Date Bars Recipe

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Date Bars photo
MakesMakes one 23cm square, to be cut into the desired number of pieces

Taken from Primrose Bakery Celebrations (opens in new tab) by Lisa Thomas and Martha Swift (Random House; £20)


  • 180g rolled oats
  • 260g plain flour, sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 270g soft brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 280g unsalted butter, softened
  • 30g roughly chopped raw almonds

For the filling:

  • 435g pitted dates, diced
  • 310ml water
  • 90g soft brown sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about half a lemon’s worth)


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/ 155°C (fan)/ 325°F/ gas 3. Grease and line a 23cm square baking tray

  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, salt, sugar and bicarbonate of soda. Add the butter and mix until crumbly. Press half the mixture into the bottom of the prepared tray

  3. In a small pan over a medium heat, combine the dates, water and brown sugar. Bring to the boil and cook until thickened. Stir in the lemon juice and remove from the heat. Spread the filling evenly over the base, then pat the remaining crumb mixture over the top. Sprinkle with chopped almonds

  4. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before cutting into the desired number of pieces.