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  • Writer's pictureErin

Date Squares

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Not quite what we would call a cake today, this Matrimonial cake is really just Date Squares. When food rationing prevented the women of the prairies from making a traditional wedding cake, they used what they had to make something special. Simple and sweet, you can't go wrong with these at a picnic, potluck or tucked away in your freezer!

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook time: 30 min

Yield: 15-18 bars



  • 1 1/4 cup (185g) all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/4 cup (135g) rolled oats

  • 1 cup (200g) brown sugar

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 3/4 cup (173g) cold butter


  • 1 lb dates

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 3/4 cup water (or more if needed)

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F and line a 7' x 10' pan with parchment and set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and baking soda. Grate the cold butter into the dry mix & massage into the dry ingredients with your hands. The mixture should hold together when squeezed in your palm of your hand but easily break apart with a rub of your thumb.

  3. Press half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the parchment lined pan using a fork to firmly press it down. Reserve the other half of the crumb.

  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the dates, brown sugar, water and baking soda. Heat over medium-low and stir constantly as the dates break down and the sugar dissolves. Cook and stir until thick. If the filling becomes too thick before the dates have broken down well, add more water a couple tablespoons at a time to the pot and stir everything well.

  5. Remove the sauce from heat and spread over the pressed crumb. Top with the reserved half of the crumb.

  6. Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for 30-35 min or until the edges are golden.

  7. Remove to a heatproof surface and leave in the pan for 10 min. Then remove the entire baked slab to a wire cooling rack and cool completely before cutting into 15-18 squares.

Zhuzh it up!

  • You can make these squares ahead of time and keep them in the freezer until you're ready to serve them (or just snack on them directly from the icebox!)

This amazing recipe was written by Erin Walker


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