Best Date Bars Recipe
Best Date Bars Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Best Date Bars Recipe

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I grew up in a family with eight children, and I started baking for our big family at age 10. Today, decades later, I still enjoy baking pies, cakes, strudels and bars. These date treats are very easy to bake, and one sheet of them will yield 48 good-sized bars. I sometimes add nuts, coconut or candied fruit. This dessert is great to take to a church bazaar or any group function. In the 1940s, I managed a Pittsburgh school cafeteria that fed 420 students ever day, so I can recall a thing or two about how to feed a crowd! —Dorothy DeLeske, Scottsdale, Arizona
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 35 min.
MAKES:40 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 35 min.
MAKES: 40 servings


  • 2-1/2 cups pitted dates, cut up
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, optional
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon water

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 0 calories, 0g fat (0g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 0mg sodium, 0g carbohydrate (0g sugars, 0g fiber), 0g protein


  1. In a saucepan, combine dates, sugar and water. Cook, stirring frequently, until very thick. Stir in walnuts, if desired; cool.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda together in a large bowl; add oats and brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle water over mixture; stir lightly. Pat half into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Spread with date mixture; cover with remaining oat mixture and pat lightly.
  3. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Yield: 40 bars.
If Cooking for Two: Freeze bars in serving-size portions.
Originally published as Best Date Bars in Reminisce March/April 1992, p37

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Reviewed Apr. 8, 2016

"This was too salty and I ended up tossing it. I will make some changes and try again."

Reviewed Oct. 15, 2015

"I found the recipe easy to follow. Unfortunately, the final product was too salty for my family's taste. Also, the base and topping were a bit too crumbly. I will try some modifications in hopes of saving this bar recipe."

Reviewed Jan. 12, 2015

"I too, like the previous post somewhere over the years have lost the recipe. My mother used to make these all the time in the 60's when we were children. This is a very good recipe and easy to make. Will definitely make it again. My children enjoy it just as much as I did. Thanks!"

Reviewed Nov. 22, 2013

"A hit with my family, including mom who used to make these when we were kids, but the recipe has been long lost. We are delighted to have such a delicious sub."

Reviewed Nov. 2, 2011

"Very good. Voted just as good as Mom's used to be."

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