date-spice-loaf Recipes

date spice loaf

Shh, the baby is sleeping.

First of all, thank you so much for so warmly welcoming little Jacob to the Smitten Kitchen! Such love! I must officially be a mom because I have read all 2,500-plus comments, twice, and it turns out that hearing how objectively cute your newborn son is doesn’t ever get old.

And he is, that is, insanely cute. Did I mention that he punches his left fist in the air in his sleep? That he has so much hair, we had to buy him a little baby comb and brush set? Gah, do not even get me started.

top of the rock

So, while we’re catching up and stuff, it seems worth mentioning — you know, now, after the fact — that we were given a week’s notice that they wanted to induce little Jacob, just to play it safe. A whole week! So much time! I asked people what they would do if they knew they were having a baby, say, the very next day and I used everyone’s suggestions as an activity schedule of sorts for our last week before becoming parents. I got a manicure, pedicure and a haircut. We went out for long, luxurious meals, watched movies, finally got to Top of the Rock, came home and nearly sent myself into labor and delivery days early cracking up over Bill Cosby: Himself (this should so be a must-watch for all almost-parents) especially the part where he wants to give the baby back because it looks like a lizard that needs at least another two, three months to cook but the hospital makes them take it home. Right so, where was I? Basically, we did so much lazy, indulgent stuff that I was bored of all of that indulgence and ready to get on with it by the time his eviction date rolled around.

datesorange zestmisepecans

spice batterready to bake

I also baked and baked and baked, things like those snickerdoodles I sneakily autoposted to trick y’all into thinking that I was not, say, in the midst of 51 hours of labor (your spoiler was sporadically right here, by the way). They were a hit, by the way, as were the cheesecake-marbled brownies; I had no idea they’d go over that well, not that any of that was neccessary given the ridiculously awesome nurses I saw. Heck, the only thing I didn’t think of was — whoops! — how many shifts I might need to bribe in a week’s* hospital stay. My sister swooped in with some zucchini muffins, however, and I don’t think I had to ask twice for anything all week.

date spice loaf

Also, there was this date spice loaf. You see, as part of Baby Prep Week, we determined it essential that we clear out our DVR queue to make room for all of those new shows we’d surely miss first runs of in the coming weeks, and what was in my queue? Lots and lots of Barefoot Contessa. She made this cake. I made this cake. Heck, I even wrapped it up and brought it to the hospital with me (oh, how sweet my room smelled) thinking that at some point, they’d give me a tray of something involving Jell-O, and I’d much rather we all feast on this. Can’t say it worked out that way (four days without anything but clear liquids, my friends, but as good of a cause as any, right?) but this is still a fine, fine cake, so deliciously fall and I bet a perfect addition to any High Holiday meal.

You know, should you not be subsisting on infant feet instead.

* When you combine the longest induction ever and recovery from an emergency section. I feel awesome, by the way; a zillion times better than I’d have expected all things considered. Must be that yummy morphine they put in my drip!

One year ago: Bread Without a Timetable, Black and White Cookies, Summer Panzanella, Balsamic-Glazed Sweet and Sour Cipollini and Majestic and Moist Honey Cake
Two years ago: Cream Cheese Noodle Kugel, Spaghetti with Chorizo and Almonds and Couscous and Feta Stuffed Peppers
Three years ago: Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake and Fougasse and Rustic White Breads

Date Spice Loaf
Adapted, barely, from Ina Garten

2 cups coarsely chopped dates (10 ounces or 285 grams pitted)
1/3 cup orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Triple Sec
4 tablespoons (2 ounces or 55 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (145 grams) light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange zest (2 oranges)
2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3 oranges)
3/4 cup (3 ounces or 85 grams) coarsely chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom of an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pan.

Combine the dates and orange liqueur in a small bowl and set aside for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium speed for one minute. Scrape down the bowl. With the mixer on low, add the egg, vanilla, and orange zest. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. With the mixer still on low, add the flour mixture alternately with the orange juice to the creamed mixture, beating only until combined. By hand, stir in the dates with their liquid, and the pecans.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Serving: Ina suggests you serve this bread with an orange cream cheese spread, which you can make by creaming 6 ounces of room temperature cream cheese with 1/3 cup sugar and one tablespoon orange zest in an electric mixer until just combined.

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315 comments on date spice loaf

  1. I know I don’t know you personally of course, but I’m so happy to hear about your good news and that you have a healthy, sweet boy. I’m glad that everything went well and that baby and mom are okay. I have to say – he is one of the most beautiful babies I’ve seen yet. I hope our little boy (we just found out we’re having a boy too) is half as cute!

  2. Rebecca

    I caught that spoiler in the snickerdoodle post! Congrats on your beautiful new baby boy… he really is gorgeous. I have showed my mum and sister and my husband the pictures, just because he is so cute! I am due in January and hope that my baby will be nearly as cute — is it totally weird that I am stressed about having a funny-looking baby? (Although I know that he/she will be beautiful to me, regardless.)

  3. Thank you for sharing your experience, I am due in the next coming weeks and like you have been cooking and preparing just for the hospital nurses..how could we not right! I’m very happy to hear you feel great, I just hope I feel just as good as you do and hope to bounce back quickly. I am dead scared of this whole delivery process!

    Love Ina Garten and love this cake recipe! Well I actually love anything with dates!

    Masallah..your son is incredibly cute..As we say may Allah uzun omerler versin.

  4. Melanie

    He is precious. I love the little skinny legs. You are going to have to fatten that sweet thing up:) Congrats to you and enjoy every minute of it. Everyone will say that it goes fast and when you are in the day to day, you sometimes will feel like it doesn’t. Believe me when I say… it does. I have a 15 yr. old son watching football right now. I blinked and here we are.

  5. carol

    huge congrats to you and your family. after having 3 kids myself, I still get all “butterflies in my stomach” for new babes. what an exciting time in your life.

  6. Oh, such a sweet little thing. I missed the spoiler, but this date spice loaf looks yum! Now if only I knew where to find dates in Texas. (Actually, that was a terrible pun because I’m single. :D)

  7. Mamacita

    Just wanted to say congrats to you and to tell you that the cutest baby picture I have ever seen is the one of Jacob’s cinnamon swirl hair!

  8. WOW – I just want to dip that leg in my coffee! Do you find that even when he’s sleeping you can’t do anything but sit and stare at him, lest you miss something? Wow. Now I miss my baby boy.. who is now 55 pounds and displacing ALL the water from the bathtub..

  9. jennifer

    Love dates and would love to try this loaf. Thanks for the background on the baby story. I love a good baby story. It’s always good to hear the positive side of labor and delivery – even if it wasn’t perfect. I had four such deliveries and enjoyed every one. Sooooo envious of your little Jacob. His is a cutie.

  10. Kelly

    Congrats again on your beautiful baby boy, he is definatley a keeper!! Look at those adorable little feet <3. I wish you and daddy all the best. Oh and the loaf looks good too :)

  11. Amy

    Welcome back! I’m glad that the bakery was such a hit- if/when I deliver, I think I’ll try that. :o) Thanks for sharing your news with us, btw. (And I love the pic of the city!)

  12. Whew, a long induction, plus C-section? sounds like quite the story. I’m so glad you all are home safe and sound.

    Do take it easy, no matter how good you may be feeling.It starts catching up to you after abut 2 weeks!

    Precious baby feet!

  13. Kyla

    Glad to here you and baby are healthy and thanks for another post! I have to agree that while the loaf looks amazing those feet are adorable! Enjoy (both) :)

  14. My mother used to make a date-spice loaf, and I loved it very much. She used a cream cheese spread too, (but yours with the hint of orange sounds much more interesting, and I shall try it). When we were little girls, my sister and I would make little ‘sandwiches’ with the bread and cream cheese. This post brings back lovely memories of that time. And since she just had her first child, (baby boy), in August… this brings it all full circle. Congratulations again Deb. Your babe truly is a handsome young man.
    -Michaela

  15. I am SO GLAD you a) have such good friends who told you exactly the right things to do pre-baby and b) that you were smart enough to do them all! Yay you!
    Feeling your 51 hours. Glad the hormones (and morphine, whatever) are kicking in to give you the new mommy cheer. (One friend used to call nursing “getting hit with the bliss stick” due to the oxytocin release, too.) Hang in there, DO sleep when you can (prevent a crashing comedown), and enjoy enjoy enjoy that stunningly adorable baby boy!
    Oh, yeah, the bread. That looks really good too. :)

  16. Lindsay

    I didn’t comment on the last post because I thought it would be buried under the hundreds… Congratulations!!! SOOOOOO very very adorable! And scrumptious. And delicious. It looks like you baked up a total masterpiece! A little helper in the kitchen… a little maker of more messes in the kitchen… a little taster of your future creations… lucky baby. Congrats again! :)

  17. Giovani

    Welcome back to your own blog! I’m very glad you’re all out of the hospital and back home safe and sound. I avoided posting in the last entry thinking my comment would get lost in the masses. You are truly amazing reading all of those! I assume there’s little else to do while recovering. Little Jacob Henry is too adorable for words, great name too.

