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.
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
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
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.
Put the chopped dates into a small saucepan.
Add the cold coffee to the chopped dates.
Squeeze the half lemon over the dates.
Add the brown sugar to the dates.
Add the soda to the dates.
Mix ingredients together to make sure they are all distributed in the saucepan.
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
Add the oat, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl.
Mix everything with your hands to make sure everything is well distributed.
Add the butter to the mixture.
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.
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.
Pour half of the crumble mixture into the pan. Save the other half.
Use the bottom of a measuring cup to push the crumble down to form a crust at the bottom of the pan.
Add the date mixture on top of the crust and spread it using a pastry spatula.
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.
Put the pan in the oven for 55 minutes until the top is crisp and golden brown.
Let date squares cool completely before cutting into it.
After cooling off, unmold the date squares by holding onto the sides of the parchment paper and placing it on a cutting board.
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.