Bread Box

Date Nut Bread Baked in a Can

December 29, 2016

Because the result is so moist, baking and/or steaming bread in cans is an old-fashioned tradition people still ask about. Initially, two readers–Sandra S. and Mary S.– requested this recipe they remembered seeing in the ChicagoTribune 47 years ago, and more requests have showed up since. We’ve adapted the recipe to include instructions from an earlier, 1953 recipe that suggests covering the tops of the cans with a greased baking sheet. Don’t use pull-top cans for this recipe–they have an extra ridge at the top of the opened can, so you’ll never get the bread out! Also, you’re supposed to copiously grease the inside of the cans before filling them. Be very careful. The top edge is very sharp, unless you use a “safety” can opener, that tucks the edge back down and under. Try swabbing the inside of the can with a papertowel wrapped around a thin spatula, or, wrapped around handle of a wooden spoon. For another, incredibly tasty old fashioned bread-baked-in-a-can, try our Boston Brown bread along with Boston Baked beans.

Date Nut Bread Baked in a Can
Yields 5
Baking or steaming bread in cans is an old-fashioned tradition that results in lovely, very-moist loaves.
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  1. 5, clean, empty 12-ounce cans
  2. 1 cup (8-ounce pkg) diced dates
  3. 3/4 cup raisins
  4. 1 tsp baking soda
  5. 1 cup boiling water
  6. 2 Tbsp soft butter
  7. 1 cup sugar
  8. 1 tsp vanilla
  9. 1 egg
  10. 1 1/3 cups flour
  11. 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  1. Place dates and raisins in bowl. Add soda and boiling water. Cover and let stand.
  2. Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla, then egg, and beat well. Add flour, mix until moistened. Pour in fruit mixture, including liquid, and pecans, and mix gently to prevent crushing the fruits.
  3. Generously grease cans, being very careful not to cut yourself on top of can.
  4. Turn dough into prepared cans, filling each 2/3 full with dough, pressing down with spoon. Place cans on a baking sheet and cover tops of cans with inverted, greased baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes, or until bread tests done.
  6. Slice thin and serve with whipped cream cheese made by whipping a few tablespoons of milk with cream cheese.
Adapted from Chicago Tribune
Adapted from Chicago Tribune
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1 Comment

  • Reply Debbie Schlesinger February 18, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Thank you for posting the recipe.
    It is wonderful, and tastes delicious.

    Debbie Schlesinger

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