Date Bars

  Do you remember Date Bar Mixes? Well, if you do and you can no longer buy them, this is the recipe for you. I have very fond memories of Date Bars our Mom made and I made them for several years using the Date Bar Mix. Dates were only available then  around the Holidays so the mixes were the only alternative for those of us who wanted a taste of our youth.
  This recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens All Time Favorites really is I think,  the one Mom made. It dates from the 1950s’ and now that you can buy Dates year round, this is a simple recipe to make. It calls for raisins with the dates and I did use them, but they are easily omitted if you want to. If omitting the raisins, add a few more dates. Cutting the dates with a kitchen shears is much easier than chopping them. 
  Do not over bake the bars as they are better soft. Bake till they are a golden brown, the toothpick test does not work with these. I found the baking time was right with my oven. Check at 30 minutes. You should always check baked goods a few minutes before the time recommended as oven vary.
  Bake a panful or half the recipe and enjoy a taste of your youth.
Date Layer Bars
½ cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats
1 tablespoon water
1 ¾ cups chopped dates (about 10 ounces)
1 ½ cups water
½ cup raisins (I used Golden Raisins)
  In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter (butter should be cold) with an electric mixer about 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar and beat until combined. Beat in the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in the rolled oats and the 1 tablespoon water. 
  Pat half of the mixture in the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch pan.
For filling, in a medium saucepan, combine dates, raisins, 1 ½ cups water. Bring to boiling and reduce heat. Simmer until thick, stirring as they will scorch, about 8 minutes or until thick. 
  Spread over the rolled oats mixture in cake pan. Top with remaining rolled oats mixture, pressing down lightly.
 Bake in 350° oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown, Do not overbake.
Servings: 32 bars
Per Bar: 109 Calories, 3 Grams total fat, 85 MG sodium, 20 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram protein


  1. I love date bars! They are very popular here in Canada year round.
    I just discovered your blog over at 'I Love A Cloudy Day's' blog.
    I was actually raised in the Mid-West (Iowa and Missouri), but I
    married a Canadian and now live here.
    I will be back to visit again soon!

  2. Hi, always nice to have a new reader. You are a long way from home. What part of Canada, I lived in northern Minnesota before moving to Iowa, close to the Canadian border.

  3. Oh! Must try these! I LOVE date bars! Thanks!

  4. Nadine, these are good, like I had growing up. Easy to make also. Hope you have a great day.

  5. I love date bars! This recipe also works well for other fruits if you don't have dates on hand. I've twice now tried this recipe using strawberry jam - I had a supply of strawberry jam that I'd made with the Pomona Pectin and we didn't like it - this recipe will take about 1-1/2 cups of jam.

  6. Tracy, what a great idea to use up the jam. I have some blueberry preserves I might have to use that way. Thanks for the idea.

  7. When in Home Ec in the late 50's, we made date muffins. They were wonderful and I've recently tried to find a recipe. I bet these fit the bill. Thank you.

  8. I don't think you will be able to say these are date muffins. I remember making them also. Maybe I can find a recipe for you.


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