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Date Squares (Matrimonial Cake)

  • Author: Meagan


This is a terrific recipe from Mom, that I removed a bit of sugar from, rediscovered on Ricardo’s site, and then updated (November 2020).  Apparently ‘date squares’ being called ‘matrimonial cake’ is a Canadian thing…which does make sense if you consider baking a sweet (celebratory?) treat, using only what is/was available in your pantry.  We enjoyed these regularly growing up – and now my kids fight over them as well.  Yum!




425 g chopped, pitted dates (I used Medjool) AND 1 c. water

2 T. EACH lemon juice AND brown sugar

1/2 t. baking soda


1 3/4 c. oatmeal AND 1 c. flour

3/4 c. brown sugar AND 1/4 t. baking powder

3/4 c. butter, room temperature


For the filling, combine the dates, water, lemon juice and brown sugar in a medium pot and bring the mix to a boil while stirring.  Reduce to a simmer, stir in the baking soda and then cook for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the dates have fallen apart and the mix is very thick.  Leave this to cool while you prep the rest.

Preheat the oven to 350, butter an 8 x 8 cake pan, line it with parchment so that there are 2 ‘handles’ hanging over 2 edges, and butter the parchment.  In a large bowl (I use my electric mixer), mix together the oatmeal, flour, brown sugar and baking powder  and then stir in the butter until the mix is crumbly.

Firmly press half of the crust mix into the bottom of your prepared pan (use the bottom of a cup), spread the date mixture evenly over the top and then top with the rest of the crust, pressing only lightly this time (use your fingers).  Bake for about 45 minutes until it’s just starting to brown all over (mind the edges!) and then leave the cake to cool completely before loosening it from the edges with a sharp knife, and attempting to lift it out of the pan using the parchment handles…and then cutting it into squares.  This cake keeps very well in a sealed container on your counter, but also freezes beautifully – enjoy!

  • Category: Squares


From Meagan's Kitchen

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