Brown Sugar Banana-Date Bread

March 26, 2015 (Last Updated: June 29, 2020)
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The ultimate quick bread, this Banana Date Bread features a sugary, crunchy brown sugar crust and plump, sweet, chopped dates within. This recipe breaths new life into tired, basic banana bread with simple but extraordinary flavor enhancements.

Banana date bread in a ceramic loaf pan

This banana date bread is perhaps the best banana bread I’ve ever made or had. I know that’s a pretty bold statement because most banana breads are essentially the same. In theory it’s really hard to set each one apart from the other. This particular variation is not only incredibly moist, it boasts sweet bites of delicious dates as well as a crispy, sugary crust on top. It’s like banana bread on steroids. Just so much MORE than what one expects from the classic loaf.

Banana date bread on a cooling rack

Using brown sugar in the batter yields an almost caramel sweetness which is a wonderful compliment to bananas. It just has more flavor! And then the dates really take this bread over the edge. They have such a distinct flavor, which shockingly is only heightened by their inclusion in this banana date bread. Chewy, decadent dates really put chopped nuts and chocolate chips to shame.

a stack of sliced banana date bread on a wooden board

A sprinkling of dark brown sugar over the top before baking creates an amazing caramelized crust. It offsets not only the moist texture of the banana date bread, but also provides an extra layer of sweetness to an otherwise mild breakfast treat. It’s incredible what a minor addition can do to improve upon a timeless favorite.

banana bread batter topped with dark brown sugar in a ceramic loaf pan

Banana bread is probably the most common quick bread in many people’s repertoires. That’s mainly because people always seem to have leftover too-ripe bananas that need to fulfill a purpose. I know that’s usually my reason for whipping up homemade banana bread. This banana date bread is so good that I encourage you to make it because you want to. Because it’s worth it. Not simply because you have browning bananas on your counter. It deserves your unconditional love.

a loaf of banana date bread with a few slices cut off on a wooden board

Other recipes you may like

overhead view of a loaf of banana bread in a ceramic loaf pan

What are your favorite quick bread recipes? Let me know in the comments below! And please don’t forget to rate this recipe and share on social media if you’ve enjoyed it. Thank you.

overhead view of a loaf of banana bread in a ceramic loaf pan

Brown Sugar Banana-Date Bread

The ultimate quick bread, this Banana Date Bread features a sugary, crunchy brown sugar crust and plump, sweet, chopped dates within. This recipe breaths new life into tired, basic banana bread with simple but extraordinary flavor enhancements.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 (9-inch) loaf
Calories 267 kcal


  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1 1/2 cups well-mashed very ripe bananas about 3 bananas
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar for sprinkling


  • Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray and if using a metal loaf pan line the bottom with parchment–no need to line with parchment if using stoneware.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, light brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and dates; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a fork. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, spreading it evenly. Sprinkle the dark brown sugar on top of the loaf. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes (or potentially longer–around 65 minutes if using stoneware), until the loaf is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool the bread in the loaf pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature. Wrapped in parchment or in an airtight container, the bread will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Notes & Nutrition

Adapted from The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook
Servings 10.0 * calories 267 * Total Fat 8 g * Saturated Fat 5 g * Monounsaturated Fat 2 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 56 mg * Sodium 79 mg * Potassium 151 mg * Total Carbohydrate 45 g * Dietary Fiber 1 g * Sugars 23 g * Protein 4 g
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*

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Brown sugar banana date bread sliced on a cutting board

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  • Reply
    Mary Kabakian
    February 7, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    5 stars
    Hands down the best banana bread recipe! The dates are such a wonderful addition πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Teo Ai Li
      March 25, 2020 at 4:57 am

      Can I replace yoghurt with same amount of buttermilk? Thanks

      • Reply
        March 25, 2020 at 10:09 am

        Hi Teo! You can usually substitute one of the other pretty easily in muffins and quick breads. I haven’t tried in this specific recipe but it should work based on other recipes I’ve tried with the same substitutions. Give it a try and let me know how it goes! Enjoy πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Lucy Reinbold
    February 7, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    5 stars
    This looks amazing!

    • Reply
      February 9, 2020 at 10:56 am

      Lucy, it IS amazing! I’m not overselling it. Truly my favorite banana bread recipe of all the banana breads I’ve made over the years πŸ™‚ It’s the only recipe I ever make now.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    5 stars
    This is the best BB recipe I’ve ever had. So good! I wish I had enough ingredients to make two loaves.

    • Reply
      April 28, 2020 at 7:42 pm

      It’s my absolute favorite banana bread recipe too! So glad you tried it πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    June 14, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    5 stars
    This bread is so delicious I gave it 5 stars even though I did have one issue with it. I found that because the dates are chopped you end up with exposed areas that are moist and therefore the flour seemed to stick and clump to those areas. Did anyone else find this? The flavour is over the top delicious and will definitely make again but next time I will add the dates after I have combined the wet and dry ingredients.

    • Reply
      June 14, 2020 at 12:29 pm

      Hi Joan,

      So glad you enjoyed this recipe! It’s a personal favorite of mine! You can definitely fold in the dates after adding the wet ingredients. Having the dates coated with extra flour (where it sticks to the dates a bit) won’t hurt your bread at all. In fact having flour coating the dates would help them not sink to the bottom of the bread as it bakes. In any case try it both ways and see what you think πŸ™‚

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