Not your Gramma’s Date Squares recipe

Not Grammas Date Square Recipe

Most of us who live in North America will have a “Gramma’s Date Squares” recipe tucked into our family cookbook files. (For Australians who visit this blog, it might be a “Date Slice” recipe.) Steps for how to make Thermomix Date Slice

In North American homes and homestyle restaurants large gooey date squares are commonly served as a super sweet special treat. Just the thought of date squares makes some of us harken back to the days when Betty Crocker ruled the kitchen and we didn’t know enough about nutrition to care whether or not her “Date Bars” were good for us.

Thermomix date slice recipe

This is not gramma’s date squares recipe.

This is a slightly healthier, modern alternative. Not über healthy — just dairy free and lower in sugar (zero refined sugar) so these squares still taste and feels like gramma’s  (maybe even better!) but these can be enjoyed with less guilt — especially when we cut them into smaller squares than grandma did.

Why are these NOT Gramma’s Date Squares?
  • This is a THERMOMIX date squares recipe, made with a modern kitchen appliance that my grandma didn’t have when making date squares. (Today many grandmothers around the world use Thermomix, but my own and my children’s Grandmas were born too early to enjoy having a Thermomix in their kitchens.)
  • Grandma added a lot of sugar — to the base, filling, and crumble topping. But this date squares recipe does not use refined sugar, nor does it add sugar or any other sweetener to the thick layer of naturally-sweet date filling.
  • These date squares are made with coconut oil instead of butter. According to some, this makes them healthier. According to me, it adds a yummy, nutty depth of  flavour.
  • When we cut these into 3cm x 3cm squares they are 75% smaller than Gramma’s date squares used to be (sugary and huge, at 6cm x 6cm)… Perfect with a hot drink they are about two bites big but we can reach for seconds or third helpings while still feeling virtuous ;-)
Note: numbered steps in photo at right
are a guideline only and do not correspond
with recipe steps below.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Date Squares Recipe (Thermomix)
A healthier dairy-free version of our gramma's date squares (date slice) recipe.
Cuisine: Thermomix American Canadian
Recipe type: Desserts
  • 140 g. (4.9 oz) all-purpose, plain flour
  • 20 g. (0.7 oz) corn starch (cornflour in Australia)
  • 140 g. (4.9 oz) oats (rolled oats or quick-cook oat flakes)
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • 280 g. (9.9 oz) coconut palm sugar (Rapadura, organic raw cane sugar)
  • 150 g. (5.3 oz) coconut oil (does not need to be melted)
  • 340 g. (12 oz) pitted dates
  • 220 g. (7.8 oz) water
  • zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC (350F).
  2. Mix flour and corn starch for 6 seconds/speed 6.
  3. Add oats, salt, sugar, baking soda, mix for 5 seconds/speed 4. (If using quick-cook oats, do this step using REVERSE instead)
  4. Add coconut oil and mix 40 seconds/speed 5/REVERSE or until mixture begins holding together.
  5. Divide oat mixture in half. Set aside one half for the crumble topping. Line a square (21cm x 21cm) cake pan with baking parchment. Press half the oat mix firmly into the pan and bake 15 minutes until golden.
  6. As oat layer pre-bakes, you can prepare the filling: Put the lemon zest into Thermomix, add dates and water, and cook it for 7 minutes/Varoma/speed 1 with measuring cap off.
  7. Add lemon juice and mix 5 seconds/speed 3.
  8. Spread date layer over the pre-baked oat base and add remaining crumbly oat mixture over top. Lightly press crumb topping into the date mixture and bake for 25 minutes.
To remove, cut and store date squares: Easiest way to remove these is by allowing the pan to cool slightly and then gently lifting the parchment straight up by the edges so the uncut mass comes out as single block. Place on a cooling rack and resist temptation to cut. Once cooled, use a sharp knife to cut into squares. It may help to moisten knife blade between cuts. After cutting into squares, store in fridge. This helps the squares to set as they cool further. Best enjoyed at room temp, after brief storage in fridge. For long term storage, keep in fridge.


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See 16 comments from people who cook with Thermomix:

  1. Madame Thermomix March 31, 2014 at 7:36 am #

    Oh Helene you are determined to destroy my diet, aren’t you?? At least these gooey gorgeous date squares have coconut oil and unrefined sugar in them to make me feel a tiny bit virtuous ;-) Thanks for sharing this luscious recipe which will help use up my stock of delicious dates!

  2. ThermomixBlogger Helene March 31, 2014 at 7:40 am #

    Hi Madame — Last time I saw a photo of you, you were a shadow of your former self, bravo! I made this recipe four times for testing purposes and gave most of them away. Generosity is the best way I know of to stay on a diet while making date squares ;-)

  3. Heidi March 31, 2014 at 7:46 am #

    This is the perfect recipe to make today. I love the modification and that every measurement is thermomix ready. Thanks Helene.

  4. Sue March 31, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    This recipe looks fantastic – can’t wiat to make it for our next road trip – will be perfect as it has no dairy and it’s a healthy snack in moderation – yum thanks Helene!

  5. ThermomixBlogger Helene March 31, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by Heidi and Sue! I hope you will try and enjoy these :)

  6. Gina March 31, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

    Helene … i have to tell you … my mum is Maltese and she used to make the most beautiful date slice … i loved it but it has been filed away in my memory banks and long forgotten (almost!!!), until i saw this posting. This is so like the recipe my mum used to make, and i can’t wait to give it a try today … it looks amazing! Thank you so much for this!

  7. ThermomixBlogger Helene March 31, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

    Gina, it was fun to read your story. If your mum made these in Malta, they are truly universal!

  8. Bee Keough April 2, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

    Oh my goodness (pun completely intended) this sounds delicious! Going to be on my todo list today! Thanks Helene!

  9. ThermomixBlogger Helene April 2, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

    Awww Beeeee!!! So nice to see you here. I wish I could share a cuppa tea and a few date squares with you. A few laughs too, no doubt ;-) Happy mixing!

  10. bee Keough April 2, 2014 at 5:06 pm #

    LOL – one day Helene!!!!! and don’t you worry… I’m ON here ALL the time. One of the best Thermomix websites in the world! I tell all my newbies about you :-))

  11. frizzylizzy April 16, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

    I would love these but am allergic to oats … do you know what I could substitute in? Thanks :-)

  12. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile August 5, 2014 at 8:22 pm #

    Gorgeous – I love date squares!!! Mmm and I’m on a big date kick at the moment… can’t get enough! Can’t wait to try this! xxx

  13. Bee Keough March 16, 2016 at 1:50 am #

    Helene, my manna never make these… But I do for my granddaughter…. If hubby leaves her any!! These are so delicious and easy, they’re a regular in our house!!

  14. Bee Keough March 16, 2016 at 1:52 am #

    (Slaps head) thank you autocorrect for changing nana to manna (it couldn’t possibly be MY fault!


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