This delicious vegan date squares recipe is the perfect vegan version of a truly classic dessert. Filled with a thick layer of deliciously sweet dates and topped with simple oat crumble, these slices are sure to satisfy!
Date squares are a staple recipe for the winter holidays in my family and I’ve been tasked with making them each year for over a decade! Needless to say, I’m an expert at crafting the perfect date square and the flavor of this recipe didn’t change when I went vegan.
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Date Square vs Date Slice
Whether you call this recipe a square or a slice probably depends on where you live because they’re the same thing!
Since slices are often cut into square shapes, they often refer to the same thing. However, if you want more of a “slice” then cut the final product into a rectangle shape.
What is a Date Crumble Slice?
Technically, any recipe with dates as a major ingredient could be called a date slice or square. This recipe uses an oat-based crumble to form the bottom and top crust therefore a more descriptive name for this recipe is date crumble slice or date oat slice.
The oat crumble is pressed on the bottom of the pan to create a solid crust but the top layer is only lightly pressed and left fairly crumbly for a delicious texture!
Keep the Recipe Dairy Free and Vegan
I’ve been making date squares since I was a kid but they weren’t always dairy free or vegan. Most traditional recipes call for butter and some may require honey.
Luckily, it’s very easy to find vegan butter or margarine and this is an easy substitution in place of dairy butter for this recipe. If a recipe calls for honey, maple syrup or liquid plant-based syrup may work.
Whole Wheat vs All-Purpose Flour
This vegan date slice recipe is based off a classic family recipe from my Grandmother. In the original, all-purpose flour is used.
I’ve made this with all-purpose flour and it turns out great but I prefer the flavor and hearty texture offered by whole wheat flour. Choose whichever flour you enjoy and have available!
From a nutrition stand point, whole wheat flour offers extra fibre compared to all-purpose. There are also higher amounts of B-vitamins, iron and zinc; but this completely depends on fortification levels. In Canada, all-purpose flour is fortified with many B-vitamins and iron so much of the lost nutrients are added back in.
Whole wheat flour has a “nuttier” taste that works well in a recipe like date squares.
How to Store and Freeze Date Squares
This recipe can be stored in the fridge for quite a while, but aim to have it used up within a week to be on the safe side! Date squares have never lasted that long in my house.
This is also a fantastic recipe to freeze. Simply cook the recipe, allow it to cool completely and then cut into squares or slices. Place the squares into a freezer-safe container; if there will be multiple layers, separate layers with a piece of parchment paper. You could also individually wrap the slices before freezing.
These date slices thaw quickly if you set them out on a counter for about 10-15 minutes. You could also thaw in the fridge overnight.
Check out my other delicious vegan dessert recipes!
I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe for classic vegan date squares!
Vegan Date Squares
- 9x13 Baking dish
- Food processor
- Large bowl
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F.
- Soak the dates until they are soft. Drain the water. Purée in a food processor until smooth.
- Mix the remaining ingredients together until you have a crumbly mixture.
- Grease a 9x13 pan and pour in 2/3 of the crumble mixture. Press the crumble down firmly.
- Carefully spread the date mixture over the pressed crumble.
- Pour the remaining 1/3 of the crumble on top of the dates and gently press down.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes then let cool completely before serving.
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This is an updated post: Original post date December 2016.