Traditional recipes

Oaty date bars recipe

Oaty date bars recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Biscuits and cookies
  • Fruit biscuits and cookies

A delicious snack that's simple to make and packed full of fibre. Lightly spiced, stewed dates are sandwiched between buttery oat layers.

42 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 20 bars

  • 220g chopped pitted dates
  • 4 tablespoons light brown soft sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 210ml water
  • 160g porridge oats
  • 110g light brown soft sugar
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 175g butter
  • 2 tablespoons water

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:45min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a 23cm square tin. In a small saucepan, combine the dates, 4 tablepoons light brown soft sugar, orange zest, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, allspice, lemon juice and water. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until dates are soft and the mixture becomes a thick paste, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. To make the base and topping, stir together the oats, 110g light brown soft sugar, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Rub in butter using your fingers. Mixture should be coarse and crumbly. Stir in 2 tablespoons water until evenly distributed. Press about 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared tin. Spread the date mixture evenly over the crust all the way to the edges. Sprinkle the remaining mixture over the date layer. Press down lightly.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is lightly toasted. Cool completely before cutting into bars.

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(44)

Reviews in English (41)

by darlenejb

I came here to get a recipe for what we know as Date Squares (didn't realize it was a Canadian thing!). I do have a tried & true recipe but I was too lazy to dig it out. I have made it enough times to remember that this crust was the ingredients I liked. Some pointers from a Canadian: I always find the filling too sweet in these recipes. What I am used to is just the dates and the water(reduce to half a cup) and LEMON JUICE (extract is the best). This makes the date flavour smooth. Cook on the stove & mash with a fork until it becomes a paste. I like to use an 11 x 7 pan, spraying it with PAM. Use 3/5 of the crumb mix for the base and press it down tightly. I don't put it up the sides because the PAM prevents sticking and I get nicer squares.The date filling I take small scoops with the fork and start in corners to flatten it, then the middle, and use the remaining to fill it it. This prevents the bottom from coming up when you are trying to spread it. For the top I usually use my hand to crumble it evenly over the top, then press down firmly. When I take it out of the oven I quickly cut it (4 squares across & 6 down the top) and let it cool in the pan. Then when you are ready to serve them you recut. Freeze beautifully(however, I never seem to have enough left to freeze). Just some tips!-17 Nov 2009

by shawn


by Dawn H

This recipe, especially the crust, is wonderful. For those in a hurry, you can also use Solo Brand date filling. I did and I got great reviews from my family. Though date filling from scratch is preferred, Solo is a quality pastry filling and it worked very well with this recipe.-30 Oct 2011

Vegan Gluten-Free Date Squares

Many of you already know that I’m currently studying naturopathic nutrition. It’s crazy the amount of things I’m learning and I’m gaining so much valuable information about food, nutrition and the power it has to change your life! It shows in the way my diet has changed since I started the course in 2014 and how it keeps changing the more I learn!

If you’ve been following my blog from the beginning, you’ll probably notice my recipes changing. I used to make a lot of high protein treats using whey protein and dairy products like yoghurt. Now, I’ve cut out all dairy and gluten from my diet and I’m focusing on incorporating the goodness of whole plant foods and turning them into tasty nutritious treats.

I’m also trying to use dates as much as possible in recipes to sweeten. Using the whole fruit with its naturally high fibre content means it won’t have the same effect on insulin and blood glucose levels. It also means you’ll benefit from the nutrients this delicious fruit has to offer!

At the same time as trying to use natural sweeteners, I’m consciously trying to lower the amount of saturated fat I add to my treats. Even though coconut oil is being hailed as a magic potion that can prevent things like Alzheimer’s, there’s actually little evidence to support its nutritional benefits and can still cause inflammation and contribute to heart disease. But when it comes to cooking, I still think it fares better when compared to other types of oil.

This is yet another recipe influenced by my Middle Eastern upbringing. Dates are a staple in Middle Eastern kitchens and is heavily used in desserts and for very good reasons, mainly becomes they taste so damn good! I’ve added in some cinnamon and cardamom because I think those 2 flavours complement dates so well and make them taste even more irresistible!