    On another note, I made roasted pineapple salsa and chess pie from this month’s Gourmet, not sure if that’s your style but it was a great combination.

  18. Amy

    Can I just tell you how amazingly on top of things you are to have a post up ALREADY. Gads! You are making the rest of us look bad. BtW: Love the baby toes and legs. So yummy!

  19. Caroline

    Your son is absolutely adorable! I’m 15 and I would completely offer to babysit him, but that’s a tad creepy because I don’t know you and I also don’t know where you live, so that would be difficult anyway. But, good luck with your first baby, enjoy it and rest!

  20. I know you know this, because you said you did, but he looks like the sweetest, most adorable little guy. Congratulations to all of you on a job well done. As for the recipe, I am a sucker for quick breads, orange zest, and fall so I guess I know what I’m doing this weekend–yum.

  21. I watched that same Bill Cosby show one or two weeks before I went into labor and I had to turn it off. First I laughed so hard I had tears running down my face but then the laughing hurt so much I started to cry for real and then I was laughing and crying and yelling “turn it off, turn it off, oh it hurts!” I didn’t end up watching it all until after my son was born.

    (So sorry to hear about the emergency c-section. I had one too.)

    I’m sure you didn’t NEED the treats for the nurses, but I’m sure they were appreciated and it must have been nice to be able to give them out in thanks for what everyone was doing for you!

  22. Aubrey

    Congrats! We just had our first — a boy named Owen — in May and he had some pretty skinny legs but now they’re nice and plump with cute little knee dimples, and I’m not half the cook you are so I’m sure your little one will have some more meat on those adorable legs in no time. Enjoy!

    PS — It was super smart of you to do all those amazingly indulgent things before he came. I kept thinking I was too tired to do that stuff in the weeks before he was born, but I didn’t know what tired was yet. Now I do…

  23. I thought I would comment here instead of the original baby-introduction-post (all those comments are daunting!) to say that you do, indeed have the most beautiful baby ever! Seriously. I’m going to go ahead and say that he is cuter than my baby was (Can a mom say that?) and I thought that mine was pretty darn cute.
    So, well done on cooking the little one.
    And I can’t wait to try this bread!!!

  24. Grace

    My mom used to put cream cheese on date nut bread, too, per another comment, but would let me pick what color I wanted my cream cheese (food coloring, obviously). I’ll let you just imagine how much a 4-year-old girl likes pink, purple and turquoise cream cheese, no matter how disgusting it may look to adults…

  25. Shazza

    OMG, look at those adorable feet! Deb, I have lurked here for a long time, drool is embedded in my keyboard due to this site and your fabulous recipes and photos. But all I could do tonight was hold my breath while speed reading through this post to the end, fearful that it would be ALL FOOD and NO BABY PHOTOS! LOL….now I have to go back and read the post, but thanks so much for the little foot fix. I need help…that or a grandkid!

  26. i hope you post a picture of your adorable son at the end of every recipe.
    this loaf reminds me that autumn is here. sounds like it would be great with a dab of soft butter.

  27. I am sooooooooo happy to see a new blog post. :D Selfish, I know… glad you are feeling good after your c-section (I know how rough the first day or so after is!). Again, mazel tov. Jacob is truly gorgeous. Enjoy!

  28. Lisa P.

    Congrats with the little one! It is a joy to become a mom. I also had an emergent c-section and a preemie — and was NOT baking days afterwards. Impressive for you, I must say. You must have been inspired by Jacob’s cinnamon swirl hair (the CUTEST blog-thing I read all month!)

  29. I SO look forward to seeing pics of sweet Jacob along with all the usual ridiculously-delicious fare you post. My heart is full for you guys.. so happy for you, all three. And glad you’re feeling well. And REALLY glad you posted this recipe, as I have dates and no idea what to do with them. :)

  30. Emily

    Deb, I’m pretty sure my husband of 2 months is not happy about all these baby pictures. You’ve got me cooing and baby feverish all the time–he’s darling!!

    (and the bread looks delish too!)

  31. Tracie

    Sounds like a bit of a rough arrival there….but as an RN I am delighted to hear about your excellent care. Even though my boys are 10 and 7 now….don’t blink Deb…there are still those moments when they are utterly delicious. The new arrival at Smitten Kitchen clearly has all of us….all the more smitten!

  32. Liz C.

    Glad to see a new post, though I think if I had that cinnamon swirl hair and chicken legs in my vicinity, updating my blog would be the last thing on my mind. =) anyway, the cake looks great, and as the temperature here dropped about twenty degrees this afternoon, I’m totally in the mood for something sweet and spicy.

  33. Vidya

    Oh he DOES have a lot of hair! My sister and I were “awww”ing over the pictures and we did think he had heaps of hair for a newborn. Indian babies have heaps of hair, I think he has just as much. I had heaps of hair…he won’t be balding anytime soon. And date nut bread…how cruel. The Hindu festival season has already prompted extended family and friends to force feed me with sinful foods, and now I need to make this too?

  34. ooooo! cloves! this makes me believe we have truly entered into fall. well…that *and* my cold toes along with the wool sweater i’m wearing. congratulations on a seemingly delicious babe.

  35. Kristi

    Delurking to say that when I saw your beautiful son, I thought to myself that he did not look like typical squished, cone head baby. Alas, the only good thing about C sections! (Both of my kids were cone heads….)

    Congrats!

  36. Welcome back, mama! I’ve been anxiously awaiting an update all week!

    My mom had 24 hours of induction with me (and that was the early 80s) and then an emergency c-section. And then she had another kid (my sister) and did it all again. But I hear it’s all worth it.

    Glad to hear you’re feeling well–take time to recover!

  37. jill

    And i thought my 48 hours of induced labor with a c-section chaser was long — you win! And that baby just passed his permit test today and will start driving tomorrow. Yikes! The good news is i had my next two the old fashioned way and they were each 9 pounds — youzah!!

    I am mom to three boys and they are delicious. My favorite thing about their babyhood was how they always smelled like butter when they woke up from their naps. Enjoy your beautiful Jacob!

  38. becky

    hi deb! congrats on the baby! (and he IS objectively cute – I’m not one for gushing over children, but he’s adorable) love how you keep referring to the bebe as food ;)

  39. Ahhk! Baby feet! And a little tushie! How adorable!!!

    Delicious looking bread. I don’t like dates or raisens or cranberries or things like that (I know, I’m a total heathen, right?). Could I use canned pumpkin you think or would it make it too moist?

  40. Wow…51 hours of labor. Mothers are amazing. And so are the little socked feet. SO CUTE! And I would love to make this date bread, but I live in China, and I don’t remember seeing any dates around =(. Maybe I’ll try it with cranberries instead. Congrats again!

  41. Marie M.

    Welcome home! I was wondering why you had the world’s prettiest baby. I kept looking at the pictures, going, hmm, “I wonder if she had a c-section?” Yes, had to be to have such a perfect little boy. He’s not squished, no lizard skin, perfect proportions, hair I’d love to have. Well, it’s not all because he made his Mom have surgery. I guess it must be something to do with the parents he chose, too.

    I’m so sorry to hear you had a difficult time — but boy is he ever worth it. Right? How’s his Dad? Had to be a strain on him, too. Of course Alex didn’t actually have surgery. Best wishes for a quick recovery. Hey — keep the baby pictures coming. Love them.

  42. Ok, first, many congrats on your hot bun from the oven! Haha, but really, Jacob is adorable as is his cinnamon swirl hair.
    And second, I love how this date bread is nicely transitioning us from the quick summer NYC had to fall, with the dates and spice but the zing of the orange. Date bread just screams fall weather to me, probably because we have a customer at our family market who regularly bakes date bread in late fall and brings us a chunk. Now I crave gooey, delicious medjool dates.

  43. Sarah

    My 3rd is now 5 months old and I can’t get over how fast time flies. Looking at your son’s baby feet- I know that 5 months isn’t really long in adult terms, but in baby terms… it’s worlds every day. Enjoy every minute- you too will be shocked to see the time just…disappear.

    And thanks for keeping up with us and cooking despite your recovery- awfully thoughtful!

  44. mmmpage

    What a scrumptious little leg,and sweet little baby. i can’t wait to try the loaf! And I SO can’t wait for more pictures of that cute little boy that I keep having little flashes of and smiling. The cinnamon bun hair! the chicken legs! The absolute ADORABLE-NESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats!

  45. Emily

    51 hours?! Wow. Kudos to you. You got such an extremely adorable product out of all that work though. And I bet your nurses just loved you. When/if I have babies (far in the future) I will totally bring them baked bribes.

  46. Nadia

    Yummm for dates!! Completely underused, IMHO! I too am a survivor of an induced babe that took more than a FULL DAY to arrive, no matter the prodding! Though we were whisked off to an emerg. c-section too after 30 hours of OH SO MUCH FUN/2 FAILED epidurals, I’m betting those treats you brought may have contributed to 51 plus hours – they were hoping for more!

