Date Bars
Print Recipe

Date Bars with a Buttery Crumb Crust

Cook the dates with some sugar and water briefly, blitz them to make a paste. Let it cool a little. Blitz the crust ingredients. Layer and bake.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dessert, party food, Side Dish
Cuisine: American


Date Layer

  • 1 pound pitted dates
  • 1 c packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 c water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Crumb Layer

  • 1 1/2 c old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter


Date Layer

  • Remove the pits from the dates and cut them in half. In a medium saucepan, combine the dates, brown sugar, water, and vanilla extract.
  • Bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar. Stir constantly and simmer for one minute.
  • Let the mixture cool and then purée it into a thick paste.

Crumb Layer

  • Position oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350.
  • Butter a 9 x 13 pan.
  • Combine all crumb layer ingredients in a food processor and blitz until it becomes coarse crumbs.
  • Firmly press half the mixture into the bottom of the greased 9 x 13.
  • Spread all the puréed date layer over the bottom crumb layer. It will be sticky and difficult to spread evenly without disrupting the bottom crust layer. Work slowly and deliberately.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the crumb crust on top of the date layer. Press lightly.
  • Bake about 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
  • Let it cool in the pan, then cut into squares. 
  • Garnish with powdered sugar if desired.


Sprinkle with powdered sugar right before serving. Travels well. Safe to eat if left on the counter for several days.