Sometimes you just want a simple sweet treat, and these date bars are the ultimate easy to make fix for those cravings! The crisp and buttery topping combined with the sweet filling makes these absolutely scrumptious.
I love this classic date bars recipe and I’ve been making it for the family ever since it was passed down to me from my Grandmother.
These bars are also the reason Mr Magpie married me, he claims, for a lifetime supply of date bars. So I taught him how to make them himself 😉 and he now has mastered this recipe, and has become the official date bars baker in the house.
If you’re looking for the perfect sweet snack, you’ve found it. These date bars are naturally low in sugar and they go down just as well with a nice cup of tea after a long day too.Let’s just say if you don’t have a date with these date bars at least once a month, you’re missing out!
Of course, this is a recipe for the date lovers out there, but I’m definitely one of them! I’m always looking for great ways to incorporate dates into my recipes, whether they’re desserts or snacks.
A Date Bar By Any Other Name is Still a Date Bar!
(….annnnd Shakespeare is definitely rolling in his grave right now.) Think you’ve never heard of date bars? You might be wrong. These tasty treats are sometimes referred to as matrimonial bars or date squares – but they’re literally the same thing, and still my favorite thing!
Dates Are a Healthier Snack
Dates are a really healthy sweet snack and a much better option when you’re tempted to reach for the chocolate! They’re packed with fiber, full of energy, and a bit high in sugar and calories – but that’s not always a bad thing if you’re dealing with young picky eaters in your house!
Oh and if you’re a fan of healthy date recipes you absolutely have to try my healthy banana date oatmeal breakfast cookies too!
You can replace the sugar with sweeteners that are a 1:1 replacement, and Splenda even has a brown sugar mix now! That would make these lower in sugar and a great treat!
How to Make Date Bars
- Combine the filling ingredients in a pot and start simmering, stirring often until you have a smooth mixture.
- Combine the sugar and butter to start the base and topping.
- Add in the oats, flour, salt, and baking soda.
- Press most of the crust mix into the bottom of a 9×9 pan but save some for the topping.
- Pour the filling and spread it evenly.
- Crumble the topping evenly across the filling.
- Bake at 350 F until well browned on top, then cool and cut into pieces to make your date bars!
Which Dates Should You Use to Make Date Bars?
You can really use any dates for making these date bars but I tend to use dates that are chopped up and in a block form the most because they’re the most affordable, easy to find in pretty much any store, and they have that delicious caramel taste that I love.
Going Gluten-Free? Check Your Oats
Date bars tend to be gluten-free but you’ll need to check that the oats you’re using aren’t processed in a cross-contamination facility. If you want a gluten-free version of these bars, make sure that you specifically look for gluten-free oats.
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The best date bars recipe around! This was my Grandma's recipe for making matrimonial squares, also known as date squares or bars!
- Prep Time
- 10 minutes
- Cook Time
- 20 minutes
- Total Time
- 30 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- one 375 gram package dates chopped up
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup water
Combine the ingredients for the filling into a small pot and start simmering over medium heat,, stirring often. You want to dissolve the dates and cook until it's a smooth mixture with very few lumps. Once this is finished remove from the heat and set aside.
Start the base and topping. Combine the sugar and butter together until creamy and combined thoroughly.
Add in the oats, flour, salt and baking soda. Mix together completely.
Press 2/3 of the crust mix into the bottom of a 9x9 pan, saving some for the topping.
Pour the filling on top of the bottom crust and spread it around evenly.
Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture as a topping evenly across the filling.
Bake at 350 degrees until it's beautifully browned on top.
Cool it and then cut into pieces.
It is easiest to buy the dates that are already chopped and in the package in a block, not separate ones.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.