The main ingredients in these vegan gluten-free date squares is oats, dates, coconut oil and almond butter. You have the option of adding some sweetener like xylitol into the crumble part of the recipe although I feel the date centre is sweet enough, but the option is there if you have a super sweet tooth.

Did I mention that these Walnut Date Oat Bars are a low sugar recipe? Don&rsquot expect a lot of sweetness from these bars. This healthy breakfast bar recipe is full of just healthy yummy flavors.

Imagine a bar loaded with walnuts and dates with just a hint of sugar then the soft texture of oatmeal all stuck together with creamy peanut butter.

YUM! Right?! Oh wait!

These are baked and they don&rsquot get hard. These stay soft and chewy. You need these in your life just make them.

What goes on a Tapas Platter

The great thing about a tapas platter is that it's so easy to adapt. Your favourite meats, cheeses and vegetables all work with some dips and breads. We have included the recipe for how we have made ours in the picture and in the recipe card below. But here are some extra options if you feel like adapting it.

  • Bread - We used a crusty loaf and then some crisp breads which are great for dipping. Bread products are great for filling out the platter amongst the more expensive items. You could also add a few different flavoured crackers and breadsticks too.
  • Dip - We have added an incredible tomato marmalade, which goes so well with the meat and cheese. We sometimes swap that for a fig jam or an onion chutney. However, you could add an aoli if you wanted something a bit more indulgent or a garlic and red pepper sauce.
  • Olives - It's not a sharing platter without olives in our opinion. The great thing about olives is that there are so many options. Green, black, garlic and herb olives, stuffed olives (chilli or garlic are our favourites).
  • Meat - This is a big part of the tapas platter. To keep it traditionally Spanish, we went with chorizo and Serrano ham, however any of your favourite slices of meat will work well.
  • Roasted/grilled vegetables - The meat can be quite heavy and salty, so we like to balance it out by adding as many vegetables as we can to add nutrients and colour. We like roasted red peppers, tomatoes, courgette and asparagus. Sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes are good addition too.
  • Cheese - Another big part of the platter is cheese. Keeping with the Spanish theme we used Iberico and a Spanish goats cheese.
  • Nuts - These add some lovely crunch and texture to the platter. The saltiness goes well with the cheese as well. We used almonds, however any nuts will work.
  • Fruit - Grapes and cheese are the perfect match and they help to add a pop of colour to the platter too.
  • Tortilla - A nice way to give the platter a bit of a protein boost is some slices of Spanish Tortilla which is an egg and potato dish. It's nice and filling, so it helps to bulk it out a little.

Oaty Date and Honey Flapjacks

Oaty Date and Honey Flapjacks – You know all them dates you got for Ramadan? It’s time to turn them into a delicious bar that you can enjoy at Suhoor/Sehri! Note – It is totally acceptable to make them throughout the year too.

Oaty Date and Honey Flapjacks

These flapjacks are a great way of using up surplus dates but also they are great made ahead for Suhoor when you need some energy but can’t conjure up any to make anything nutritious.


I used store cupboard ingredients in this recipe to make life a little easier.

Light Brown Sugar – Sub for any other sugar of your choice

How to make Date Flapjacks

Preheat oven to 150 C/GM 2.

Grease and line a square tin.

Heat the honey, dates, sugar and butter. Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat.

Stir in oats, nuts and seeds.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Leave to cool and then cut into bars.


I can’t focus, because the font on my blog has gone and changed itself. Woah how did that happen?! The Ramadan fog has entered my brain. (In my world it lasts around 3 days and then I am so with it! Howsboutyou?)

Just as an FYI, I wrote this approx 2 weeks ago so just work with me here..please? Whoosh..We are now stepping back in time..SOOOOO I had an absolutely fabulous bank holiday weekend. Hope you did too! I was at my mum’s doing a photoshoot for my sisters fabulous candle company – Nuhr Home , then later that evening we (myself and my sisters) went to Manchester for a meal and laughed loads and ate alot. On the Sunday, we went to St Annes of which I posted pics on my instagram stories. We had so much fun and the kids were so happy. I must point out though, that there are 2 sides to St Annes and one of the beaches (the one near the pier) is not very nice infect it’s pretty terrible..think empty coke bottles and nappies floating along the waves.. so I had alot of confused messages from people asking about the beach we were actually on. They had experienced the grotty beach. By the way, we had originally parked there not knowing what awaited us but my dad saved us and told us to drive to where they were. We had gotten lost en route.

