I love these highly addictive and decadent oatmeal date bars. My mom has been making these amazing dessert bars for years. She got the original recipe from a cookbook that she got while attending college in La Crosse, Wisconsin. I made a few changes and added fresh orange zest to the recipe. Make these bars and watch them disappear.
My mom and I share a love for baking. There is nothing more comforting than the smell of baked goods in the kitchen. The homey aroma of fresh breads, pies, cookies and cakes makes me happy. It also reminds me of my childhood. These kind of sweet memories are some of the best memories.
If you are not a fan of dates, you can substitute the date filling for a fruit jam filling (raspberry, blackberry, strawberry,etc). These oatmeal date bars freeze beautifully, just store in an airtight container in the freezer and pop one out for a quick snack.
These bars are also great lunch box snacks for the kids. Dates are good for you, too, full of good nutrients, like fiber, magnesium B6 and iron. These oatmeal date bars are still great even though I cut out some of the added sugar content in the original version, since dates are naturally very sweet you don't really need that much. Enjoy~
The Best Classic Oatmeal Date Bars
1 cup of chopped, pitted dates (tightly packed)
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
2 ½ cups oatmeal
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (can sub King Arthur gluten-free all-purpose flour)
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened (I use the olive oil butter blend sticks)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water
Combine dates, ½ cup brown sugar, zest and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until thickened.
*Printable recipe below
Into the pot and boiling...
Thickened and ready to cool.
Cool mixture completely and combine remaining ingredients for the oat mixture in the order given. Mix thoroughly.
Pack one half of mixture in a 9x13 pan sprayed with olive oil cooking spray or lightly greased with butter, pressing lightly.
Spread date mixture over top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until lightly golden on top. Remove from the oven
and cut into squares while warm. My kids love these oatmeal date bars for breakfast or a snack.
These bars are so delicious with a tall, cold glass of milk!
If bar cookies are your jam, you should also check out these Paleo Dark Chocolate Nutty Bars!
Classic Oatmeal Date Bars
- Boil together:
- 1 cup of chopped pitted dates
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
- Mix together:
- 2 ½ cups oatmeal
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour *can use gluten-free all-purpose flour
- ½ cup brown sugar *original recipe calls for ¾ cup but I cut the sugar amount to ½ cup
- 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
- 1 cup butter softened (I use olive oil butter blend sticks)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water
- Combine dates, ½ cup brown sugar, orange zest and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until thickened to a spreadable texture.
- Cool mixture completely and combine remaining ingredients in order given.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Pack one half of mixture in a 9x13 pan sprayed with cooking spray or lightly greased with butter, pressing lightly.
- Spread date mixture over top.
- Top with the other half of oatmeal mixture, pressing lightly.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until lightly golden on top.
- Remove from the oven
- and cut into squares while warm.