The Washington Post

Sweet Potato Bread With Dates and Cranberries

Sweet Potato Bread With Dates and Cranberries 10.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Gina Nistico for The Washington Post

Nourish Dec 8, 2022

This tender sweet potato bread, studded with fresh cranberries and pecans (if you want them) and perfumed with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, is filled with nourishing, whole ingredients and zero added sugar. Instead, the bread is sweetened entirely with mineral- and fiber-rich dates and sweet potato, and it boasts healthy oil as well as a mix of whole grain and almond flours. (It can be made nut-free by substituting the almond flour with additional whole wheat or all-purpose flour and omitting the pecans.) Adaptable and with a tender crumb, it makes for a splendid, healthful treat for the fall and winter seasons.

Active time: 25 mins; Total time: 1 hour 25 mins

Make Ahead: The sweet potato can be roasted up to 3 days in advance.

Storage Notes: Store well-wrapped at room temperature for up to 4 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 10 servings; makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf

  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) neutral oil, such as grapeseed, safflower, or canola, plus more for the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups (190 grams) pitted dates
  • 1 cup mashed, roasted or boiled, orange-fleshed sweet potato (see NOTE)
  • 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) milk (whole, low-fat or unsweetened almond milk)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (130 grams) whole-wheat pastry flour or white whole-wheat flour (may substitute with 1/2 cup/63 grams) each regular whole-wheat flour and all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) almond flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup (95 grams) fresh whole cranberries
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) chopped raw pecans


Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Grease the inside of a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and line it with a piece of parchment paper long enough for a generous overhang on both of the longer sides. Grease the parchment paper with the oil as well.

Place the dates in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the sweet potato puree, oil and milk and pulse until smooth. (Small bits of the dates will remain.) Add the eggs and vanilla, and pulse to combine. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

In another large bowl, whisk together the whole-wheat and almond flours, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, ginger and salt until combined.

Add the flour mixture to the sweet potato mixture, and stir just until evenly incorporated. Stir in the cranberries and pecans; the batter will be very thick.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and, using a small offset spatula, smooth out the top. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pan completely, then, using the parchment overhang as a sling, remove from the pan, slice and serve.

NOTE: To roast the sweet potato: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Prick a large (12-ounce) sweet potato, such as a Garnet or Jewel, all over with a fork, then place on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast, turning over midway, for 50 to 60 minutes, or until tender. Let cool, then halve and scoop out the flesh into a bowl, and mash with a fork until smooth.

Recipe Source

From cookbook author and registered dietitian nutritionist Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Olga Massov.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (one 3/4-inch-thick slice): 272

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 20g 31%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 38mg 13%

Sodium: 203mg 8%

Total Carbohydrates: 34g 11%

Dietary Fiber: 6g 24%

Sugar: 18g

Protein: 6g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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