Grandma’s Date Bars Recipe

4.47 / 5 ( 39 Reviews )
7 Comments Jump to Recipe

grandma's date bar cookies recipe

Date Bars – my favorite bar cookies recipe from my grandma!

These old fashioned date bars are my favorite treat from my grandmother. Gooey, chewy, sweet date filling with a delicate oat crust. A delicious salty sweet flavor that I can enjoy all day long!

boiled dates and sugar water for old fashioned date bars

My mom and I decided it would be fun to bring treats to our family reunion that reminded us of my late Grandma Dorothy.

I think she liked to make cookie bars when the grandchildren came over. Cookie bars are easy and practical, and everyone would eat them right up. She has a legacy of being very practical and strong woman. <3

shred butter if you forgot to soften butter

Magic Cookie Bars and rice crispy treats are what my mom decided to bring. Which recipe did I choose? Date bars! I had never seen nor heard of them before having them at my grandma’s house, but I have loved them ever since.

Honestly, not all of the kids and adults will like this one. But I sure did and still do! And I know a lot of other people in my extended family that do too. 😉

date bars recipe with sweet date filling

There’s something about these date bars that keeps me coming back for more every time. I seriously could eat the whole pan if I didn’t keep myself in check! Maybe it’s the chewy, sweet date filling or the simple oat crust that sandwiches it.

easy old fashioned date bars recipe

Actually, I think it is the combination of both! A little bit sweet, a little bit salty. Mmm. I love a good salty sweet flavor combo.

Date Bar Recipe Notes:

The date filling is just pitted, chopped dates boiled in sugar water. The dates only soften a little bit as the water is brought to a boil – it is while they are cooling that they start to break down and soften more. So don’t be alarmed – it all works out.

grandma's date bar dessert recipe

If you forget to let the butter sit out to soften, you can shred the butter instead! (That’s why there’s something that looks like shredded cheese in a photo above – it’s butter!) Shredding or grating butter works best if the butter is really cold to start.

The crust is really more of a crumble, so I had my doubts about if it would work too! But it all comes together when you press the crumble mixture together and bake it.

date bars recipe - salty sweet cookie bars

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easy old fashioned date bar cookies recipe

grandma's date bar cookies recipe

Grandma's Date Bars Recipe

Gooey, chewy, sweet date filling with a delicate oat crust. A delicious salty sweet flavor that I could enjoy all day long! Thanks, Grandma!
4.47 / 5 ( 39 Reviews )
Print Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Serves: 24
Adjust Servings: 24


  • 10x15-inch jelly roll pan



  • Add the chopped dates, granulated sugar, and water to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, softened butter, oats, flour, baking soda, and salt (I usually use a pastry cutter).
  • Spread 1/2 of the crumble mixture evenly in a 10 x 15 pan (jelly roll pan) and press it into the pan. Gently spoon the date filling over the crust. Firmly press the remainder of the crumble mixture on top.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Let cool, then cut into 24 squares.


Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Sodium: 166mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 29g

Ingredients: All-purpose flour, Baking Soda, Brown Sugar, Butter, Dates, Granulated Sugar, Oats, Salt, Water
Meal Type: Desserts, Christmas, Easter, Fall, Spring, Summer, Thanksgiving, Winter, Egg Free, Meatless
Categories: BBQ, Brownies and Bars, Cookies and Treats, Oven

Comments & Reviews

  • This is my second review. I made these for a church luncheon. This will be the only date bar recipe I need. Excellent!

    • I’m so glad that you like this date bar recipe! Thank you for your comment and review, Kathy!

      • I used your recipe but used a 9×13 glass pan. Love the receipe but I didn’t chap my dates enough. Even letting them set didn’t make them like a spread. After I cut them , I warmed the individual pieces in the microwave for 15 seconds and they were more like my moms. We never let the cool completely before we ate them.

  • Cut the recipe in half and baked in a loaf pan. Delicious! I patted the dough between two sheets of cling wrap then dropped on top for even layers, as it kept sticking to my fingers. Dough is also delicious! Great, healthy-ish recipe – perfect for quarantine to secretly aid with digestion.

  • These baked up perfectly and they’re so delicious! I didn’t have quite enough dates for the recìpe so I added a blackberry jam to make up the difference. I will definitely make this again!

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