  47. Marjy

    51 hours AND and emergency C-section? I’ll stick with the cat and the vicarious joy that my little niece brings me! I think someone already said it, but you are a supermom!

  48. Elizabeth

    A friend of mine had exactly the same experience just a week ago! Induced(2 day s post due date)…48 hours labor…C section. Don’t get me started on those Dr’s who can’t let nature take it’s course. Of course, who could complain when you get such sweet results. And he IS so very sweet.

    The bread’s not bad looking either. Filing it for a Sunday bake.

  49. Susan

    51 hours of labor? Yikes! I was a scheduled C-section and never experienced a single labor pain. Thank.You.Lord! I worked up until the last week of my pregnancy so we hustled to get the nursery ready that last week. Then, the night before delivery, Rick and I went out for “The Last Supper”. I was so anxious and ready to get the show on the road, I don’t even remember what I ate! So much for a final couples meal!

    I Love those socks on that baby. He is just too cute! Glad you all are finally home and are getting on with being a family. The first months are an adjustment, but it was much easier than everyone led me to believe it would be.

  50. Collette

    That little foot is so sweet I want to cry. (In a good way.) My son is 2 and man is he ever 2 right now. Who knew that I’d long for sleepless nights with a baby? ;-) Enjoy the delicious little lump that he is right now.

  51. the cake looks absolutely scrumptious.

    and congratulations! he is such a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful baby (and i have seen a lot – being the eldest of six and being proud auntie to seven nieces and nephews, and counting…) :)

  52. Maja

    You posted ! I’ve clicking to your site even though I knew you were probably busy and recovering and am so excited to see you post again. Your baby is adorable ! Congratulations !!

  53. My father will love this spice cake! I’m definitely saving this recipe for Christmastime.

    Can I just say that my family and I were enjoying Braised Short Ribs from this very blog when I saw the posting about your son’s early arrival (My planning was a disaster, and my dad and I ended up “tasting” said short ribs at midnight making ridiculous yummy noises the night before). How adorable is he? I, of course, called my sister who introduced me to this blog, to squee over the pictures. Congrats on the birth of your son, and thanks for all the wonderful recipes. I think I’ve made about 12 already.

    Enjoy your beautiful little dish!

  54. Nadia

    I can’t believe you’re blogging so soon after giving birth to the gorgeous babe. I love anything with dates and it just so happens I finally bought myself a loaf tin AND a bundt tin while on holiday after years of doing without. Because I make date cookies with aniseed, I’m tempted to add a touch of anis to this great looking recipe too just to see what develops.

  55. Christine

    Punching, is he? Ready to knead bread dough, is what that is.

    Once he starts to keep those beautiful eyes open more, you are going to soooo enjoy watching him watch you cook.

  56. sfsuki

    Oh, yum.. the bread and the kiddie toes! I have to say I would never have thought of making goodies for the nurses, but this is now prolly the best advice I’ve gotten! I hope you’ve got some good sweets lined up for Valentine’s Day when I’m in labor!
    ; ) Mazel Tov!

  57. Sher

    Amazing how everything you bake comes out looking so good. Love the hair and that picture of his cute little legs…adorable, absolutely adorable. Congrats on your new love.

  58. Southern Gal

    I love, love, love your recipes. Thanks for keeping them coming in the midst of labor! And I love, love, love your baby’s pictures. Keep them coming in the midst of recipes…OK?

  59. Jess-Dublin

    Yes, I caught that spoiler, too, and gave myself a nice little pat on the back for being so clever(or for being able to read). My heartfelt congratulations to you, Deb. The C-section only partly explains Jacob Henry’s amazing good looks–the rest has got to be down to good genes! Seriously, beautiful, beautiful newborn. And I love the name you’ve chosen. I think Henry in any combination is lovely, but with Jacob, it just sounds very…well, it just adds something good and solid…not sure what exactly, but it’s perfect. He’s perfect. Well done you! Cake looks nice and autumnal…and I’m getting in the mood for fall food. All the best to you and your sweet, sweet family.

  60. kari

    Congratulations!! I was induced on a Monday and had my son by emergency c-section Wednesday morning. I sure wish I would have thought to bring some goodies for the nurses, I might have enjoyed my almost-week-long stay a bit more!

  61. diala

    Love your recipes, the pictures , the wonderful job you have done with your site.. and absolutely loved ( and my daughters too)your marbled brownies:-).. this bread is something that I am looking forward as well..
    Your baby is so beautiful.. congratulations and best wishes!

  62. eliza

    Oh so cute! I love the baby pic intermingling with the recipe… I hope you continue to share baby pics and food for a long time to come. My 2 kids are 5 and 2 years old, eating popcorn for breakfast, and attempting to set the record for the worst behavior in the shortest time period. Enjoy that little cinn bun of yours… they turn evil fast :-)

  63. Laura-Leigh

    Just the other day my 9-year-old son asked me if I knew what a date was, and could he try one. If I had been listening more closely to him and not to NPR, I’d know where he heard about dates. Now I can make him this bread, and promise to listen more carefully.
    P.S. Please keep putting in pictures of that beautiful baby!

  64. He’s still adorable! And the timing of this recipe is perfect. I have a friend in need of a care package and she enjoys spice cakes. I’m planning to bake this jewel tomorrow and pop it in the mail to her first thing Monday.
    Mazel Tov!

  65. Hi there, I don’t know you personally, but I follow Smitten Kitchen religiously, and first off wanted to wish you a million congrats on your new little bundle. He is absolutely adorable!! Secondly, can I just say you amaze me! With Jacob not even two weeks old you are here sharing a new recipe with us and little tidbits of your new life with him. Absolutely amazing…and of course I can’t wait to try this bread, looks like the perfect fall treat.

  66. wow! takes me back to my first babe which was over 40 hours. (induced without meds, what was i thinking?) wish i’d of thought of bribing the nurses. they were tops anyway. our hospital food is actually pretty good, lots of local stuff. did give the docs wine and cheese baskets after. used to love to cook, Before Kids, (have 3 under 5, all fairly boring eaters) love to dream about cooking again as i gaze at your gorgeous photos. look forward to your creative bursts during babyhood. you may have lots of sleepless moments ahead of you. what luck for us if you cook!? i do have to admit that i LOVE babies more than cooking and know what you mean when you want to eat his feet. absolutely scrumptious and breathtaking, that baby of yours! enjoy the nibbles. and congrats!!

  67. Deb, long time lurker, first time commenter…just to add to the many others, I knew the “baby post” would be inundated with comments but had to write my first comment to congratulate you on Jacob’s birth. He is truly gorgeous, -and I was a L&D nurse so I have seen my share of newborns in addition to my own three.

    We live in West Africa now and dates are everywhere, I have been looking for a recipe to make good use of them -this looks like it could become a new fav’ around here.

  68. Si

    The first pics you posted were beautiful, but this one of his little legs!! My dear friend who is nearing 40 just had a baby. Oh-to hold that little bundle in her first days. There is nothing like a new baby. Well, that date bread looks pretty yummy too! These are the best days. Yey for babies!

  69. That’s funny, because I was just telling my husband yesterday that, knowing your normal track record, I’m surprised that you didn’t automated posts ready to go while you were having the baby. But of course you did. :) Congratulations again!

  70. Danielle

    I love that Bill Cosby skit. It is hilarious! Especially when his wife wields the stick like a samurai warrior. But you have a few years before things come to that. haha

  71. Oooh the CRUST on that cake is so alluring. I mean, spice cake is one of my favorites, so you already won me over, but that did it for me.

    And yes, congrats again, because he’s still the cutest!

  72. Rosella

    You have the most beautiful son. Thank you for sharing. He is just gorgeous! Such a sweet face. Congratulations and I wish you all the best Mom

  73. Jess

    Congrats! I just can’t believe how tiny he is (maybe I should stop looking at pictures of the 19 pound giant baby born in Indonesia). So cute! The bread looks divine but what I’m really excited about is the picture of Central Park. I was looking back through old posts and loved all the non-food pics. Bring back more of them! It’s awesome to vicariously live in the city through you guys.

  74. Stoich91

    Thanks for the pumpkin-less fall-ish recipe! I am wary of dates (and being mediterranean, that is weird, right?), but all of the spices sound delish and scream FALL! I am amazed that you read all of the comments. I couldn’t even read them all. My head was spinning by the scrolling and the text. Kind of like when you read a bad dr. suess book on a disney ride (insert teacups theme song, here). Anyways, I can’t say which is more beautiful: New York, the Date Cake, or the Baby, but if I could choose, I’m going for the adorable chicken legs in the onzie wrapped in what may be the cutest baby socks on the market. But who’s comparing? :-) And no, half of us probably didn’t catch the ‘hint’; who the heck reads these INSANELY long lists of comments (besides moms in search of an ego boost for their insanley cute babes?) Ha! Congrats!

  75. Kim M.

    I’m so glad you are back!

    Wow, Deb. You were in labor for 51 hours, had an emergency c-section…and you are posting recipes again? You really are SUPER MOM! :-)

    Baby Jacob is the most beautiful baby, and I’m sure he was well worth the wait. His cinnamon swirl hair is just amazing! Again, congratulations…enjoy every moment!

