These date muffins are a riff on the classic British sticky toffee pudding. Although unlike the indulgent dessert, these muffins are actually marginally healthy thanks to the inclusion of oats and pecans, although you’d never guess it from the rich, sweet taste. We think a glass of cold milk goes pretty darn swell on the side, but if you want to get all proper and British on us, perhaps you’d prefer to make a spot of tea.Renee Schettler Rossi

A cut streusel-topped date muffin slathered with butter on a decorative plate

Date Muffins with Streusel Topping

5 / 6 votes
These date muffins are rich, sticky, toffee-pudding-inspired little lovelies made with oats and pecans and streusel. Mmmmmm.
David Leite
Servings12 muffins
Calories307 kcal
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour


For the streusel topping

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

For the date muffins

  • 9 ounces whole Medjool dates, pitted
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Make the streusel topping

  • In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, and pecans. Using a fork, cut in the butter until well combined and the crumbly mixture begins to hold together a bit.

Make the date muffins

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter a 12-cup muffin tin.
  • Place the dates in a shallow bowl (in a single layer if possible), pour the boiling water over them, and let soak for 15 minutes.
  • Transfer the dates and soaking liquid to a food processor and puree until almost smooth save for a few pea-sized fruit pieces. Set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar. With the motor running, mix in the eggs, 1 at a time. Add the vanilla. Add half the flour mixture and mix until moistened. Follow with the date puree and, when thoroughly combined, mix in the remaining flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and give a final stir with a spatula to make sure all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Top with the streusel and press down gently to adhere. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Adapted From

Eat Feed Autumn Winter

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Serving: 1 muffinCalories: 307 kcalCarbohydrates: 53 gProtein: 4 gFat: 10 gSaturated Fat: 4 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 46 mgSodium: 117 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 32 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2008 Anne Bramley. Photo © 2008 Tina Rupp. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

These date muffins got rave reviews from the family. I didn’t make them for breakfast but rather in place of garlic bread with chicken and spaghetti. Honestly, they were a hit. The muffins were very flavorful with the Medjool dates. I don’t think I served all 14 because couldn’t help but try a few. I’ll definitely make these again for any occasion. The streusel topping was the best, and it held onto the muffin without being crumbly.

I love these date muffins. They’re moist and not too sweet. The dates yield a very interesting, unexpected flavor. This one goes in my muffin arsenal.

These date muffins were delicious! We happen to love dates, and these were moist and the topping was crunchy and nutty. We had house guests and the muffins were eagerly consumed while warm out of the oven. These will definitely stay in my “do again” file!

The date muffins taste great. I love the flavor of the dates throughout the muffin. The topping just melted down into the batter. Great recipe that I will make again. Next time, I may put the nuts in the batter instead in of the topping.

These date muffins were excellent. They’re satisfying and substantial without being heavy or oily. The dates help to give them just enough sweetness and keep the them moist. Plus the flavor of the dates is lovely and a welcome change from the many berry-centric fruit muffins out there. (I’m tempted to find out how a mixture of dates and figs would work.) Best of all was the streusel topping, which adhered well and was delicious—especially with the flavor of the toasted nuts. It has become my go-to streusel and just last night graced an impromptu apple tart.

These date muffins were easy to make and really do remind me of sticky toffee pudding. Dessert for breakfast is always a fun way to start your day. These were also a hit with some friends, served as a sweet balance to some more savory options. The streusel topping is what makes the muffin—the extra sweetness and crunch picks these up and makes them something special. Perhaps the best way to eat dates!

These are the best muffins I’ve ever eaten, hands down! They’re so flavorful and moist that I actually prefer them to sticky toffee pudding. My only word of advice: Don’t scrimp on the dates. Medjool dates may be more expensive and more difficult to find, but their inherent creaminess and over-the-top-flavor only enhance this fabulous recipe.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Wonderful recipe! I received a box of a variety of dates from the arabian peninsula and was looking for ideas to use them. The muffins were moist and had a great balance of flavors. Thank you for posting. I will definitely make them again.

  2. 5 stars
    So, my husband recently had surgery, and to keep things um, moving, the hospital had me make a concoction of stewed dates, prunes, raisins and prune/orange juice. It made a lot, and he only took it for a couple days. So not being one to waste food, I went looking a recipe and found yours. Used the concoction instead of the dates. They were fantastic! Will definitely make again and use the real recipe this time.

    1. Magnificent to hear, Michele! Love your adaptation and your creativity and thrilled it worked so well! Thanks so much for sharing your tweak with us! And wishing your husband a quick recovery….