30 – 40m
Date slice is one of the most deeply recipes I can think of: an ugly duckling of a bake. Even as a child, I remember thinking that they looked boring. And yet, every time I make a tin of them, we’ve inhaled them before I can turn around.
They are an afternoon snack that we seem to always have the ingredients for, even when we are reaching right to the back of our cupboard, and are due to do a food shop. I like to think that the date filling gives you something toward your five-a-day, too! But that might be wishful thinking.
We often take date slices out walking with us, and they taste particularly good mid-afternoon, with a flask of tea or coffee. They are robust enough to last easily in a Tupperware box – one step more refined than a flapjack, one step less fragile than a cake – and are punchy enough to be exactly what we need for energy when we’re out on the move for the day.
When making them and lining the tin, I screw the baking paper up into a ball and flattening the tin. This saves time and effort lining the tin.
I often make these in quite a spread out way, across several points in the day when I have five minutes, and /or assemble them in the tin ahead of time, pop in the fridge with a plate over them, and bake when I’m ready. For example, I might make them in the tin the night before, and then bake them the next morning. This helps my mum-life no end, and makes them a really user friendly thing to make. I’ve added asterisks in the recipe where you can pause, cover what you’re doing, and throw them in the fridge/ to e.g., answer the phone, feed a baby, take in a parcel.
If nutrition information is your thing, I’ve included an approximation of this at the bottom of the page. If this is not for you, skip over this bit.
- 150g dates
- 130ml water
- 100g porridge oats. We prefer Scottish oats, but any will work.
- 100g sugar. We use Demerara.
- 150g flour. We use Dove’s Farm plain
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 125g butter. We use Flora
- Heat the oven to 170°C fan / 190°C non-fan.
- Chop the dates if they are not chopped.*
- Put the dates and water in a small pan and heat until the dates melt.
- Keep the dates on the heat, stirring until they are the consistency of jam.
- Leave date mixture to cool. If you like your filling extra smooth, you can blend the mix with a hand blender*.
- In a large bowl, weigh out the butter, sugar, oats, flour, and cinnamon.*
- Rub the butter through the dry ingredients in the bowl until it resembles breadcrumbs or crumble topping.*
- Line a 20cm round tin with baking parchment. You can do this in a long winded and tidy way, or you can screw up the baking parchment into a ball and then press it into the edges of the tin. This is my preferred method.
- Press half of the flour and oats mixture into the bottom of the tin, right to to edges.*.
- Add the cooled date mixture to the tin, spreading it right to the edges*.
- Sprinkle the remaining oats and flour mixture on top of the dates, and press down on the mixture very gently*.
- Put the tin into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- Leave to cool completely in the tin.
- Slice once completely cooled, using a sharp knife. I sometimes leave slicing them until the next day.
Information given per tray / per serving
- Energy: 2537kcal / 211kcal
- Protein: 29.1g / 2.4g
- Carbohydrates: 395g / 32.9g
- Fat: 100.6g / 8.4g