Date Muffins


3 tablespoons of butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
2-1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup chopped dates


  • Slightly grease nonstick muffin pan (or place paper muffin cups in muffin tin) and set aside.
  • Preheat owen to hot (400º F or about 205º C).
  • Cream the butter, and add the sugar gradually.
  • Stir in the beaten egg and milk.
  • Reserve 1/4 cupful of flour, and mix the remainder with the salt and the baking powder.
  • Stir the dry ingredients into the first mixture.
  • Mix the 1/4 cupful of flour with the chopped dates and fold them into the batter.
  • Fill prepared muffin pan about two-thirds full of the batter, and bake in a hot oven for about 20 minutes.

Makes 6 large muffins.

NOTE: To prepare the dates with seed, wash them in warm water, rinse them in cold water, and then dry them between towels. Cut them lengthwise along the seed with a sharp knife, remove the seed, and then cut each date into three or four pieces.

Dates have been a staple food of the Middle East for thousands of years. They are believed to have originated around the Persian Gulf, and have been cultivated since ancient times from Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt, possibly as early as 4000 BCE. There is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in eastern Arabia in 6000 BCE. (Alvarez-Mon 2006).

Real Cooking

Did You Know?
Dates are the fruit is a drupe known as a date. Dates are oval-cylindrical, 3–7 cm long, and 2–3 cm diameter, and when unripe, range from bright red to bright yellow in colour, depending on variety. Dates contain a single seed about 2–2.5 cm long and 6–8 mm thick. Three main cultivar groups of date exist: soft (e.g. 'Barhee', 'Halawy', 'Khadrawy', 'Medjool'), semi-dry (e.g. 'Dayri', 'Deglet Noor', 'Zahidi'), and dry (e.g. 'Thoory'). The type of fruit depends on the glucose, fructose and sucrose content.

Phoenix dactylifera, commonly known as the Date Palm, is a palm in the genus Phoenix, extensively cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Due to its long history of cultivation for fruit, its exact native distribution is unknown, but probably originated somewhere in the desert oases of northern Africa, and perhaps also southwest Asia. It is a medium-sized tree, 15–25 m tall, often clumped with several trunks from a single root system, but often growing singly as well. The leaves are pinnate, 3–5 m long, with spines on the petiole and about 150 leaflets; the leaflets are 30 cm long and 2 cm broad. The full span of the crown ranges from 6 to 10 meters.

Iraq is the largest producer in the world in spite of the huge damage in the date industry happened in the 1980s and 1990s.

In later times, Arabs spread dates around South and South West Asia, northern Africa, and Spain and Italy. Dates were introduced into Mexico and California by the Spaniards by 1765, around Mission San Ignacio.