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This is the Best Date Square Recipe

You know those amazing Date Squares or Newfoundland Date Crumbles they have at your local coffee shop?  The really huge ones, that are so melt in your mouth delicious?

Well what if I were to tell you that you could make these delicious little treats yourself, and very easily too? And that they were jam packed with healthy ingredients, like dates? AND…

Homemade Date Squares or Date Bars are already Vegan, and so easy to convert to Gluten-Free!

This post was originally published on June 23, 2017 and updated December 4, 2020.

All of that buttery date filling sandwiched between delicious brown sugar, flour and more butter!

Would you be interested?  I thought so!


trio of squares (Newfoundland Date Crumbles) stacked with waxed paper between each square

Homemade Date Squares

This Homemade Date Squares Recipe is even better than the ones you see in your favorite coffee store.  Just sayin.


Biting into a freshly baked Date Square can be a bit tricky.  That delicious crumbly topping full of buttery brown sugar goodness will crumble all over you, if you aren’t careful.

But that really does take second place to the creamy date filling for date squares that swirls around in your mouth with the yummy cookie base and topping.


Tips to make the Best Date Filling for Date Squares

  1. Use the freshest ingredients
  2. Use large flake oatmeal
  3. Follow the recipe exactly
  4. Make sure the unsalted butter is cold
  5. Use a hand held pastry blender to gently blend the butter through the oatmeal and flour mixture


Recipe FAQs

Date Squares are definitely a triple layer of awesome goodness!  They are also known as Newfoundland Date Crumbles and there a number of different recipes out there.

What are date squares made of?

  • Pitted dates
  • Large Flake Oatmeal
  • Butter, Brown Sugar & Flour

Can you use dates instead of sugar?

  • a healthy substitute for white sugar is date syrup

What other recipes use pitted dates?

  • Queen Elizabeth Cake is a great old fashioned recipes that uses dates. Or you could make Date Nut Cookies. Both are excellent.


single date square on parchment paper wooden table top


A well-known Canadian treat – wiki says Date squares are also known as Matrimonial Squares or Newfoundland Date Crumbles!

But in my humble opinion, the very best date squares recipe I’ve ever eaten comes from the one I’m about to share with you and that was created by my Grandma Snider.

You may need:

This recipe uses a 9 X 9 baking pan, but if you double the recipe it’s perfect for a 13 X 9 baking pan and that means freezing some for yummy treats later!

We’ve included equipment information in the recipe below.


squares on white parchment paper

I’ve featured some of Grandma’s recipes before, she was an amazing cook and baker!   This easy recipe will quickly become a family favorite.


You may also like….

Date Squares are a Canadian speciality, just like Nanaimo Bars, and Butter Tarts!

Also known as Newfoundland Date Crumbles, we love this truly Canadian Recipe. Here are some of my Grandma’s other recipes you can find on the blog:


Dates Squares – A Wonderful Old Fashioned Recipe!

Our Date Squares are a moist soft bar, full of sweet dates, butter, brown sugar and yummy oatmeal.

The crumble top browns only slightly, and folks often serve date squares just like a slice of cake!

We like to cut them into small squares, so they can be eaten with your fingers, and of course that always mean you can have seconds, right? Or thirds?!? LOL. Enjoy this old fashioned recipe. Your friends and family will definitely love it!

If you like the recipe, please give it a 5 star rating. xo

single date square on parchment paper wooden table top
Yield: 12 squares

Homemade Date Squares Recipe | Grandma’s Favorites

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This homemade date squares recipe is a vegan dessert packed with the sweetness of dates combined with a crunchy & crumbly topping is a long standing family favorite. One of these these yummy Date Squares warm from the oven & a glass of milk makes a great afternoon snack. This recipe is so easy & freezes well too!


Base and Topping

  • 2 cups oatmeal, fine (not instant)
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup shortening, or butter if you prefer


  • 1 cup dates, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Pinch baking soda


Base and Topping:

  1. Blend all ingredients together well, making sure the shortening is blended and split the mixture in half – one part for the bottom in a well greased plan, and one part for the top of the squares.


  1. Combine the filling ingredients in a medium saucepan and stirring often, cook over low heat until thick. Cool before spreading.

Make the Date Squares

  1. Press one half of the dry mixture in the bottom of a 9 X 9 square pan, that you have lined with aluminum foil
  2. Spread the Date mixture evenly
  3. Top with the rest of the Dry mixture
  4. Bake at 350F 35 - 45 minutes or until top is nicely golden.
  5. Cool and cut into squares right away.
  6. Store in an air tight container.
  7. These Date squares freeze really well!
  8. Enjoy.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 258Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 74mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 2gSugar: 26gProtein: 2g

Did you make this recipe?

Be sure to tag me @pieladybakes or use our hashtag! #pieladybakes xo

Thank you!

For taking the time to stop by, read the post and recipe, and just hang out with me for awhile. I hope you visit some of our posts too.

And if you are interested in slowing life down, just a smidge, then be sure to visit Living Simply. Lots of good stuff there too!

Pin it for later!

assortment of squares (Newfoundland Date Crumbles) on parchment paper with the title in brown letters on a white background for pinterest
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Hi there, I'm Judy, it's awesome to meet you! I'm a writer, master pie baker and I've been helping people reach their personal and career goals for over 30 years.   I believe everyone should experience the joy of creating old fashioned recipes, just like Mom or Grandma used to make. And I also help you to create those memories for you and your family with Simple, Delicious, Wholesome recipes that you can learn to make. We also help you discover that Simple Living isn't just a concept.  It's a state of mind. Comforting food and Simple Living. It's all here. You can read more on my About page!

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