  76. Carrie

    Wow! And I thought my 32-hour induction (2 rounds of Pitocin & doc breaking my water) was a LONG process! You take the cake! ;) Glad that you have that adorable little baby as reward for the many days in the hospital! And it sounds like the nurses were well-fed. ;)

  77. sweet steps peds PT

    The bread looks good, but the baby looks better! Yay for tummy-time. Give him lots of it and he will be beautiful AND strong. Congrats!

  78. laura

    congratulations! and thanks for this recipe – i made it this afternoon with dried figs and sultanas as well as dates (as i didn’t have enough) and it turned out marvellously – the house smells like autumn now :)

  79. Terri

    Oh, oh, oh, oh…he is soo precious! Love the little legs, my goodness. And Deb, I had two emergency c-sections 4 and 2 years ago, and I haven’t baked since! Good for you for baking SO SOON after giving birth. You are truly amazing and your son is so lucky to be growing up in a warm, wonderful, baking-filled home like yours. Just remember to not overdo it. I’m sure you can’t imagine it now as you are on a baby high, but it can happen. Take care of yourself, too, my dear. And please, more pictures!

  80. Oh that looks sooo good! Congratulations and thank you so much for the light-hearted post! We are getting to that time in our marriage where we are thinking about kids, and I’m so scared that I’m going to be laid up and not able to cook or anything for the month before and weeks after that I’m really nervous! Who knows, maybe you’re just one of those super moms, but you are inspiring! :)

  81. Joanna

    Oh my goodness, congratulations to you! He is so cute!
    I just have to say, I’m so inspired by you, it’s amazing to me to read on how prepared you were for birth time. I’m amazed how you’re able to bake so soon with a newborn baby in your house. I’m 24 yrs. old and one day when and if I get married and have a baby, I want to be prepared like you and be able to bake and cook when my baby is a week old! You’re a great inspiration.

    Oh, the Date Spice Loaf sounds delicious! I think I’m gonna have to make this!

    P.S. I love your blog!

  82. Glenn

    Hope all is going well, you had a long,hard go of it! He is adorable, I hope you keep on updating us. I found myself checking in everyday or so to see when he was to arrive…weird? I know, but, it is wonderful to be able to share in your little guy’s progress. I am a new grandma (she just turned 1) and can say, enjoy everyday, even the long tiring ones…they grow sooo fast. Thanks for enriching my life.

  83. Kailee

    Honey, you are a champ! Wow…

    Cannot decide which is more delicious, the bread or those legs! I know you are enjoying every moment with your gorgeous baby boy. Congrats, again!

  84. Hi, SK! I’ve never commented on your site before, but I thought that the combination of new baby + dates was a good reason. Jacob is absolutely beautiful – congratulations! And thank you for giving a date cake recipe. I love dates, and I could eat them all day, every day. (One of the reasons I’m about to move to Israel, of course!)

  85. Nan

    C-section? So sorry – but now you have a bonafide “battle scar” that should get you tons of “mileage” in your marriage, should you ever need it! (Both mine were C-sections – and I think they’re the only way to go!) So happy all turned out well…I made this bread/cake the other day – so yummy…made two loaves and gave one away, what was I thinking? Oh yeah, I was thinking I’d save my thighs one more bit of cellulite!

    1. deb

      Liqueur substitution questions — I think you could definitely substitute orange juice, or more of it.

      How’d you get back to baking so soon? questions! — I have not, swear. I have not done more than made pb&j sandwiches in the last week. :) But I did a slew of cooking in the two weeks before Jacob arrived, so I do have a bunch of new recipes to tell you about as time permits.

      About those 51 hours — I promise, it is not as bad as it sounds. It was very slow, very gradual induction for which I was very grateful; no being rushed through the process with aggressive drugs and impatient doctors, and my discomfort was for the most part kept to a minimum. It was even successful (!), which many of you know can be exceedingly rare in inductions; the section was only because Wee Jacob’s heart rate kept dropping at the end and giving us a real fright.

  86. Anne

    Oh, I am just so delighted for you I had to write and tell you so myself! Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy, you all seem like the most perfect match. I’m a daily reader of your blog and devour your fail-safe recipes. I Can’t thank you enough for sharing it all with us!

  87. I had an emergency c-section too! My little one had the cord wrapped 3 times around her neck, but we are fine. Love the picture of the little feet–they are so cute, aren’t they? I’m always looking for new date recipes so I’ll have to try this soon. (The upside down buttermilk date cake from epicurious is fabulous, by the way)

  88. judy gal

    Deb, I was so excited when I saw your blog had an update..(does it be baby pictures??) and YES, it does…YEAH!! Jacob is the most beautiful and handsome baby and I’m certain that he’s smart, focused, genuine, loving AND “the leader of the pack”!
    Rest when you can, accept loving assistance and when you creep in
    the room to check if Jacob is breathing — yes, he is. That’s something every
    new parent does — it’s part of accepting this miracle into your life!

  89. Paula in Colorado

    I have tried a number of your recipes and LOVE them. Having said that, I love babies even more. So. . . you do realize, however, that you are no longer allowed to post any recipes without including at least one photo of little Jacob. (The little legs in this one are so adorable they make my heart hurt.) ; )

  90. Marina

    Congratulations on your new little boy!! I kept going back to your webpage to look at his picture..he is soooo beautiful. His adorable little face made me feel all warm and yummy inside. My lo is 9 months old and remembering those first weeks brings back such nice memories!! Enjoy every minute (as I’m sure you are!).
    Hugs

  91. Rebecca

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. Echoing everyone else: great timing with a fall recipe, and so impressed that you’re posting already. Objectively it seems odd to be so happy for a complete stranger – but you’ve shared so much of your life with us at wordpress, iVilliage, and now here, that you are familiar to many of us. So, so happy for you and your family. Mazel tov.

  92. shev

    Okay, so I know your hands are kind of full (hey, if I had that baby, I wouldn’t let go either), BUT: how do you think it would be if we jujjed the dates? (what? you don’t know the word “jujj”? It’s a Very Technical Word denoting the sound of a hand-held blender). It might be less “date-cake”y and more “sticky toffee pudding”y – whaddya think?

    And, OMG those feet. Thanks for the photo of the tzaddik.

  93. He is delicious! I just had my first grandson and what a joy little boys are with their moms! They are (sorry) smitten with each other, as I’m sure little Jacob already is with you. Congratulations! He’s gorgeous.

  94. Vicki

    Goodness! Glad to hear you aren’t too worse for the wear. Your little baby boy is so amazingly cute. The first thing he reminded me of was Cat Stevens in his gorgous 1970’s days but I didn’t know if I should say so. Still everytime I see your son’t picture, there it is. Besides being beautiful, he imminates such a sweet peaceful essence. I think I hear Peace Train playing somewhere!

    By the way, what is the pad he’s laying on? A new baby cushy thing?

  95. Jeanne

    Congratulations, Jacob is adorable! This is the first opportunity I have had to say that. While I am at it, though, I must tell you about my kugel experience. I make the worst kugel ever. I have tried every recipe under the sun and am always disappointed. I made your mom’s kugel recipe (with homemade egg noodles) for Rosh Hashanah and it was amazing. My husband said it was the best kugel he had ever tasted. That’s a pretty big compliment considering his grandmother’s kugel was awesome (she passed away before writing down the recipe…) Anyway, thanks for the addition to our family tradition and congrats on the addition to yours! L’Shana Tovah!

  96. Amy

    You are super sneaky! I, in a very selfish way, am glad you are so amazingly blog prepared! I was super sad about missing all your witting food related humor due to the presence if such a lovely little distraction. But no! you saved it, I get food and humor and wonderful smunchy (I feel that’s an excellent word to describe the edible son of chef) pictures of Jacob too! I’m so glad things went well, if someone in an unorthodox manne, for you! Best of luck.

  97. Anita

    Congrats! But aren’t you supposed to be sleeping when the baby is sleeping?!! :) especially after 51 hours of labour – that sounds exhausting!
    Get some rest…But this date spice recipe looks absolutely delish…

  98. Amy

    Edited into English from above… sorry about that!

    You are super sneaky! I, in a very selfish way, am glad you are so amazingly blog prepared! I was super sad about missing all your witty, food related humor due to the presence if such a lovely little distraction. But no! you saved it, I get food and humor and wonderful smunchy (I feel that’s an excellent word to describe the edible son of chef) pictures of Jacob too! I’m so glad things went well, even if it was in a somewhat unorthodox manner! Best of luck.

  99. Betsy

    Aha – I thought the dear child had too beautiful a head to have been born without a C-section! I had one, too, 26 years ago, for the same reason – her heartbeat kept dropping. But it was after only 13 hours, not induced. And she, too, looked gorgeous in her first photos.

    Jacob is simply delicious and lucky to have such loving parents. God bless you all!

