Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
Sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, and cloves together in a bowl.
Mix buttermilk and vanilla extract together in a small bowl.
Beat sugar and shortening in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Beat in pumpkin puree. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk mixture, beating batter briefly after each addition.
Fold dates into the batter. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.