I love dates and this is a great dessert featuring this dried fruit. I like to get the dates with the pits in them and remove the pits. They work best in this recipe. You can refrigerate the squares after baking and enjoy them at room temperature or cold.

Yield: 9 large squares or16 small squares


for filling:

  • 2 cups pitted dates, rough chop
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

for oatmeal layers:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups extra thick oats (I love Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • Powdered sugar for sprinkling (optional)


for filling:

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small saucepan, combine dates, water and sugar and cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until thickened and dates are tender and broken up, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.

for oatmeal layers and assembly:

In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, vanilla, baking soda and salt. Add melted butter and using your hands,blend to combine. Spray an 8X8 square baking pan with cooking spray. Press half of oatmeal mixture into an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Carefully spread date mixture on top of oatmeal layer.

Add pecans (if using) to remaining oatmeal mixture. Sprinkle remaining mixture over filling and gently press down. Bake until golden for about 35-40 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar as desired. Refrigerate for storage and enjoy!