Grandma’s Date Squares

The crumble topping in this recipe is my British Grandma’s creation. Date squares are one of the most comforting desserts I can think of that’s not chocolate!

You can also use this recipe as a topping for apple or peach crumble – just put all the crumble on top of the fruit instead of splitting it up as you do for date squares.

This Grandma love-filled treat fills my heart so much.


Crumble topping

  • 3/4 cup vegan butter or margarine
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Date filling

  • 1 1/2 cups pitted dates
  • 1 cup water


Prepare the fruit: in a small pot, boil the dates and 1 cup of water together, stirring frequently to break down the dates. Keep it bubbling over medium heat and stirring until the dates make a fairly dry paste.

Then prepare the topping: mix the vegan butter, coconut sugar, flour, oats, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Use your hands to rub it into a well-combined, crumbly texture.

Press a base of the oatmeal mixture (about 2-3 cups) into a greased 8×8″ glass baking dish, then spread the date mixture on top. Cover this with another layer (about 1 1/4 cups) of the topping, sprinkling the crumbs over the top.

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, until the topping is golden around the edges. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting into it, if you can wait! Serve with vanilla ice cream or on its own, for snacks or dessert. ❤️


Today I am reminded of Thich Nhat Hanh’s practice of true love.

According to Thay, true love is made up of 4 elements:

1. Maitri, or lovingkindness. This is a wish to bring love and gentleness to yourself and other beings.

2. Karuna, or compassion. This is an intention to relieve the suffering of yourself and other beings.

3. Mudita, or joy. This is a practice of being happy when other people are happy (rather than feeling resentful or jealous), and doing things to make yourself happy as well.

4. Upeksha, or equanimity. This is the work of letting go, not clinging or being overly attached to any person or thing. Loving with too much attachment or control is not true love.

Being gentle, relieving suffering, being happy, and letting go. That sounds like a wonderful, non-fairy-tale kind of true love that I can aspire to.

Chef Maitri Carmichael brings a creative and peaceful energy to every plate. She grew up in Toronto with a British Grandma and an Italian Nonna who showed their love through food, then she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years, spending her free time at community farms and zen kitchens. Originally a scientist and biotech entrepreneur, she graduated from the Vegan Chef School in London (2021) and the Raw Food Culinary Academy in Vancouver (2023), and is now settled in Hawaii.

14 responses to “Grandma’s Date Squares”

  1. Sustainable Living Dojo Avatar

    Instagram comment! @delmontefresh says: Yumm!

  2. […] just like the French delicacy tarte tatin, but then instead of covering it in puff pastry, you put oatmeal crumble on top and bake the whole […]

  3. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Thanks Grandma! 🙂

  4. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Instagram comment from a.healthfulplate: So delicious 😍

    1. maitricookswithlove Avatar

      @a.healthfulplate Thanks so much Athena! Your food is so creative and inventive, keep up the amazing work! 😍

  5. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Facebook comment from Annie: That looks delicious! Dates and oats ! Mmm mmm mmm!

    1. maitricookswithlove Avatar

      @Annie Yes, such a winning combination! Tastes like Grandma’s love to me. 😀

  6. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Facebook comment from Angela: i just bought dates : ) yum mmmyyy

    1. maitricookswithlove Avatar

      @Angela: Amazing!! I hope you enjoyed your dates!! 🥰

  7. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Facebook comment from Evan: Looks yummy!

    1. maitricookswithlove Avatar

      @Evan Thank you!

  8. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Facebook comment from Jan: Love that you made them gluten free. Will have to try them

    1. maitricookswithlove Avatar

      @Jan Hooray! Yes, I’m going through all my recipes now and adapting them to be both vegan and gluten-free. A fun challenge! I’d love to hear how you liked them if you do try them! 😍

  9. Mark Avatar

    Hi! This recipe is great!

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