  100. My roommie and I thought the same thing about Jacob’s delivery – we saw his pretty face and thought, “He MUST have been a C-section, as gorgeous as he is.” :)

  101. nicole

    havent left a comment yet….boy do you have alot of loving followers! and a very cute adorable baby. thanks for the post, i wasnt sure when the next one would come now that you have something else demanding your full attention

  102. I love that you are ruthlessly upbeat about what seems like a pretty harrowing birth experience, but I remember those early days with my son, the world had an incredible shine, it seems like those days are wrapped in cotton in my memory. I know you’re probably sick of hearing this, but do nothing but enjoy that little baby. Even if you have a second, you’ll never have this sort of quiet time with a newborn again, nothing to do but watch them for hours, oh wow, I loved that.

  103. Renee

    Hi Deb

    Congratulations on the arrival of your beautiful baby boy – sorry I’m a bit late. I wish you and your family the very best for the future.

  104. Selkie

    I had a C-section, for what was a breech 9 lb / 21″ Avery boy who is now 25 yrs and 6’3″ tall. It was a thrill 4 years later to have my Chas be a normal vaginal birth. If you were my Fbook friend you could see Avery now, dreadlocks and handsome, selling his graphic arts in Asheville NC (great eating town. Come eat in Bath ME!) Chas tending firepit fires.
    Birth is always a roller coaster ride. That handsome boy is the treasure. Enjoy; Onward …

  105. Brenda

    I love the recipes and wit. And now I find myself looking forward to the baby pics as well. He is positively delicious. Thanks for sharing with us all!

  106. S

    Soooo cute!!! Jacob’s little leggies, I mean. :)
    I’m glad you’re doing well! Your load here looks really good, even if I don’t particularly like dates.

  107. K Hose

    Your recipes are always “TOPS” without any doubts in my “cooking” mind..my kitchen TOO!! :) :) I am very very happy to see and hear that you are receiving so many WARM and WONDERFUL wishes for the baby boy that you and Alex baked up. I will say..that must have been a long baking time! Glad to know that you spit him out your “OVEN”… and feelin’ darn GREAT afterwards. You GO..girl.
    After all..DEB, what did you & Alex expect??…NOTHING BUT TOTAL PERFECTION. :)
    Bless you..and keep on cookin’ girl! You obviously have “ALL” the right talents to do just that.

    FROM: Colorado to New York City…YOU ROCK..

  108. RJ

    Congrats on the gorgeous bundle of joy! It only gets better…just wait til you hear his first “I love you, Mommy.” Melts my heart every time my boy tells me that. :-) Hope you have the energy to keep blogging! :-)

  109. Maureen

    What a delicious sight! Those little legs!!! I have a new great-nephew who is 2 months old now, and we can’t stop cooing, so I know how much better it is when he’s your very own, ready to snuggle with at any second. Many blessings to you and Alex and beautiful Jacob! Oh, and the bread looks good, too, of course…I have used a James Beard recipe for many years, but I will have to try this variation. Perfect for fall and the houseguests we have coming this week. Thank you for taking such good care of us all even while you have far more important things to occupy your time.

  110. I was aghast that you were already baking!! But no, only posting. But hang on, how is it that you can string sentences together already?! I think I’m still waiting to rediscover that skill, and my little one’s 9 months old ;-)

    Take full advantage of the limitations placed on you by your caesarean – no lifting, cleaning, washing etc! And embrace the haze :-) Enjoy the next few weeks – while it feels like they last forever at the time, in hindsight they pass with incredible speed.

  111. Enjoy gobbling up all that newborn goodness, those next few weeks of mother bliss. My first was an induced 26 hours of labor and then an emergency c-section and I remember feeling remarkably well when we got home, maybe it was just being home. It is a gift to someone to let them help. Let people who want to take care of you. I had one friend who vacuumed for 6 weeks, she’d come in, kiss the baby, vacuum, kiss the baby and leave. Others brought food by, others did laundry, and other paced with him so I could catch a minutes sleep. That little one is 5 now. It goes by so fast.
    My second came four weeks ago today, with a scheduled c-section. I’m loving it just as much, and we have started baking already (black and whites to celebrate the autumnal equinox and some bread).

  112. michelle

    I too am SO excited that we get to drool over Baby AND food! You got an exceptionally cute one! I’m among the crowd that wants to forward a link to my mom just to say “wook at da widdle itty baby!!!!” He’s adorable. That date cake makes me want to take a nice fat slab out on the porch for breakfast with a warm drink. I’ve always avoided the geriatric variety of dates in grocery stores that look dried up and taste bland. I just got introduced to real-deal-dates this last weekend at The Ferry Building Farmers’ Market in San Fran. There’s a great date vender there that treated me to the entire spectrum from soft to chewy. Now I know, dates should NEVER be bland:o) Oh, if heaven was caramel with a pit! I’m so excited to go back to the farmers’ market and pick the perfect dates for this cake!

  113. Letha

    You’ve combined the best of two worlds with your great sense of humor. My friends and I ooh and ahh over your recipes and now, over little Jacob, as well. I know you will have a wonderful time as a mom because you can already laugh about the mishaps of delivery. Just like cooking, raising a child takes a lot of flexibility and creativity. Thanks for letting us be part of the journey! And please, please, keep sending us treats! (meaning yummy things to cook/bake and pictures of small Jacob)

  114. Jenny

    Just wanted to say that your baby photos are adorable, especially the cinnamon swirl hair – I can’t get that photo out of my head. Found your blog about a month ago and have made several of your recipes..we have similar tastes so I’m grateful to have found you. And, I’m sympathetic about the induction followed by the section. I went through it about a year ago and the only thing that made the experience and recovery worth it was the little guy, who is worth every ounce of pain. And he just gets more fun, as will Jacob!

  115. *stepho*

    Deb and Alex –

    So many congrats to you both! You certainly baked a tiny, adorable little cinnamon roll. I love this blog for the recipes, photos, and wonderful stories. Thanks for sharing with us, and best of luck to all THREE of you! Yay!

  116. Ohiogirl

    My husband could hear me exclaim, from the other room, over the beautiful pic of your Jacob’s feet.

    How good is this, that your new year has started with such sweetness and joy? (Not even counting the painkiller : ))

    Blessing to you all, and thank you for sharing. The joy is contagious.

  117. Stephanie P.

    Oooh tricky tricky with the nurse’s post!! Thanks for showing that spoiler! As someone who does clear liquids and hospital stays more times than I can count–no babies, sadly, just rare diseases, I can appreciate how yummy baked goods taste when you’re feeling better. I hope your family and friends are taking care of most of your meals these days though.

    I wish with the serious adorableness of your son that you find a way to put him into every post from now on! I don’t think my parents needed to comb my super fine, thin hair, until I was about 2! Glad your recovery is going well, and everyone is healthy.

  118. Amanda

    When I see your son’s little feet, I have to run and kiss my five-year-old immediately. I think you all sound like a wonderful family, and you have made me a very happy baker over the past few months (oh, the lemon raspberry muffins…).

  119. Deb, it’s simply amazing to me that you managed to have a little one and seamlessly keep the blog going at once. But I’m glad you did. This spice loaf looks so great. Aren’t dates perfect for fall. Congratulations on the new member of the family; I hope the next days continue to be magical

  120. Deb, you’re a clown. The reason I’ll be coming to NYC is because of you…and Jake (haven’t you started calling him that already?) and maybe Times square and the shopping and more. Anyhow, I’m not keen on dates but babies…yes. You’ll find out soon that every parent is a rock star – rocking babies and singing them to sleep; are adorable, have wind and make you appreciate the littlest things in life! You are blessed. Stay well and wish you the speediest of recoveries. Well done Alex

  121. Liz m

    Congratulations!!
    I am going to say something that I’ve never said. Your newborn is stunning.
    Enjoy him, eat him up, breathe him in. It’s so amazing.

  122. Grandmama

    What a beautiful baby, and such a happy time for your little family. This is the perfect season for cuddling & nuzzling. It was after my first baby, almost 40 years ago, that I discovered weighing ingredients allowed me to use my one available arm more efficiently. My baking was much improved, too, although the prominent position of the scale gave rise to some interesting speculation as to its purpose. Hmmm. That same “baby” introduced me to your site, and it is now the one I cook from the most.
    Remember please, you don’t have to/shouldn’t fast tomorrow. Gut Yom tov!

  123. JG

    So glad to hear that everything turned out well with your delivery. I was induced with my first son, and it was a pretty long ordeal. My second son arrived on his own, ten days before little Jacob, on the 7th, so I’m in my postpartum-crazy-baby love phase now. My best wishes to you and your family. Enjoy him because it goes too fast!

  124. Nicole

    I thought my 49 hour induction process was one for the record books. Looks like you just beat me. You have to be the best at everything don’t you?! :) Jacob is the cutest. Congrats!!

  125. Dee

    Congratulations on your new little one! His teensy, tiny feet are soo cute! My son also gave the “power to the people” fist pump in his sleep.
    Love your blog, and recipes. I’m new to Jewish cooking, but I come here to find great recipes for my husband and family. Happy New Year!

