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 on any holiday spread. Traditionally, date squares are made with butter, white sugar and wheat flour but these ones are made with coconut sugar, coconut oil and oat flour making them both vegan and gluten-free. l love the result of making these with oat flour. It produced a soft base and crispy topping, the perfect for the filling: wholesome, naturally sweet, dates. Best part? You only need 4 ingredients to make these. Oats, dates, coconut oil and coconut sugar, making them a perfect if you need a holiday dessert in a pinch.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. However, with or without that sponsorship, Bob’s Red Mill has and always will be be the leading contributor to my over-stuffed pantry. Thanks for supporting the brands that support me.
Almond Flour Option
I wanted to let you guys know that I made these with Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour as well as the oat flour I used in the recipe below. The texture of the crust was quite a bit different than with oat flour but I loved how the top layer came out with almond flour. It was more like a chunky crumble topping. So good! The bottom layer was really good too, softer than the oat flour crust.
If you’re going to use almond flour, you’ll need to use maple syrup instead of coconut sugar for the added moisture, otherwise the recipe is the same. I put almond flour variation details in the notes portion of the recipe.
The Date Layer
There’s nothing fancy you need to do with the date layer, just a 15 minute soak in hot water. You can pretty much use any kind of dates for these since you’ll be softening them in water first. However, I liked dark, dense sayer dates best for this recipe. Medjool or neglect door dates would also be good and I’ve also made them with honey dates.
Bob’s Red Mill Certified Gluten-Free Oats
Although oats are naturally gluten-free, if you have celiac or a gluten intolerance, you’ll have to make sure you choose gluten-free certified oats. Bob’s Red Mill offers a bunch of oat varieties that have been rigorously tested to ensure the absence of gluten. I used Bob’s Red Mill Organic Rolled Oats which also come in gluten-free certified and quick cooking. I love the quality of their oats, they’re big and soft and delicious!
Bob’s Red Mill Coconut Sugar
I used Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Sugar in this recipe and the caramel flavour is perfect combined with with the dates. Coconut sugar is made from the nectar of coconut palm tree blossom and in addition to dates and maple syrup is the only other sweetener I typically use. I love the flavour and texture and it works perfectly in pretty much any recipe as a 1:1 replacement for white and brown sugar.
Only 4 Ingredients!
You only need 4 ingredients plus a couple baking basics to make these! My favourite kinda recipe. Here’s what ya need:
Crazy right? You’ll also need a bit of baking powder and salt but honestly I don’t even think you need those. To make oat flour all you need to do is blend up some oats and that’s it! Let ’em blend for a while so the flour is as fine as possible. I measured the oats before blending so no need to add extra oats to get the 1 1/2 cups of oat flour.
These are Dessert
Okay, so even though I made these squares 5 times before posting this recipe and my husband and I ate every.single.batch. EVERY. SINGLE. BATCH…..I would not recommend doing the same. These squares are decadent. They are dessert for sure. I mean, sugar, oat, flour?…yes, baby. They’re good, really good and totally addictive. Save these babies for the holiday, or not…haha, I’m sure I’ll be making them again long before Christmas and they’re def my new holiday go-to.
Gluten-Free Vegan Date Squares
The flow for these suckers is easy. Soak the dates, make the crust, layer crust-date-topping, bake away and finally the hardest part of every recipe that was ever known…wait until they cool. And it’s not like you can skip this step and burn you mouth on these ones, you’ll need to let them cool in the pan so they firm up nicely and hold together. So no skipping! Forgot you made them and then come back to find them cooled and it will be really, really exciting.
These can be stored for a couple months in the freezer…I actually love them eaten directly from the freezer. They can be stored in the fridge for a week or so. But if they’re out for the holidays they will not last that long, not a chance.Print
To Make the Date Layer
- 2 cups packed (400 g), pitted dates
- pinch of sea salt (optional but I loved the flavour)
To Make the Crust and Topping
- Soak the pitted dates in hot water for 15 minutes. The water should be as hot as possible but no need to boil it.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- While those are soaking, prepare the crust and topping layers.
- Make the oat flour by blending 1 1/2 cups of oats. Let them processor for a while until they ressemble a very fine flour.
- Add all the crust ingredients to a bowl, including the oat flour, and mix it up.
- Press about 2 1/2 cups of the mixture into the bottom of a small, square baking pan that’s either been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or lightly greased with coconut or olive oil.
- Drain the dates and then use your hands to mash them into a paste. This is a bit messy so if you prefer, you can blend them. I didn’t want to create a dirty blender cup so I just used my hands.
- Evenly spread the date paste over the crust layer in the pan.
- Press the rest of the crumble on top of the date layer.
- Bake for 40 minutes then let them cool completely in the pan. You can put them in the fridge to speed up the process. This is an important step for best results! 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.
- That’s it! Once they’re cool, server right away or store in the fridge or freezer in a container.
Almond Flour Variation: Follow the same instructions for the dates and crust, except no need to blend oat flour. Make sure you let them cool in the pan before slicing. Make these changes: Use 2 1/2 cups (250 g) oats, 1 1/4 cup (125 g) almond flour instead of oat flour, 1/2 cup (130 g) maple syrup, 1/2 cup melted (80 g) coconut oil.