Grandma’s Date Squares (plant-based, gluten-free)

5 from 7 votes
The crumble topping in this recipe is my British Grandma’s creation, except that I made it gluten-free with oat flour. Date squares are one of the most comforting desserts I can think of that’s not chocolate!
You can also use the crumble recipe as a topping for apple or peach crumble – just put all the crumble on top of the fruit instead of splitting it up as you do for date squares.
This Grandma love-filled treat fills my heart so much. It reminds me of Thich Nhat Hanh’s practice of true love.
According to Thay, true love is made up of 4 elements:
1. Maitri, or lovingkindness. This is a wish to bring love and gentleness to yourself and other beings.
2. Karuna, or compassion. This is an intention to relieve the suffering of yourself and other beings.
3. Mudita, or joy. This is a practice of being happy when other people are happy (rather than feeling resentful or jealous), and doing things to make yourself happy as well.
4. Upeksha, or equanimity. This is the work of letting go, not clinging or being overly attached to any person or thing. Loving with too much attachment or control is not true love.
Being gentle, relieving suffering, being happy, and letting go. That sounds like a wonderful, non-fairy-tale kind of true love that I can aspire to.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan
Keyword comfort food, gluten-free, plant-based


Crumble topping

  • ¾ cup vegan butter or margarine
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 ½ cups oat flour or a mix of gluten-free flours
  • 1 ¾ cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt

Date filling

  • 1 ½ cups pitted dates
  • 1 cup water


  • Prepare the fruit: in a small pot, boil the dates and 1 cup of water together, stirring frequently to break down the dates. Keep it bubbling over medium heat and stirring until the dates make a fairly dry paste.
  • Then prepare the topping: mix the vegan butter, coconut sugar, flour, oats, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Use your hands to rub it into a well-combined, crumbly texture.
  • Press a base of the oatmeal mixture (about 2-3 cups) into a greased 8×8″ glass baking dish, then spread the date mixture on top. Cover this with another layer (about 1 1/4 cups) of the topping, sprinkling the crumbs over the top.
  • Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, until the topping is golden around the edges. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting into it, if you can wait! Serve with vanilla ice cream or on its own, for snacks or dessert. ❤️
Did you make this? Tag @maitricooks on Instagram and leave a rating in the comments below. Lots of love! ❤️🤗🙏
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15 thoughts on “Grandma’s Date Squares (plant-based, gluten-free)”

    1. maitricookswithlove

      @Jan Hooray! Yes, I’m going through all my recipes now and adapting them to be both vegan and gluten-free. A fun challenge! I’d love to hear how you liked them if you do try them! 😍

    1. maitricookswithlove

      @a.healthfulplate Thanks so much Athena! Your food is so creative and inventive, keep up the amazing work! 😍

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