Anyway later that evening, my husband received a call to say my gran in law was very ill and had been taken into hospital. I won’t go into the details but it is very serious and she is in a critical condition (prayers please!!)…I can’t explain how much she means to me and as soon as I got upstairs, I bawled my eyes out. I love her to pieces and the thought of losing her is something I cannot comprehend. My gran in law has repeatedly told me that me and her have a connection and it was like we had met before.

Peach Oatmeal Bars

Something came over my daughter and me at the local produce stand. Juicy Alabama peaches piled high in baskets cast a spell on us, and we wound up buying way too many, considering we were leaving on vacation in just a few days. So, in an effort to leave no fruit behind, the whole family feasted on peaches at (and between) every meal.

Still, the day before we were to leave, two succulent, ripe fruits were left, but by that time, we were all peached out. I could have frozen them, but instead I decided to transform them into WFPB peach oatmeal bars that we could take along with us on the plane.

As it turned out, these moist and fruity bars never made it to the plane. They never even made it to the next day because somehow the peach magic spell was still at work, and bar by bar, the plate grew emptier as the day went by. Good thing they were low in sugar and fat because they turned out to be irresistible.

Lining the pan with parchment paper makes the bars easy to lift out.

These are soft, chewy bars, not hard and crunchy like granola bars, so if you plan to take them along on your next trip, be sure you carry them in something sturdy, like a BPA-free plastic storage container. They’re equally delicious as a breakfast or as a dessert–if you can keep them around that long!

Cakey, Oaty Energy Bars Packed with Fruits & Seeds

  • dairy-free
  • fish-free
  • alcohol-free
  • vegetarian
  • shellfish-free
  • vegan
  • pescatarian
  • egg-free
  • pork-free
  • soy-free
  • tree-nut-free
  • low-sodium
  • red-meat-free
  • Calories 269
  • Fat 12.7 g (19.6%)
  • Saturated 5.9 g (29.6%)
  • Carbs 36.2 g (12.1%)
  • Fiber 4.7 g (19.0%)
  • Sugars 15.2 g
  • Protein 6.7 g (13.3%)
  • Sodium 62.8 mg (2.6%)


rolled oats (use certified gluten-free oats if necessary)


Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8"x8" baking pan with parchment paper.

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the melted coconut oil, peanut butter, and brown rice syrup and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Add the ground flax seeds, apple sauce, and vanilla, and whisk to combine.

In a large bowl, combine the oats with the dried fruit, seeds, cinnamon, and salt. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.

Transfer the mixture to the baking pan, pressing with your hands to create an even surface.

Bake until golden, about 45 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Lift out and cut into 12 pieces.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Wrap individual bars tightly for transporting.

Recipe Notes

Recipe inspired by Cassie Best's Feelgood flapjacks in Good Food magazine.

Flahavan's, Not your run of the mill oats

Energy balls don't come much tastier than these - the dates add a lovely hit of sweetness too!

Serves 25 energy balls | Takes 1 hours 20 mins


1 cup of Flahavan’s Rolled Oats

3 1/2 tbsps. of sunflower seeds

2 dessert spoon whey protein powder

2tbsp of melted dark chocolate


Place the almonds, Flahavan’s Oats, sunflower seeds, 20g sesame seeds, salt, whey protein powder and cinnamon into a food processor and grind into a powder

Add the medjool dates, tahini, honey and orange juice to the mixture and blend until it comes together. Add in another squeeze of orange juice if it is too dry

Roll the mixture into 25 equal sized balls

Place the remaining sesame seeds on a flat plate and roll the balls in the seeds to coat them

Drizzle the balls with the melted chocolate and leave to set in the fridge for 1 hour or until dry to touch.

Top Tip: Our energy balls can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days or keep in the freezer for up to 1 month

Date Crumble Bars (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

DATE. CRUMBLE. BARS. Do I need to say more? I don’t. But it’s me. So I will. And before I start talking about these date crumble bars, I’ll just say this.

