Date Squares {gluten-free, vegan}

Date Squares | The Gluten Free Vegan

This recipe comes from my friend Jacquelyn of I suppose it’s a bit ‘old lady’ of us to both love date squares so much. Well that’s okay by me. I’ve got the grey hairs to back me up. I have a knitting addiction to prove it. This is a recipe that I’d be proud to take to a potluck or social event and have the older ladies critique.

I’ve taken Jacquelyn’s recipe and adapted it to be both gluten-free and vegan. I’m pretty impressed with myself and how it turned out actually. It’s so good. It doesn’t crumble and fall apart like other gluten-free date squares I’ve tried before.

I have tried these using different ingredients – vegan margarine and coconut oil – and had success both times. I feel confident that if you’re willing to store these in a cool place after baking then you can definitely go ahead and use coconut oil. If these are going to sit out at a warmer temperature than I’d suggest using the vegan margarine as the melting point is slightly higher and there will be less of a chance of your baked goodies falling apart when handled. That never happened to me but I did have to wait longer for these to cool sufficiently before I could serve them up when using coconut oil. The coconut oil flavor doesn’t permeate through the crust at all so you don’t have to worry about it overpowering the date flavors.

Date Squares | The Gluten Free Vegan


4.5 from 2 reviews
Date Squares {gluten-free, vegan}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
There's something timeless and classic about date squares - now they're gluten-free and vegan.
Recipe type: Desserts
  • 1½ cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1⅓ cups gluten-free flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegan margarine or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups chopped dates
  • ⅓ cup organic cane sugar
  • ⅔ cup water
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8x8 baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl combine gluten-free rolled oats, gluten-free flour, brown sugar, vegan margarine or coconut oil, baking soda and kosher salt. Mix together until crumbly. Press half of the mixture firmly into the greased baking dish. Set aside the remaining half.
  3. In a saucepan combine chopped dates, cane sugar and water over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer for about 5 - 10 minutes until the liquid is almost evaporated, the mixture forms a nice thick paste and the dates are softened.
  4. Spread the filling evenly over the crust in the baking dish. Smooth to the edges.
  5. Sprinkle the remaining half of the crumble mixture over top. Press gently but firmly into the filling.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes until the topping is golden brown.
  7. Let cool before slicing and serving.


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10 Responses to “Date Squares {gluten-free, vegan}”

  1. Lydia W
    February 2, 2014 at 7:45 pm #

    My dad’s birthday is coming up and with him being vegan, gluten free & fussy enough with cake/chocolate as it is, I decided to give these a go. They came out a little crumblier than your photos look although I did come up a bit short with the coconut oil & marg (I used a combination of the two).

    On the bright side, he’s already tucked well into them and told me he would ‘pay good money for them’. Coming from him, that’s a huge success. Gorgeous recipe, thank you! :-)

    • February 6, 2014 at 8:32 am #

      I’m so glad to hear that your dad enjoyed them! I made these once and they were a tad crumbly and I realized it was due to not pressing the topping in as firmly as the other times.

  2. Sarah Shields
    February 15, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    OMG this recipe is sooooooo yummy, will definitely make again and again, my husband claims to not like dates and gobbled up two portions and he is neither vegan or gluten intolerant.
    Thank you xxxx

  3. J
    March 13, 2014 at 3:51 am #

    What can you use as a substitute for cane sugar??

    • March 15, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

      You can use regular granulated (white) sugar if you aren’t fussy about using granulated sugar. If you’re vegan and want to be strict about it, make sure your granulated sugar isn’t processed with bone char or use a brand that’s labelled as vegan. If you’re not into using white sugar you could try using coconut sugar.

  4. Caterina
    November 19, 2014 at 12:30 am #

    Buttery, caramel, chewy heaven! Megan these date squares are amazing, you would never guess vegan and gluten free (unless you actually know how good vegan and GF can be :-). I made a few little tweaks to decrease the refined sugar and add a little extra zest, here they are: Date mixture = Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon, add more water as needed (2-3 Tbsp, since my dates were a bit dry), replace cane sugar with coconut palm sugar. Crumble = Use original Earths balance as vegan margarine, replace 2/3 cup brown sugar with coconut palm sugar, add 1/2 tsp raw vanilla bean powder/seeds, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, use Bob’s Red Mill GF Baking mix for flour (as you recommend. Yum! Thank you!

  5. Kevin
    February 24, 2015 at 11:37 pm #

    Great recipe, I was wondering if I could substitute the cane sugar for coconut palm sugar or white sugar? Thanks


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