  126. I know this isn’t a “mommy blog” per se, but is it wrong of me to yearn for your birth story?
    Bah, ignore me.
    The cake looks lovely, but I think I’m going to go back in your archives and try pretzel rolls. I won a gift certificate for some at a gala last night and winning made me want to make my own. Sure, I put in my order for my free pretzels, but … still. They made me remember yours.

    Enjoy every second of that sweet, adorable boy. The first three months of my first child’s life were some of the most relaxed, peaceful and enjoyable of my life, because I HAD to conform to her schedule, and she was finally here! And also, she was an angel baby. May Jacob turn out to be even easier than my Emma. :)

  127. Rhonda

    You have an adorable baby boy, they grow fast so keep watching. My Mom loves date nut bread and I found her old recipe from someone she worked with that had orange slices (the candy gummy things) in it. I will have to make this for her as I think the liqueur would intensify the orange.

  128. This cake looks pretty much right up my ally, but instead I will be making something delicious with a generous quart of farmstand black mission figs bought after my half marathon yesterday.

    Any suggestions?

  129. Well I can’t get past the precious baby feet. If the rest of him is a cute as the piggies,he’s a keeper. Congratulations. I probably won’t bake that yummy bread but just looking at your photos has been like having a bite. I love your blog.
    V
    PS I have 5 grandchildren so I know a cute baby when I see one. I’m going in search of more photos of him.

  130. karen s.

    So sorry about the 51 hours and then a c-section. My induction was a mere 22 hours and a c-section. However, it all turned out fine. Not like the baby books said the labor and birth would go, but it doesn’t matter because my baby turned 20 two weeks ago. All 6’3 of him. I’m so happy for you and your new family! Congratulations!

  131. The baby is indeed adorable. I love love love the hair.

    I thought I had exhausted all the permutations of quickbread that are out there, but I was mistaken! This looks like heaven. I must try it sometime.

  132. Jacob is beautiful. Yes, I think he’s the best thing you’ve ever cooked up (and is he going to HATE all these comments when he’s in his teens…. :-D ).

    Congratuations!!!

  133. Robin

    I just found out I’m going to be a grandmother–twice. My son and his wife along with my daughter and her husband are expecting 3 weeks apart! I will admit to drooling over Jacob’s picture! I can hardly wait to have my lips on our own little cinnamon swirled heads!

  134. Nx

    Dear Deb,

    Long-time reader, first-time poster. Just wanted to say that your baby is adorable, and I will be making this date-loaf to celebrate the high holidays, post-fast, and your baby’s birth. :)

  135. pam

    oh you are the sweetest girl for sharing him with us. and yes, he is insanely cute. so cute i felt like a cyber-stalker staring at his little swirly cinnamon head and delicate face far longer than a total stranger should, but lordy lordy, how i love babies! so happy you’re recovery has been swift and so glad you are indulging us with new recipes! once this ridiculous california weather shapes up and starts behaving like Fall, i’ll be sure to make it. kiss sweet jacob for all us cyber-moms-who-want-to-but-know-it-would-probably-freak-you-out-if-we-did. :-)

  136. Anna A

    Awwwww…congrats and welcome back! He is darling & glad to hear you’re all doing well! Thanks for all the work you do & all the great recipes :-)

  137. Laura

    Awww…such a precious little peanut! You do realize that newborns are RARELY that gorgeous, right? I mean, I know a thousand people have said it, but really, that hair! Looking forward to more photos.

  138. tree town gal

    ok, great recipe. thanks. but really… love the photo of jacob. oh, the newness, the beauty, the poetry of the little feet. sigh. please give him a few dozen kisses no those toes for me. thanks.

  139. Sharon

    Deb,

    As much as I love your cooking, I LOVE these photos of Jacob more! I am so happy for you and your husband! He is absolutely perfect!!!!

  140. Sandy

    What a beautiful little boy- congrats to you- i just recently discovered your blog a few months before your blessed event- I am so glad I did- Best wishes to you and your family- and please keep us enticed with the pictures of the baby and the yummy recipes- can’t wait to watch the changes in little Jacob!

  141. I wouldn’t wish a C-section recovery on anyone. No fun!

    The FIRST THING I did when I got out of the hospital after delivering my girls was watch Bill Cosby himself. I’ve considered giving it as a baby shower gift. :) It was a welcome respite from the worry of two (now perfectly healthy) babies in the NICU.

    May you be blessed with sleep.

    Oh, that bread looks good too. ;)

  142. pam

    congrats on your gorgeous boy! c-sections aren’t fun, but it’s all over now, hooray!

    oh yeah, bread. dates aren’t as yummy as those little feetsies, no way.

  143. Jennifer

    Well, I also had a 4 day labor with induction and with a C-section at the end – I say, the IV in my hand was worse than all the rest combined! Best of luck, again, with it all, he sure is gorgeous. Thank you for your continued passion in the kitchen as well, I know all mine went towards the kiddo for quite awhile!

  144. Beth in Maryland

    What a cheerful, level-headed person you seem to be! It’s one of the reasons I enjoy your blog so much. Your little Jacob is a lucky child. Adorable, and lucky.

  145. keep the photos of jacob coming…we all want to see his progress! & this one of his little long & lean feet are adorable! oh btw: thanks for the date spice recipe!!!

  146. Marissa

    Firstly congratulations on your scrumptious little baby! Definitely the sweetest thing you’ve ever made! Secondly, I made this cake at the last minute to break our Yom Kippur (Jewish fast day) fast on. Despite not having orange zest or pecans in it this cake was wonderfully moist and tasty. thanks :-)

  147. Oh man oh man am I having flashbacks. Induction? Check. Longest ever labor? OMG IT WAS 33 HOURS. I WAS STARVING. And then C Section. And I was like “When can I eat?” And they said “When we remove the IV” and then I pulled it out and sent my husband out for sushi. Glad you’re home safe and feeling swell.

  148. Amy

    That sounds like my friend’s birth. She was planning a home birth, had scary high bp at 43 weeks, was induced, tried FOREVER to get that baby out, ended up with c/s. Ugh. (She had a wonderful VBAC at home, by the way!)

    I remember those last days of being pregnant so fondly. We did fun, relaxing things, I took long baths every day, and we happily waited. It was wonderful.

  149. Dawn in CA

    How am I supposed to concentrate on spice cake when you post a photo of BABY FEET?!? The cutest thing ever. Right there with you on the emergency C-section… only with twins. One minute they are telling me, “everything looks great, but you’ve got a ways to go, so just get some rest.” Five minutes later a team of docs and nurses are rushing into my room, my husband is literally jumping up onto a chair to get out of the way, and they whisk me into another room to get my babies OUT. Yikes. All’s well that ends well, however, and my reward was two beautiful baby girls. Looks like your story ended perfectly, as well! Congratulations. :)

  150. Gale

    Amazed that you’re already posting again. Tres impressive. Also, we weren’t kidding. He really is adorable. And that’s saying something because most newborns aren’t. Can’t wait to try this cake.

  151. Shannon

    So happy for you both! Glad you did your pre-baby bucket list, that is so important! Keep the delicious recipes and funny commentary coming!

  152. Pictures of delicious baby feet AND Manhatten AND a date spice loaf? Too much goodness all in one fell swoop.

    I’m so glad to hear that you are recovering nicely and are so kind to get right back into posting again–wow. Enjoying snuggling your new little man!

  153. Congratulations to you both. He’s beautiful!

    Now, back to business — does anyone have any suggestions for a substitute for the orange liqueur? I have an abundance of dates and would like to try this recipe out, but I’m not really keen on buying a whole bottle of booze for it. Can I just leave the liqueur out?

    Thank you!

  154. Keri

    Congratulations. Your birth story sounds very familiar to mine, except I brought a bunch of home made cookies everyone else eat while I was on clear fluid for three days. Dito with c-section and morphine. Glad it all worked out well for you. Cute baby. Can’t wait to try the date bread. Have a speedy recovery.

  155. I have been a lurker for a looooong time. I come out now to congratulate you! I have a Jacob as well. Yours is just so adorable.

    I was at Blogher this weekend and really would have liked to meet you in person. I’m a big fan of you and your site!

    xo Elana

  156. What a nummie little nugget – Jacob is… thank you for thinking of us and posting the wonderful Fall loaf, I can’t wait to try it this weekend. Rest, sleep, nibble, pad around, and post more baby sweetness.

  157. Cee

    My first time commenting- I had a baby Sept 2 last year and HIS name is Jacob. Very nice choice in name :) I also had the long long induction and emergency C section but my experience was very very horrible!!! So glad everything is going well for you. Enjoy that sweet, beautiful baby!! Don’t mind the sleepless nights too much, they only last for a short time in relation to everything and your baby will never be this small ever again- so sad!

  158. Micki

    Amazing! What a beautiful baby! And you are amazing to be posting again so soon! Doesn’t everything taste soooo delicious after a four-day liquid fast? I almost cried when I was allowed salt again. Congratulations!!

