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  • Writer's pictureJenn Clayton

Date Squares

Classic, old fashioned date bars- just like Grandma made! Buttery and delicious!



Base and topping:

  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons large flake old-fashioned oats

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar sub, packed

  • 6 Tablespoons light salted butter, cold, cut into 6 pieces

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 Tablespoon hot water

Preheat oven to 350F. (regular bake setting/not fan assisted) Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan and line the bottom and two sides with parchment paper, allowing the paper to extend over the edges by an inch or so (to use as handles to lift out of the pan later on). (You can also double the ingredients and make them in a 9×13-inch baking pan.)

  • It is important to make the date filling ahead so that it cools completely before assembling the date squares so it is chilled when assembling the squares. Any bit of warmth in the filling will melt the butter in the base and negatively affect the texture of the finished squares.

  • Make the date filling (do ahead!): Combine the dates, white sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Stir to combine. Heat over medium heat, stirring regularly. Bring mixture just to a full boil. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice. Transfer the date filling to a bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour to cool completely.

  • Make the base and topping: In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour and light brown sugar. Add the cold butter pieces to the flour mixture and cut in with a pastry cutter (or use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour) until the butter pieces are evenly pea-sized. In a small bowl, stir together the baking soda and hot water until the soda is dissolved. Sprinkle over the flour/butter mixture and stir in.

  • Add about half of the flour mixture to your prepared pan (it's around 1 1/4-1 1/3 cups-ish). Press into an even layer, adding a bit more of the flour mixture, as needed, to make a thin, even layer. (I like to use a dry 1-cup measuring cup to press the base down.) Spoon the cooled date-filling mixture over the top and spread out evenly. (It will seem like there is barely enough filling to cover the base but trust it. It will be fine!) Scatter the remaining crumb mixture evenly over the top. Tip! Sometimes I will squeeze the mixture for the topping and then crumble it with my fingertips over the top. This makes for a more crumbly topping.

  • Bake in preheated oven for 18-24 minutes, until golden brown and set. (Baking time should be similar for both an 8×8-inch pan or a 9×13-inch pan.) Remove the pan from the oven to a wire rack, allowing it to cool completely in the pan before lifting out by the parchment "handles" to a cutting board. Cut into sixteen 2×2-inch squares or nine 3×3-inch squares. (I like to refrigerate the squares in the pan before cutting, as they cut more neatly.)

  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months, for longer storage.

8 Bars:

3 points each

136 calories

4g fat

24g carbs

3g protein

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