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Oatmeal Date Bars with Maple Syrup – Hearty Date Squares

These oatmeal date bars are a recipe that my mother often made when I was a little girl.

I love recipes that take me back to my childhood. This is even more important to me now that my mother has passed away. Anything that reminds me of her is a precious recipe.

This delicious oatmeal bars recipe is a tried and true family favorite. Mum used to make it all the time and when I eat it now, I think fondly of my childhood.

Keep reading to find out how to make this delicious and easy date square recipe.

Date bars with maple syrup.

Benefits of using dates

Dates are the fruit of the palm tree and they are packed with nutrients and are a great source of natural sugar.

Most dates that we find in grocery stores are dried dates, which concentrates their sugar.Bowl of dried dates.

Because of their natural sugar, dates are relatively high in calories. Most of the calories in dates come from carbohydrates.

A 3 1/2 ounce serving of dates provides 277 calories and 75 carbs.  But they also have lots of potassium, magnesium, copper and vitamin B-6.

Dates are also high in antioxidants, so they make a great choice to use in sweet recipes. I often use them to make energy bites.

This oatmeal date bars recipe is delicious and rich.

When I was young, I used to love watching my mother making healthy recipes using maple syrup. The taste was so lovely and I eagerly anticipated having one of her tasty recipes for dessert later.

It gave me so much inspiration when I started to cook for myself and I make many of her recipes to this day.

This maple syrup date squares recipe is a favorite of mine. The oatmeal bars my mother made were gooey and delicious with the rich taste of dates and brown sugar.

Pure maple syrup bottle and basketx

I’ve adjusted her recipe slightly to make a new take on the recipe. They are sweetened with pure maple syrup for a nice change but still take me back to those dates eating her date bars around the kitchen table.

Recipes using maple syrup are healthier than those using refined sugars. This makes it a great alternative sweetener for those wanting a sweet taste but concerned about their overall health.

Maple syrup also gives a number of healthy nutrients to your recipe. I use it often in place of granulated sugar.

Making oatmeal date bars

The oatmeal bars are easy to make and my whole family loves them. The date mixture is made in a sauce pan by combining dates, water and maple syrup.

They are brought to a boil and then cooked until most of the liquid has absorbed. 

This gives you a filling with a nice rich mixture that looks somewhat like jam.

The top and bottom crusts of the maple date bars are made from flour, oats, baking soda and salt.  This crust is sweetened with some brown sugar and held together with butter. 

Press a couple of cups of the oat mixture on the bottom of your baking pan, add the date mixture and then top with the rest of the oat mix and bake.Maple syrup sate bars with oatmeal and dates.

Tasting the maple syrup bars

These hearty oatmeal bars have a nice crunch from the oat mixture and a decadent and rich date filling.  They make a wonderful switch from the normal chocolate bars and slices that are so prevalent.

They are my idea of comfort food!

Share these maple syrup date squares on Twitter

If you enjoyed this recipe for date bars, be sure to share it with a friend. Here is a tweet to get you started:

Old fashioned oats get combined with maple syrup and dates for a hearty and delicious dessert. Get the recipe on The Gardening Cook. Click To Tweet

Nutritional information for these date bars

This date bar recipe makes 20 slices. Each bar has 211 calories and 1.6 grams of saturated fat. 

Are you fond of fruit and dried fruit desserts or do you prefer normal sweet treats?  Please leave your comments below.

Pin this date bars recipe for later

Would you like a reminder of this recipe for maple date bars?  Just pin this image to one of your Pinterest healthy cooking boards.

Date slices with a silver fork and words Oatmeal date bars with maple syrup.

Yield: 20

Date Bars with Maple Syrup and Brown Sugar

Maple syrup sate bars

Hearty and delicious sweet treat will satisfy the most discerning eater. These date bars are my idea of healthy comfort food.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1-3/4 cups finely chopped pitted medjool dates
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup all-purpose whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine the dates, water and maple syrup in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Bring to a boil, then cook, stirring frequently, until most liquid is absorbed (about 12 minutes). Mixture should look like jam.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in zest. Cool completely.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda and salt.
  6. Beat the brown sugar and butter with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture (it will be crumbly).
  7. Coat an 11- x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  8. Press 2 cups of mixture into bottom of pan. Spread date mixture over flour mixture.
  9. Sprinkle remaining flour mixture on top.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Cool completely in pan on wire rack, then cut into 20 bars.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 bar

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 211Total Fat: 5.0gSaturated Fat: 3.0gUnsaturated Fat: 1.6gCholesterol: 12.4mgSodium: 81.3mgCarbohydrates: 45.9gFiber: 3.4gSugar: 33gProtein: 1.9g

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Wendy Hampton

Monday 9th of June 2014

I'm finding that my tastes are changing and I'm attracted to bars like this, especially if they have lemon zest in them. I think I would also like to try this recipe with orange zest. I've also become fond of apricot fillings lately as well. It's funny...I used to be drawn to chocolate chip and oatmeal, well...not so much.


Tuesday 10th of June 2014

I'm the same way Wendy. It's funny how tastes change over time. Carol

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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