  159. He is perfection. Absolutely gorgeous! What a beautiful blessing for the new year! Congratulations. He looks better than the food and I didn’t think that was possible:)

  160. Glenna

    Jacob is an absolutely beautiful baby. I know you and your husband must be absolutely thrilled! Motherhood is the most rewarding thing that you’ll ever experience. My babies are 23 & 20. It flies by, so enjoy every minute! Thanks for sharing with everyone :)

  161. Janet

    Hey, you’re back! I think I checked on Friday before you posted this, feeling foolish. Anyway, the recipe looks yummy, and congratulations again on your little darling. You know, I don’t even want kids (and have taken the appropriate steps, no less), but that picture of him looking at you makes me want one! He is lovely. Best, best of all wishes to the three of you. And thanks for the post! : )

  162. Liz

    I made this loaf last night……it is deeee-lish!! The orange flavor really comes through, and the dates add a moist sweetness. I didn’t have orange-flavored liqeuer, so I soaked the chopped dates in fresh squeezed orange juice.
    As for the wee babe – he is scrumptiously cute, from his cinnamon swirl hair to his skinny legs and tiny feet!

  163. ashby

    I saw the episode where Ina made this when I was on my honeymoon, and actually forced my poor husband to bring me to a grocery store and then find a different hotel with a kitchenette so I could bake it. I was in my first trimester at the time, granted, so I was allowed to be crazy. But mmmmmmm, amazing cake.

  164. Your baby photos are adorable. Congratulations!
    I saw Ina Garten make this bread a while back and copied the recipe. Made it for my Garden Club last week. I froze it- it did well. Everyone loved it. The zested orange spread was a hit.

  165. Katie W

    I missed the last round of baby congratulations because I was busy having my own (born on the 18th!). So congratulations, he’s adorable, and has gorgeous eyes! I also wanted to report that the nurses loved the cookies I baked (the plate was returned empty within four hours) and I’m single-handedly working my way through my second batch of granola bars. They DO make excellent post-partum snacks, and so much less guilt-inducing than a cookie! Enjoy your baby, and thanks for all of the tasty recipes!

  166. michelle

    MMMMM! BABY LEG! *drool* also had to be induced (i was one week late) and then an emergency c-section? hmmm…. they do say that when you’re induced you increase the risk of having a c-section… boo. either way, congratulations (again) and welcome to coolest club EVER!

  167. Sarah T

    Wow; what a birth! I’m extra-happy to hear that you and he are both doing well, given all you had to go through to get there. You’re going to have to fend off the crowds to keep those adorable tiny feet all to yourself!

  168. I made this last night with great success! I think it is better for a dessert than breakfast (I traded the cream cheese for vanilla ice cream… yum!). In case anyone is similarly averse to pecans, I switched for walnuts and it worked out splendidly. Thanks for the inspiration, Deb and Jacob!!

  169. As the mother of one emergency c-section baby, I know that all that matters is getting that baby at the end. I can’t get over how adorable the little guy is. I’m sure he’s more than worth four days of clear liquids. The hair alone had me, and then the face…what a heart breaker.

    I’m making the date spice loaf for my mom right now to help her through the day as my baby brother boards a plane headed to Australia for a year. Fun for him, sad for her. It smells delicious.

  170. Bridget

    Just in case you needed one more comment on your beautiful baby, here it is…

    YUMMY!

    Congrats and best wishes for as much sleep as you can possibly get. Those chicken legs will turn into nice chunky baby thighs. My favorite part.

  171. Shilpa

    congrats again! (Sorry couldn’t bear to scroll down 2500 entries to add mine, so I had to wait until the next one. And BTW those feet do look good enough to eat!

  172. Mmmm, chunky baby thighs! (Wait… aren’t we supposed to be talking about date loaf?) And yes, Deb, huge congrats to you both. I tried to post before, but the site wasn’t loading for some reason. Must have been all the 2,500 people trying to congratulate you, too. I’m really in awe of your organizational skills here.

  173. Kimberlee

    OHHHHHHH! From single (I think the first post I ever read was 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover) to married to mommyhood — you have consistently impressed me with your voice and your style. And you have ALWAYS been so gracious and kind to your readers.

    Posting baby pictures (nom-nom-nom on those toes!) and letting us all know you are doing? Oh, that’s just icing on the cake! You touch my heart and we’ve never even met in real life. THANK YOU!

    Congratulations on your most beautiful, brilliant creation! He is perfectly perfect and you and your darling husband make such a gorgeous little family. I am so happy for you from clear across the US!

  174. meredith

    sooo…that sweet boy of yours and I share a birthday! I was born on Sept 17,now does the year really matter! And actually he’s in the boat with 2 of my friends who also share that birthday,hooray! He’s way cuter than us though! I saw Bill Cosby Himself for the first time when I was like 13 and laughed,but didn’t get it.Now at my more experienced age and a little experience with children I get it and I think for a few or lots of years to come I’ll still get “it”.Cosby is priceless.Enjoy that sweet boy and we’ll enjoy the recipes.

  175. Bill Cosby: Himself is one of the greatest things a person can ever watch. My favorite is chocolate cake for breakfast, especially since I’ve totally gone that route recently. Thanks for the idea on bribing the nurses with baked yumminess; when my kid comes in six weeks (or less… fingers crossed!), I’m totally working that angle. Hope you’re enjoying being a mom!

  176. jen

    I just have to say, that I just recently found your site, and I’m loving it! Congratulations on the new little one! I can’t wait to try some of your recipes.

    Oh, and Bill Cosby Himself ROCKS! My husband and I quote it all the time!

  177. Anita Turner

    I can’t even read your post because I am too busy looking at your baby again! Hope you are enjoying every inch of him, he is so stinkin’ cute!

  178. Maggie

    OMYGOSH! What a perfect little pink creature! That hair! Those eyes! Those perfect little feeties! Whenever I see a small person, I can’t help but think “I WANT ONE!” Then I remember that I’m single and barely employed, and perhaps I should work on being able to support a cat before I move on to people. Someday I’ll have my own wee one, until then, I’ll borrow someone else’s. Anyone have a child I can buy stuff for?

  179. He is just precious! Congratulations and I am glad that everything is going well. I hope you have the time to enjoy every second of him! Oh and on the food references on baby parts…I used to call my youngest son’s toes little corn nibblets…they are just so sweet at that age!

  180. I wish I’d thought of winning the nurses with treats! Genius!

    So sorry to hear about the emergency section… seems most inductions end that way :( I hope they had a darn good reason to put you through that!

    Jacob really is perfect! More photos!!!

  181. Delore

    Per Deb’s suggestion, I soaked the dates in additional orange juice instead of the liqueur. It turned out wonderfully. Maybe someone else has confirmed this already (I got a little bored of reading through the last half of the comments) and iif so, add my vote to the method. The bread had a lovely orangey flavor that went wonderfully with the dates. I also substituted 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour for the 2 cups all purpose flour (I like the nutritional value) and I don’t think the texture or flavor was compromised one bit–it was super soft and moist. The top of my loaf sagged in a bit in the middle, which I’m guessing its because my loaf pan was slightly larger than the one in the recipe? Or it could have to do with my slight changes mentioned before, but either way I thought it still looked beautiful. And the smell in the kitchen? DIVINE.

    I think it’s all been said about your darling baby boy, but I have a feeling I won’t ever get sick of sincere compliments when my firstborn comes along in February. She is already a fan of many of the recipes one here, I know because she frequently kicks approvingly throughout the cooking & eating of them.

  182. Ansley

    I too had the longest ever induction even though you beat me by 2 hours (mine was 49 long before the emergency section) and a week-long stay in the hospital. Of course once Cooper and I were home none of that mattered. Anyway, wish I had had this yummy cake in my room and that I had thought about bringing goodies for the nurses as well. Congrats! I will hope it goes better for both of us next time :)

  183. Eileen

    This sounds perfect to ring in October! Please also keep up with the photos of your baby’s wee sweet feet, I can’t get enough!!

  184. Kelly

    I thought I had the longest induction ever followed by a C-Section! I had four rounds of induction, nights on Pitocin with so much pain I almost broke the bedrail, and finally at 5.5 cm they decided “we’re just going to have to do a C-Section.” IT started on April 4th and I finally had my Emily on Easter, 4/8/07. I TRULY feel your induction pain! This time I’m opting out of induction – and also bringing NON LIQUID food to the hospital with me. Its truly awful to have bad broth and JELLO for 4 days! Congrats on your little one. . .I know you’ll agree the 4 days, the scar, the recovery is well worth it and honestly easily forgotten!

  185. Erm .. I’m in my 6th month of my first successful pregnancy .. and I’ve got to ask .. WHY the four consecutive days of nothing but clear liquid for u to subsist on?? :s
    I’m lucky to not be working during this pregnancy … so am really enjoying it, baking, cooking, reading, watching TV .. am so spoiled! The pics of Jacob’s little feet has got my maternal hormones all revved up .. counting each week now! Looking forward to your updates on new mommyhood combined with blogging.

  186. I just found your blog per recommendation of Angela over at Oh She Glows!

    What a precious little gem your new baby is, congrats!!!

