Date Squares Thick Classic Recipe (2024)

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Learn how to make Thick Classic Date Squares, the best date squares I’ve ever tasted!

I’ll share my recipe with fresh ingredients perfectly fitting any Canadian household.

Try them today!

Date squares were traced back to 1928 in California and are a classic recipe for Canadian households.

These are the best squares I’ve ever tasted, and I don’t skimp on the ingredients.

Recipe Update 2023: A 13×9 baking pan doubles this recipe. Use an 8×8 baking pan to make this recipe.

Date Squares Thick Classic Recipe (1)

Classic Date Bars For Everyone

Canadian date squares are also known as matrimonial squares, date bars, or wedding/matrimonial squares, dating back to 1930 in Iowa.

These squares are perfect for serving at a wedding reception or shower, topped with ice cream, whipped cream, or Greek yogurt.

The history behind the wedding cake is that two layers of oats come together with the date filling.

It’s a marriage of oats and dates, as is a couple who gets married, hence the married name.

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Oatmeal Favourite Recipes

I’m a massive fan of the fudgy chocolate brownie, but classic date squares, aside from a chocolate treat, are number one in my books.

You might find my face buried in delicious oatmeal raisin cookies or any dessert involving oatmeal, such as Oatmeal jam-filled squares.

I made these old-fashioned date squares a few times a year and decided to like them with a thick center and base.

Some of my colleagues asked that I make them for work after bringing them in for a bake sale last year.

Bakery Classic Date Squares

If you aren’t a fan of baking, you could buy a wide variety of these squares at a grocery store, coffee shop, or local bakery.

You will notice that the price tag for one date square is high and shocking since they are inexpensive to make.

A pack of four at Food Basics costs $5.99 when I can make a whole tray for a few more dollars.

Oatmeal, dates, and butter are the main ingredients; you can find them on sale or buy them from Amazon.

I have yet to find a thick, chewy date square for under $3.00 to make this full tray of classic date squares for $8.00.

Baking at home vs. store-bought baking is much cheaper, so we tend to bake more at home rather than from shops.

Do Date Squares Go Bad?

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One of the most common questions when I bring a batch for a dinner party or bake sale is, “How do you make date squares“?

Eating a few squares as soon as they are cool enough means you won’t have to worry about them going wrong.

Ideally, you might make this easy recipe for a dinner party, bake sale, or summer bbq.

You can also make them a day or months in advance and freeze them. (that’s what we do)

If you leave them out long enough, they can mold just like bread; however, keeping them refrigerated or frozen is ideal.

Easiest Square Recipe To Make

They look decadent and challenging to make, but let me tell you a secret; they’re not hard to make.

Making this square recipe won’t keep you in the kitchen for hours.

You can whip a batch up in under an hour, and they taste better than buying them from the bakery.

Your friends won’t believe you made them because they are rich and perfect paired with tea or coffee.

Although this might not be a healthy date squares recipe, anyone would appreciate it as a treat.

Varieties of Date Squares

I like to spice up my recipe by adding cinnamon to the base, lemon juice, orange rind, and other spices.

Typically I stick to a traditional recipe with oatmeal and cinnamon in the mix, but they are versatile for flavours.

Our pantry has quick oats, but I prefer large flake oats to give the squares a chewy texture.

As mentioned, I like to make my squares thick, adding a good amount of oats to the base and the topping.

Varieties of Dates

Many dates are worldwide, and the expected dates used for the date square are Medjool.

Medjool dates are the best to use when making any recipe for dates.

Date fruit comes from the Date palm, a staple food of the Middle East cultivated since ancient times.

Also, date palms take 4 to 8 years before they bear fruit.

Perhaps this is why they can be a bit pricey, depending on the kind you buy.

Thick Squares Are The Best

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I’m also not cheap on the filling because I buy pitted dates in a 1 kg bag on Amazon for only $8.21.

I can make 2 to 3 batches from one bag of dates with that amount.

How To Make Classic Date Squares

How To Make Orange Date Squares

If you want orange date squares, you’ll need to add 1/3 cup of orange juice and two tablespoons of grated orange rind to the date mixture.