I have so many cringeworthy jokes like, “This is the perfect date” or “have you ever had such a good first date” or “this was the best date of my life!” and though they may make you wince from pain at how not funny they are, they all apply here.

You already know I love dates. I made these Date Crumble Bars with one thing top of mind – my desire to make a sweet and luscious date filling. I had tons of dates I had bought and wanted to use them to make something that was decadent, but still light enough to eat with breakfast or as a morning pastry with coffee. And thus, these crumble bars were born.

This recipe is also vegan, gluten-free, and uses no refined sugar. We love that about them!

I loved the idea of taking a cross between a fig (well here, date) newton and an apple crumble and seeing what could become of the two. To make the crust, I use a blend of almond flour and oat flour. For this recipe I liked the idea of making the latter in my blender, so we still keep some oaty texture (plus, one less trip to the store!). Along with a touch of coconut sugar and coconut oil, the crust is shortbready but also chewy, making it stand up well against the date filling.

And now to the filling – also known as the object of my affection and desire. I added absolutely no sugar to this, and it comes together with just medjool dates (the GOAT), a little almond milk, and vanilla extract. It could not be easier than that, and I will warn you that you will truly want to eat it straight up.

I use most of the dough for the crust, and save about one-third of it to crumble on top, mixed in with some rolled oats and coconut sugar for more texture.

If you aren’t convinced yet to make these by my vivid, lengthy description then I hope the pictures will really send you over the edge.

I hope you enjoy this recipe – tag me on Instagram @dadaeats so I can see your creations!

How to make Caramel Oat Bars

Here&rsquos a list of ingredients you&rsquoll need to make these bars. You can find my recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list with their amounts.

  • Plain/all-purpose flour
  • Quick oats: You can also use rolled oats if you prefer.
  • Light brown sugar
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vanilla extract

For the caramel filling, you&rsquoll need:

  • Chewy caramels or toffees
  • Evaporated milk
  • Chocolate chips: You can use milk, dark, or semi-sweet.

To make these caramel bars, simply start by whisking together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the melted butter and vanilla, and mix in with a fork to form a crumbly mixture.

Press half of the mixture into the base of an 8×8-inch square baking pan lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake for 10 minutes.

For the caramel filling, add the caramels and evaporated milk to a microwave-safe bowl, and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring after each one, until melted and smooth.

Pour the caramel mixture over the oat base, spread out evenly, then sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Top with the remaining crumble mixture, patting it down gently into the caramel layer.

Bake for 20 &ndash 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Allow to cool completely in the pan on wire rack before cutting into bars.

The printable recipe card with the FULL list of ingredients and instructions can be found at the bottom of this post.

NOTE: For best results, I highly recommend using the gram measurements (with a digital scale), rather than the cup measurements.

Cup measurements are simply not accurate enough, and I cannot guarantee the best results if you use them.

Matrimonial Cake: The Recipe

Granny mentions using lemon juice so I’m sticking with it – and even added a bit more which made the date paste turn a bit pinkish in colour but I loved this, as it ended up being rather appropriate for Valentine’s Day, too. I see in other Canadian recipes that they use orange juice instead plus even some zest but I prefer keeping it simple as I remember it. If you feel some zest coming on, then go for it!

Once the delicious shortbread-like oat crumble is pressed in to the bottom of the tin and spread with the date paste, just drop on the crumble topping and only gently pat it down so that the effect is still a bit crumbly on top.

Granny didn’t use much crumble on top (if you like a lot then increase the crumble recipe but the magic is the recipe below) which meant that you could still see the date nectar underneath and the crumble was more of a slightly sparse hint – which is why we craved even more.

Baking with Dates from the Pantry

If you love dates, then you’ll also love these Date and Apple Bran Muffins, another inspiration from Granny’s recipes.

Don’t have dates?

No worries if you don’t even have dates. Make matrimonial cake with prunes and add some orange zest. The combination is wonderful – I even have a prune, orange and Armagnac recipe for macarons in my first book, Mad About Macarons!

Like the recipe? Have something to say about it? Just even want to say hello? I love hearing from you – it’s my motivation to keep this blog going as I don’t monetise it. So, don’t be shy and leave a reply below… thank you!