Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Sweet Offering: Vegan Spelt Flour Date Squares

Today, I am offering up my humble suggestion for what to give mom on Mother’s Day - food. Preferably something sweet. Like these date squares. Date squares are a traditional favourite in my family, gleaned from relatives in Nova Scotia. My mom, dad and I are enthusiasts of old-fashioned, authentic date squares, and all of us would be happy to receive date squares as a gift.

I re-worked the date squares recipe I originally showed you here. This new recipe still tastes like the old-fashioned version, but is made with light spelt flour, Earth Balance (healthier) margarine and some ground flax (rather than wheat germ). It is great for those who can tolerate spelt flour better than wheat. It is also dairy-free and vegan for the many people who don't consume dairy products or eggs. If you prefer to use white flour and hard margarine, the original recipe is for you! This date square recipe tastes just as good though. I shared some date squares with my sister-in-law yesterday and she was quite happy with them. My husband thought this version was even better than the original. See for yourself - try them both!

For me personally, these authentic date squares are also a fitting Mother's Day reminder of my grandmother, who was the best baker I have ever known. After she died, my mom started making date squares for me because she knew how much I loved them. Recently, I started making date squares myself. My Nana probably used butter but date squares are easy to make in a vegan version, as this recipe will prove. While it is always nice to have someone else bake for you, I am enjoying the freedom of making our family favourite date squares whenever I want. They are buttery and sweet, with a crumbly topping and a smooth, delicious date centre.

Now my mom is probably wondering when I am going to get some date squares to her. Consider this an IOU, mom. Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there, including my wonderful mom, Colleen, and my lovely mother-in-law, Maria! My little family is so lucky to have them in our lives!

Have you had date squares before? Baked for you, bought or baked yourself?

Spelt Flour Date Squares (Vegan)

  by Joann MacDonald
  Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes
  Keywords: bake dessert vegan vegetarian nut-free dates squares
  • 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups light spelt flour
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/3 cup large flake oats
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 2/3 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 1 cup Earth Balance margarine
For the Date Filling
  • 3 cups chopped dates
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together. Cut in the margarine to make coarse crumbs. Using your hands makes it quicker.

To make the date filling, combine the chopped dates and the water in a pot. Cook over low to medium heat, until thickened and smoothed out some, about 15 minutes.

To make the squares, press 2 1/2 cups of the dry mix into the bottom of a greased 8" or 9" inch square pan. Spread the date filling over the base. Sprinkle the remaining dry mix on top and press lightly.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden on top.


  1. The Filling with Dates sound delicious ♡ .. nam nam nam :))

    Wish you a great Day!

    1. Oh, trust me, it is! I ate about six of these last night. ;) Take care, Joann

  2. I think I could eat too many of these bars - yum :D

    Choc Chip Uru

    1. I would be eating them right along with you! ;)

  3. Love how this version tastes even better than the butter/white flour version! These look pretty and so delicious :)

    1. They are delicious, although still slightly decadent even with the modifications!

  4. Oh, I love these but have never made any. Thank you so much for the recipe.
    I'm so glad you popped in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

    1. Give them a try! I think you will be happy! As long as you like dates. ;)

  5. Hi thanks for visiting me. I'm returning the visit and have joined your followers. The date squares look lovely! Have a lovely Mother's Day. Joan

  6. Yummy Jo! These look so good! Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog! Happy Mother's Day! Angie xo

    1. To you as well Angie! Show us what you get! ;)

  7. These look delicious and I love the fact that they are also d/f! I think your grandma would have been very proud! Hope you had a most fun and relaxing Mothers Day!

    1. I had a great and very relaxing Mother's Day. I hope yours was the same, Wendy. Joann

  8. Those sound really good. They look Amazing! YUM! Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Thursday's Temptation.