    I can’t wait to read up on your blog :)

  187. BABY FEET!!!!!!!!!!

    You put up a picture of my favorite part! I love to tickle ’em! Play with ’em! Count their toes! Admire their tiny perfection! And yes, NIBBLE ON THEM!!!!!!!!!!

    Congratulations! Jacob is beautiful!

  188. Rola

    baked it last week……..a big big success :) i didnt have orange liqueur so i used whiskey, replaced pecans with walnuts…..still results were excellent :)
    love the baby feettttttttt

  189. New in New York

    Hi Deb,

    I have been following your blog for a little over a year now, ever since I moved into nyc and I have to say that although I’ve never posted before (everyone says such interesting and creative things around here, it’s a bit intimidating!), you’ve been inspiring me for as long as I’ve been reading.

    First of all, huge congratulations on your beautiful baby!! The warmth and generosity you show all of us on your site is sure to translate into you being an incredible Mom! Second, I can’t thank you enough for remaining a “cooking mom” to all of us avid readers out here! I actually can’t imagine what I would do without smitten kitchen to inspire me in my tiny nyc kitchen. Just made your date bread this week, and it turned out just as delicious as it looks in these photos. I subbed allspice for the cloves since I didn’t have any on hand and doubled the amount of cinnamon, and the spiciness is heavenly paired with the juicy dates.

    Can’t wait to see what new creativity Jacob inspires in you!

  190. Sarah from AZ

    Your food is amazing, your pictures are so well done and crisp and attractive, and Jacob is beautiful! Congratulations!

  191. Your baby is so beautiful! I’ve been following your blog for a long time and wanted to say congratulations! The dat bread looks delicious too. I’ve only recently discovered that I love dates, particularly medjool dates, so I’m tempted to bake this soon.

  192. Joanne

    Yum, must make this as soon as I pick up a package of dates. Darn cute baby feet. Oooohhhh I wanna kiss those hidden little toesies.

  193. Ok, you are probably not going to read this far, but … you had me at the eggplant dish. You deserve a book. WAY more than that twit who plays with his food (hope he’s not a friend) although it is fun. fastfoodbutfancy.com (not my blog) I am going to make both of these. MMMMMmmmm dates. MMMMmmm I took an eggplant from a friend’s garden. It is so fresh! Yesterday I made roasted red pepper puree, chardonnay grape jelly, and cucumber dill pickles (also from the garden. Do you think I remembered to take one picture? Not on your tintype.
    Also, I gotta say, the baby is just gorgeous! congrats.

  194. Sarah from Belgium

    Hey Deb,

    I looooove your blog, one of my favorite and congratulations on your very beautiful baby! He is so gorgeous! :)

  195. pinky

    Fabulous – I did these as muffins, and they’re absolutely killer. I love the complexity of the flavors.

    And congrats on the baby, too.

  196. Izzy

    Made this fabulous loaf yesterday but with walnuts and brandy because thats what the pantry offered! It was Stellar – 5 Star and I cant wait to go home and have anothe slice. Just what October ordered up. thank you!

  197. Baby is adorable. Now let’s talk date bread. I just made this and it’s very good, distinctly orangey and spicy, but I can’t imagine it holding up two cups of dates — I used just a little over one cup (including a few raisins) and it’s pretty dense with fruit. Just so future readers know: it comes out fine with less fruit & nuts, too.

  198. Lena

    First I just want to say CONGRATS!! Your boy is absolutely beautiful, definitely one of the cutest babies I’ve ever seen. He seems to have completely missed the raisin alien baby look and went straight to cute as a button. Second, I made this date loaf for work and it was AMAZING!!!!

  199. Nadia

    I made this today, substituting 1/3 cup orange juice plus 1/3 cup boiling water for the orange liquer (so in effect, increasing the total liquid a bit) and keeping everything else in the recipe the same. It’s a reasonably good loaf bread but, as one reviewer to the Ina Garten recipe on the Food Network remarked, the nutmeg is overpowering. I think I should have followed my instincts, which is always to put the greatest quantity of cinnamon, followed by a lesser quantity of nutmeg and then just a smidgen of cloves, the most aggressive spice of them all. I don’t think I’ll bother with this Garten recipe again. Perhaps the liquer is important to move it away from meh — and so, incidentally, is the quality of orange juice you use, as the taste is inescapable. Kisses to the little one!

  200. OMG this is the best date cake I have ever made….I was lucky enough to have an abundance of fresh oranges (its spring here in OZ) so I made some fresh juice for it…. and I subbed the contreau for more OJ (I am pregnant) so delicious thanx for sharing this with me!! I have visions of dried apricot version, maybe pumpkin and something with choc chips…. so tasty!! ;)

  201. Laurie

    I just found your site and I think it is absolutely wonderful. Congratulations on the birth of your son, he is darling.
    I have only made one of the recipes and that was the raspberry short bread cookies…they got rave reviews…I look forward to many, many more.

  202. Tanya

    Absolutely delicious. I’m upset I didn’t try it sooner. I soaked the dates in rum with a little bit of orange juice (voila! orange flavoured liquor). I only had whole cloves so I didn’t use any in the loaf. I didn’t find the nutmeg overpowering at all. I don’t like fruit cake so this will definitely be my go to holiday bread. The smell is wonderful!

  203. Anna

    You are wonderful!
    I made this for my mum for mother’s day – yesterday – and let’s put it this way… there isn’t much left :)
    It is a fantastic recipe – so tasty and spicy and sooo many flavours – just really cool, so thank you so much for putting it up!
    I send good vibes your way!

  204. SP

    Deb, if I make this loaf one week in advance (of my husband’s graduation & family brunch), will it freeze well? Thank you!

  205. Miriam

    My kitchen currently smells like sunshine and the Spice Islands and, well, like heaven. Nom. Thanks again for (what smells certain to be) another winning recipe.

  206. Miriam

    Further to my post above – this recipe did not disappoint. I took it to a pot luck brunch with other new mums from my office. As I left, one enquired what was in it and, when I said it was a ‘date/orange/spice loaf’, she said “but I don’t like dates”, paused, contemplated for a second and then “maybe I do”… So there you are – a recipe good enough to convert staunch date-haters. (They do exist – gasp!) Also – I would highly recommend the cream cheese/orange rind mix that Deb refers to at the end of the post. It was the perfect accompaniment to this delicious, delectable, totally to be repeated loaf. A new fave and probably my new ‘go to’ fruit loaf. Well, until summer comes back to the antipodes and I get to try the zucchini loaf you refer to in this post.

  207. I can’t wait–it’s in the oven and the house smells amazing! I’m going to make this for Thanksgiving because this is the smell I want to greet my guests when they enter the house. It will build up the anticipation.

  208. Katharine

    Seeing as I wanted to use up some fruit, I decided to mangle this recipe into a part-fruitcake, part-loaf vehicle. I cut 3 small plums and half a large Cortland to a large dice, halved this recipe and made an obscene amount of substitutions based on what I had available. The brown sugar turned into regular sugar with a drizzle of molasses, all of the (wonderful-sounding) spices translated into cinnamon and a little garam masala, the baking powder disappeared (as it did from my cupboard probably over a month ago), and the orange liqueur became extra OJ and a tiny splash of Marsala wine.

    Conclusion: with a recipe this good, even I (and my affinity for meddling) can’t mess it up.

  209. usuk

    This page Sucks!, all I wanted to do is print a recipe and I got 50 pages of drool/dribble.. Allow us to print the f-ing recipe with out KILLING all the earths forests printing out everybody’s comments. This Sheite better be good because this website SUCKS BIG FAT DATES and little ones too!

    1. deb

      Hi usuk — There’s a print link at the bottom of each post, before the comments begin. It says “Print.” It will bring you to a 1 or 2 page template for printing without comments or photos. How easy was that?

  210. Elaine

    I finally made this bread for the first time, and it’s cooling now. It has a wide crack running the length of the bread. Now I’m thinking, perhaps after placing the batter in the pan and smoothing the top, perhaps I should have run a butter knife down the center, to provide some “give.” Any suggestions?

    1. deb

      Elaine — You can. I’ve never been bothered by the cracks on top of quick breads; they always look charming to me. But I have heard that making a line can control the shape.

  211. Elaine

    The bread was fantastic–paler than I expected, but full of flavor. For the orange cream cheese, which is a MUST, by the way, I used twice as much (2 Tbsp) zest and no sugar, and to me, it was just the right tangy accessory. I let the loaf cool, wrapped it tight, and let it sit in the fridge for 3 days, and then at room temp.for 2 more days, and it was moist and flavorful. Any longer before using, and I would have frozen it. Thanks!

  212. My cousins came over last week with a 1kg box of dates from Israel and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try out this recipe. Made with the cream cheese spread – and it was absolutely delicious! Fighting the urge to get up and go and cut myself another slice as I type this!! Thanks for sharing.

  213. Christine

    Just tried this because I had dates left over from Thanksgiving. Wish I could say “delicious” is more than one language. And it was absolutely worth buying that bottle of Cointreau. Planning to make more for Christmas gifts.