Date & apple squares

Date & apple squares

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(39 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 35 mins


Makes 8
A chewy, oaty tray bake with sticky dates and apples - bound to be a big hit.

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per square

  • kcal513
  • fat24g
  • saturates15g
  • carbs68g
  • sugars47g
  • fibre4g
  • protein5g
  • salt0.8g
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  • 225g butter, plus a little extra for greasing



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 140g cooking apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 140g stoned date, chopped



    Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits - it's thought that they were a staple part of…

  • 280g light soft brown sugar
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 100g porridge oat


  1. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Grease an 18cm square tin and line with baking parchment.

  2. Tip the apples into a pan with 2 tbsp water. Bring to the boil and simmer on a low heat for 5 mins until tender and slightly pulpy. Add the dates and 50g of the sugar, and cook for a further 5 mins. Take off the heat and break the apples down with the back of a spoon until smooth and well mixed with the dates. Set aside.

  3. Gently melt the butter in a saucepan. Mix the flour, bicarb, oats and remaining sugar in a bowl. Pour in the melted butter and stir well until oats are coated.

  4. Press half the mixture firmly into the tin, spread the apple mix on top and smooth over. Cover with the remaining oat mixture and press down. Bake for 30-35 mins until golden and firm. Cool in the tin before cutting into squares.

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Comments, questions and tips

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21st Aug, 2019
This was really nice. Very easy to do. I reduced the sugar and fat as suggested in lots of the comments - I think it could go down further apart from the lack of bulk. I shall be making these again.
27th May, 2019
I used 100g sugar for the dry mix only and 120 g butter. Absolutely delicious. Will play around with cinnamon next time and subbing with some olive oil instead of all butter and maybe seeds would be a good addition too...
19th Feb, 2019
Delicious! Made these for the staffroom at work and I keep getting asked when am I going to make them again! I used apple sauce instead of apples, as a cheat ingredient. I also made them vegan by using dairy-free spread in place of the butter.
Marianne Hardiker's picture
Marianne Hardiker
9th Nov, 2018
I didn't read the comments before making this but thought it was way too much sugar and only put 175g in the dry mix. I did put the 50g in the apple mix and they turned out a bit too sweet. I also doubled up the apple and put in 250g of dates which seemed to work ok. Next time I'll skip the 50g of sugar and double the apple & dates again. Overall nice, just a bit too sweet.
18th Sep, 2018
I very much regret not scrutinising the comments before baking this! I agree that there is a bit of an excessive amount of butter & sugar in this- they were incredibly sweet (and I love sweet things!) and also very buttery, to the point of actually being extremely greasy :/ But I look forward to trying again with the reduced amounts suggested in the comments. I think with a bit of tweaking they will be fab.
13th Nov, 2017
Lovely and squidgy....taste even better the next day. Reduced sugar to 100g and only put it in the oat mixture. Dates are v sweet so am going to try less sugar next time. Also added a couple of spoons of chia seeds.
VanillaSpice81's picture
22nd Oct, 2017
I followed the method exactly but followed people's advice about the butter and sugar. I used 180g butter and 200g sugar. It turned out delicious. I think reducing the sugar to 175g wouldn't alter the taste, so I'll try that next time. The bake hardens as it cools and is easier to cut into squares then, if you can wait that long! I had it warmed up, served with banana ice cream (B&J's) and it was yummy. Works well as a snack too. It says serves 8, but in my 20x20cm tin I got 16 good sized squares out of it. I think you could adapt the ingredients in other ways. Try it, it's different but worth it!
20th Oct, 2017
Yum!! Didn't have enough dates so chucked in some sultanas & cherries :)))
7th Aug, 2017
Didn't change a thing about this recipe. Used all the sugar, dates and apples and it turned out perfectly. Very nice, make it...have cake, it's there to be enjoyed.
18th Feb, 2017
Definitely too much sugar. I used 150g of dark muscovado sugar but didn't reduce the butter but I think I will next time. Also my tray was too big to create the layers so I just mixed the ingredients together and it came out fine. Kids loved it.


30th Jul, 2018
I have made this quite a lot of times now, always, following comments here, using 175g only of butter and 100g only of sugar (all the sugar in the oat mixture and none in the date mixture). It really is absolutely delicious! I often make it to give away on a street stall I'm involved with, and, when people are choosing a cake, some ask if any of those on offer are gluten-free. I have, of course, to say that these are not. My question is this: has anyone found a way of making something very like this but gluten-free?
goodfoodteam's picture
3rd Aug, 2018
Thanks for your question.You can simply swap the plain flour for gluten-free, and make sure you buy gluten-free porridge oats. Gluten-free flour can sometimes make bakes a little drier so we'd recommend using the full amount of butter.
13th Aug, 2018
Thank you so much for this. I will give it a try - and try to remember to report back!
24th Oct, 2014
Try this recipe with 180g butter and 200g light brown sugar. I found this to be the perfect amount for the right taste and texture!
24th Oct, 2014
Try this recipe with 180g butter and 200g light brown sugar. I found this to be the perfect amount for the right taste and texture.
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