke and he’ll be in Melbourne, but it will be such a treat to have Rich with us. Such new territory to negotiate with almost grown-up children…especially when as I type this I have pictures of 8 year old Henry and 6 year old Rich blue-tacked to the bottom of my computer screen (so high-tech). Sometimes I get a bit of a shock to see them, listen to their interesting and well-thought out opinions and hug their man-sized bodies, it’s a real reminder to appreciate my own parents, as I think to them sometimes I am still a snowy-white-haired 6 year old too.

Happy Easter, I hope you get to spend some time with the people you love!

1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup water
65g butter
1/2 cup golden syrup
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 cup bran flakes
1 tablespoon ground ginger

1/2 cup finely chopped crystallised ginger

Grease and line the bases of an 8 pan mini loaf tin – or I suspect this would also work for a 12-hole muffin tin, and preheat oven to 170หšC. ย Put the dates in a pot with the water, butter, syrup and sugar. heat, stirring until butter is melted. Add baking soda and leave to cool while you whisk flour, bran, and ginger in a large bowl. Add egg to butter and sugar mixture, whisk briefly then add to dry ingredients with the chopped ginger. (I got lazy and left some of my pieces a leetle too big…!) Mix together and spoon into prepared tin. Bake 30 minutes until the tops are just slightly risen. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin. Most excellent served with good coffee, strong tea and friends ๐Ÿ™‚ (If using a muffin tin, keep an eye on the muffins from 20 minutes as you will probably need to reduce the cooking time – apologies but I have not tested the recipe this way, but one lovely reader has advised that they took 22 minutes! )


  1. Yum! When you say bran flakes, do you mean the cereal or the light fluffy bran that's sort of the by-product of processing wheat /oats? Hope that's clear…

  2. These are delicious, and, like most muffins, very easy to make. I substituted a nondairy butter as my son is lactose intolerant. I assume the cup of water goes into the pot with the dates?? Thanks for a great recipe. My muffins baked in 22 minutes.

    1. Hi Vivian – yay, I'm so glad you enjoyed these as muffins – thanks for the heads-up on the cooking time, and I will include the water in the method straight away! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Just a thought, would this work as a loaf and if so, how long would it take to cook approx. thanks. Robyn.

    1. Hi Robyn,
      Yes it would work as a loaf, but as I haven’t made it that way I’m afraid I will be guessing a little with the timing…but I would say about 40-45 minutes should work. I’d love to hear if you give it a go! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Made these today, I used Maple Syrup instead of G Syrup as thatโ€™s what I had in the cupboard . I also left out the 1/2 cup sugar as my husband and I have reduced our taste for sweet things over the last couple of years and with the dates, these were as sweet as we want them and they were delicious, found it hard to stop at 2. I am so glad I found this site, it is my kinda cooking.

  5. Hi Rachel,

    Fantastic recipe. I used fresh and crystallised ginger with some citrus peel. Soooo good.
    I did not have bran flakes and used the cereal but doubled the amount.
    Used a silicon loaf pan, baked approximately 35-40 mins.
    Very moist and will definitely make again.
    Thank you for the recipe.

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