Gluten-Free Vegan Date Squares
These gluten-free vegan date squares have the most perfect flavour and texture and they’re sure to be a hit during the holidays.
- simple ingredients – all you need is oats, dates, sugar and coconut oil
- gluten-free and vegan – suitable for those with dietary-restrictions
- oats – rolled or old fashioned oats are best for this recipe
- dates – the dates will be soaked before use so any variety works
- sugar – any granulated sugar works, for a refined sugar-free recipe, use coconut sugar, for a sugar-free recipe, use monk fruit sweetener
- coconut oil – I do not recommend substituting the coconut oil for any other oil
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1. Soak the dates.
This step is important, do not skip it. Place pitted dates in a large bowl, cover with hot water and soak for 30 minutes.
Step 2. Make the oat flour.
Blend 1.5 cups of rolled oats into a very fine flour. Be sure to let it process a while to get a fine consistency.
Step 2. Blend the dates.
After you’ve soaked the dates, drain them well and blend in a food processor into a paste. It’s ok if they’re a little chunky.
Step 3. Mix the crust and topping.
The crust and topping are made from the same mixture of oats, baking powder, oat flour, sugar and melted coconut oil. Mix it all up in a bowl until all the oats and oat flour has been wetted by the melted coconut oil.
Step 4. Create the bars.
Prepare a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray or coconut oil then firmly press 2.5 cups of the oat mixture into the pan. Top with the date mixture and evenly spread that around.
Top the date layer with the rest of the oat mixture. Press the oat mixture down over the dates with a little pressure to help meld the 3 layers together.
Bake the bars for 40 minutes at 350 F then let cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.
Tips and FAQs
- Make sure you let the squares cool in the pan for at least 2 hours. This step is important so they properly firm up and hold together. Don’t skip it.
- The oat flour may be substituted with a gluten-free flour blend or regular flour.
- For truly gluten-free bars, make sure you use gluten-free certified oats.
- Coconut oil cannot be omitted or substituted in this recipe. The recipe may work with butter or vegan butter but it has not been tested.
How should I store these?
The baked squares can be stored in the fridge for about 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months. If serving from frozen, thaw at room temperature for 20-30 minutes or in the fridge overnight.
Here are some more delicious vegan desserts you’ll love:
- Gluten-Free Vegan Thumbprint Cookies
- Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies
- Vegan Rum Balls
- Vegan Chocolate Coconut Bars
- Vegan Cranberry Crumble Bars
For the Date Layer
- 2.5 cups packed (500 g), pitted dates
- 1/4–1/2 tsp sea salt, optional
For the Crust and Topping
- Soak the pitted dates in hot water for 30 minutes. After soaking, drain well.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place 1.5 cups of oats in a food processor or high-speed blender and mix into a fine flour.
- Add the oat flour and the rest of the crust ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine into a crumbly mixture.
- Spray a 7-8 inch square baking pan with non-sticking cooking spray (or grease with a touch of coconut oil).
- Firmly press about 2.5 cups of the oat mixture into the bottom of the pan.
- Add the drained dates to a food processor with the salt and mix into a paste. It’s ok if it’s a little chunky. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use your hands to squeeze the dates into paste, it’s just a little messy!
- Evenly spread the dates mixture over the crust layer in the pan.
- Top the date layer with the rest of the oat mixture. Press the oat mixture down over the dates with a little pressure to help meld the 3 layers together.
- Bake for 40 minutes then let them cool for at least 2 hours in the pan. You can put them in the fridge to speed up the process. This is an important step. I know it’s hard to wait but if you slice them too early they’ll be a bit crumbly…still entirely delicious but just a little crumbly. Once they cool they’ll be completely firm and hold together in squares.
- Once they’re cool, slice into 16 squares and serve right away or store in the fridge for up to 1 week or freezer for up to 3 months.
It’s important you let these cool in the pan for at least a couple hours. This is key for allowing them to firm up and hold together properly. Do not skip it.
Keywords: gluten-free date squares, vegan date squares