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Ingredient List

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Classic Thick Date Squares Process

The printable Recipe is Below

Recipe Update: A 13×9 baking pan is used to double this recipe. Use an 8×8 baking pan to make this recipe.

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Put your pitted dates in a pot with 11/2 cups of water, a tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, and vanilla, then cook until tender (about 15-20 minutes), then cool.
  • Puree cooled dates in a food processor until blended and smooth (if you like them chunky, use a fork to mash them up)
  • Spray an 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray, then line it with parchment paper so it’s hanging over the edges.
  • In a bowl, add the flour, salt, oats, butter, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon, and mix in the food processor until combined or the oats look like there are in chunks.
  • Pat 2/3 of the oats mixture in the bottom of the lined baking pan. I use a fork around the pan to ensure it’s tightly packed.
  • Add the date mixture to the oat mixture and smooth out over the top.
  • Use the rest of the oat mixture and crumble over the top. Don’t press in as you did for the bottom of the pan. Just let the oats fall all over the top of the date mixture.
  • Bake in the oven for 25 mins or until golden brown.
  • Let cool completely, then pull the date squares out by lifting the parchment paper and placing it on the counter.
  • Cut into squares with a knife and set them back into the pan. The parchment helps to get them out quickly.

Printable Date Bars Recipe

Yield: 12

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Thick Classic date squares but with a more delicious filling. You'll love the flavour of the oats and dates in this popular recipe.

Prep Time25 minutes

Cook Time25 minutes

Total Time50 minutes

Ingredients

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • 1 pound pitted dates
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups large oats or quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar for oats mixture
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar for date mixture
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of cubed cold butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon or add to your preference cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • parchment paper
  • cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Put your pitted dates in a pot with 1 1/2 cups of water, a tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons ofbrown sugar, and vanilla, then cook until tender (about 15-20 minutes), then cool.
  3. Puree cooled dates in a food processor until blended and smooth (if you like it chunky, use a fork to mash them up)
  4. Spray an 8x8 baking pan (single recipe) or a 13x9 baking pan (double recipe) with cooking spray, then line it with parchment paper so it’s hanging over the edges.
  5. In a bowl, add the flour, salt, oats, butter, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon, and mix in the food processor until combined or the oats look like there are in chunks.
  6. Pat 2/3 of the oats mixture in the bottom of the lined baking pan. I use a fork around the pan to ensure it’s packed in nicely.
  7. Add the date mixture to the oat mixture and smooth out over the top.
  8. Use the rest of the oat mixture and crumble over the top. Don’t press in as you did for the bottom of the pan. Just let the oats fall all over the top of the date mixture.
  9. Bake in the oven for 25 mins or until golden brown.
  10. Let cool completely, then pull the date squares out by lifting the parchment paper out and placing it on the counter.
  11. Cut into squares with a knife and set them back into the pan. The parchment helps to get them out quickly.

Notes

You can freeze for six months. Depending on how big you cut your date squares, you can get more or less than I have. They are best eaten cold or at room temperature once they cool from the oven.

Use a 13x9 pan if you double the recipe

Did you make this recipe?

Did you make this recipe?

How To Freeze Date Squares

Typically I freeze a batch for guests or if we don’t want to eat them too fast or pre-made for Christmas.

If you package the squares in a freezer bag or tight container, they last for months in the freezer.

When making this recipe, line a Tupperware container with parchment paper, then set the cut date squares inside.

If you don’t have Tupperware, I suggest using freezer-safe glass containers as they are durable.

You can also make these squares months ahead of Christmas to prepare for your holiday dessert trays.

I also find if I make the date squares ahead of time or other desserts, it takes the holiday stress off my shoulders.

Don’t be shy to play with the spices and flavours, or bake up a batch to give to your friend.

Sometimes I add rum-soaked raisins with the dates.

For this, you’d need a bottle of rum and Thompson raisins which you’ll rehydrate with the alcohol.

Update: I made these fantastic Date, Apple, and Raisin Squares the same way as this recipe with tweaks.

-Mr.CBB

Please find my recipes at The Free Recipe Depot on CBB

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  • Old Fashioned Gingerbread Cookies
  • Spiced rum and oatmeal raisin cookies
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Date Squares Thick Classic Recipe (10)
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Date Squares Thick Classic Recipe (2024)
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