Old-Fashioned Date Squares Recipe

Date squares recipe

Imagine a gooey filling of sweet date ingredients sandwiched between two buttery layers of oatmeal crust. This easy and nutritious old-fashioned date squares recipe makes a perfect snack for school lunches and a comforting treat to enjoy with a cup of coffee on those cold winter days.

This recipe can be made gluten-free by easily swapping out the oatmeal for gluten-free oatmeal and the regular flour for almond flour. It can also be made vegan by swapping regular butter for dairy-free vegan butter sticks.

Ingredients for date squares

The date squares recipe delivers layered date squares. These date squares consist of two layers of oat crumbles with one layer of sweet date filling in between. This makes them crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

the picture shows some date squares finished and cut
Finished and cut date squares

Ingredients for the filling

  • 2 ½ cups of dates (425gr) preferably chopped
  • 1 cup cold brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (half large lemon or orange)
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

Ingredients for the shells

  • 1 3/4 cups (175gr) of oat
  • 1 cup (150gr) all-purpose flour (Or almond flour), unbleached
  • ¾ cups of brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt (kosher)
  • ¾ cups (170gr) unsalted butter

Instructions for making the filling

Step one

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Step two

If you use whole dates instead of chopped ones, pit the dates by cutting them in half and popping the seed using a kitchen knife. Then chop the dates into small pieces using a knife because you want them to disintegrate as you cook them.  

Step three

Put the chopped dates into a small saucepan. 

Step four

Add the cold coffee to the chopped dates.

Step five

Squeeze the half lemon over the dates.

Step six

Add the brown sugar to the dates. 

Step seven

Add the soda to the dates.

Step eight

Mix ingredients together to make sure they are all distributed in the saucepan.

Step nine

Put the mixture on high heat until it comes to a boil. And then let it simmer for five minutes, constantly stirring until the dates have fallen apart.

Instructions for making the crust

Step one

Add the oat, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl. 

Step two

Mix everything with your hands to make sure everything is well distributed. 

Step three

Add the butter to the mixture. 

Step four

Use a pastry cutter to mix in the butter until you have a crumbly texture that resembles crumble. If you don’t have a cutter, you can use your fingers or a fork. 

Step five

Line an 8-in square pan with parchment paper and butter the two remaining sides to make sure the filling does not stick to the cake pan. 

Step six

Pour half of the crumble mixture into the pan. Save the other half. 

Step seven

Use the bottom of a measuring cup to push the crumble down to form a crust at the bottom of the pan. 

Step eight

Add the date mixture on top of the crust and spread it using a pastry spatula. 

Step nine

Top the date mixture with the rest of the crumble mixture. Spread the crumble with your fingers all to the edges. Push down the crumble a bit just to ensure the crumble sticks on top of the date filling and does not move when we cut into it. 

Step ten

Put the pan in the oven for 55 minutes until the top is crisp and golden brown. 

Step eleven

Let date squares cool completely before cutting into it. 

Step twelve

After cooling off, unmold the date squares by holding onto the sides of the parchment paper and placing it on a cutting board.

Step thirteen

Cut it into even squares. Your date squares are ready.


I hope you enjoyed this date squares recipe. The sweetness of dates with the little coffee aftertaste makes this dessert rich and delicious. The oat crumble topping is so crispy and buttery that makes this dessert a comforting treat that you want to eat all the time.

Have you made this dessert?
What ingredients did you choose?
How did it taste?
Tell me about it in the comment section below.


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