Pecan Date Cake

This is my mom’s recipe, and she always made it for the holidays.  It’s one of my in-laws’ favorite things, so I usually make it more than once a year.  Now that we’re having a bumper crop of pecans, I don’t feel like I need to ration it so much.  I make regular loaf size, and small loaves for gifts.  The original recipe had candied pineapple in it, but I decided it was better with just lots of pecans, candied cherries, and dates.  OK it’s kind of a fruitcake, but we all hated fruitcake, so mom made this recipe without citron or liquor, and it’s awesome.

Pecan Date Cake

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 3-4 large loaves


  • 1 1/2 lbs dates, chopped
  • 1 l/2 lbs whole candied cherries*
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6-8 large eggs (I usually use 8)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 lbs pecan halves


  1. Grease loaf pans and you may want to use parchment in the bottom of the pans. I use aluminum loaf pans - 3 large and 2 small. I like the pliability of aluminum for the removal of the loaves.
  2. Use an extra large mixing bowl. Place dates and cherries in the bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In another bowl beat eggs until frothy, then add the sugar to them and mix well.
  5. Add the eggs and sugar to the flour and mix well. Pour over fruit in large bowl and mix well.
  6. Add the pecans, and at this point you may have to mix with your hands. It's messy and oh so worth it.
  7. Now spoon, spatula, or place handfuls into greased tins. This is my most unfavorite part, because it's so sticky!
  8. Bake 250° for 1 3/4 hours. If you wrap the loaves in heavy foil when they cool, you can store in fridge for 6 months.
  9. *There's no substitute for candied cherries. They are typically only available in grocery stores during the holidays.