My vegan date caramel slice is such an easy way to serve up a classic holiday staple. Smooth date filling is sandwiched between two layers of oat crumble to make this healthy, vegan & gluten-free date square. Ideal Christmas traybake & the perfect sweet snack all year round.
Disclosure: This recipe post is part of a paid collaboration with Doves Farm. All opinions expressed are my own.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- The perfect crumble to filling ratio
- A vegan and gluten-free take on classic Newfoundland date squares
- A crowd-pleasing holiday staple
- Serve it warm or cold
- A forgiving & easy recipe for kids to help with
- Stays good for days and can be frozen
Plus, you’ll have step-by-step images and video to guide you along the way so you truly can’t mess it up!
These are the ingredients you’ll need to make my vegan date slice - so simple & easy to find.
Dates - I splurged on Medjool dates for this recipe but you can use any other dried pitted dates.
Oats are naturally gluten-free but there’s a high risk they’ve come in contact with gluten before making it to supermarket shelves. Opt for certified gluten-free oats. Any type of oats will work (whole large flake, steel-cut, etc)
Mixed (pumpkin pie) spice - I’m based in the UK which is why I used mixed spice. This is a spice mix containing cinnamon, coriander seeds, nutmeg, whole cloves, pimento & ginger.
You can substitute mixed spice with pumpkin pie spice (in the US) or even allspice (heads up - this will have a slightly stronger flavour).
Plain white gluten-free flour - I used GF flour by FREEE. Can be substituted for plain flour for a non-gluten-free version.
Oat flour - I used the fantastic organic oat flour by Doves Farm (now available in Ocado, Tesco and Waitrose). I love using their oat flour as it’s high in fiber, wholegrain and milled from 100% British oats. It’s also certified gluten-free. In case you can’t access oat flour, substitute it with homemade blended oats.
Vegan butter - I love using Flora plant butter or Vitalite. Any vegan butter will do.
I can’t stress how easy this recipe is!
The base layer consists of mostly oats, spices, and flour. The same ingredients are also used for the crumb topping. In the middle, there’s a layer of chewy, smooth, caramel-like date stuffing.
The full instructions with exact ingredients are waiting for you at the bottom of this blog post.
- Preheat your oven to 356°F /180°C (fan oven setting). Place dates and water in a small pan.
- Add the date filling spices (cinnamon, ginger) and salt.
- Cook for 5 minutes until softened and leave to cool.
- If desired, blend with a hand blender until smooth.
5. In a large bowl, mix all your crumble ingredients (except butter). Then add butter and mix until crumbly consistency.
6. Spoon ¾ of your crumble mixture onto a lined baking tray. Press it down.
7. Use a silicone spatula to spread the date filling over your base layer.
8. Top off with the remaining crumble mixture and almonds.
Bake for 30 minutes and wait to cool.
Extra optional step: soak dates in 1 teaspoon of baking soda before adding them to the pan. Baking soda will neutralize the acidic components of dates, making them less bitter.
1. Thicker slices
If you prefer thicker slices simply use a smaller baking tray. I prefer mine slightly thinner than usual (as seen in the photos).
Prefer a thicker layer of date filling? Double the filling ingredients! Prefer a thicker crumble? Double that!
2. Press it down
It’s crucial that you press down hard on the base layer. This way your traybake will keep its shape.
3. Wait before slicing
Wondering how to slice date squares? The most important thing is to let them cool completely before cutting and serving. This way they will hold their shape.
Then use a large, sharp knife to achieve even slices.
Place in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Yes, you can! Place in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To defrost, remove from the freezer and let thaw at room temperature.
Simply serve on its own at room temperature. Alternatively, you can warm it up in the microwave and serve it with a scoop of ice cream.
Don’t have a certain ingredient or simply want to play around with different flavours? No problem, you can still make this date slice!
Here are my top substitutions:
- Vanilla extract can be added to your date filling or the base (or both).
- Orange zest can be added to the date filling for a punch of citrusy flavour and extra holiday points! You can also use orange juice instead of water for your date filling.
- Walnuts & other nuts such as cashews, hazelnuts & brazil nuts can be used instead of almonds to top off the date crumble.
- Coconut oil could work as a substitute for vegan butter in this recipe. It’s about 90% saturated fat which is why I don’t like using it. This is much higher compared to butter/vegan butter. Its health benefits also remain largely unproven (Harvard Health).
- Plenty of ways to incorporate different spices. You can substitute cinnamon, ginger & mixed spice for ground cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, etc.
For more super easy vegan snacks check out:
Or check out my full recipe section!
Vegan Date Caramel Slice with Nuts Crumble (Easy And Gluten-Free)
- Hand blender (optional)
- Measuring cups or scales
- Baking tray
- Baking paper
FOR THE DATE FILLING
- ⅔ cup water
- 1 cup pitted dates tightly packed to fill the cup
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ginger
- 1 pinch salt
FOR THE CRUMBLE
- ¾ cup vegan butter
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp plain gluten-free flour
- ¾ cup oat flour
- 1 cup oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp allspice / mixed spice or pumpkin spice
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 tbsp flaked almonds
- Preheat your oven to 356°F /180°C (fan oven setting*).
- Place dates and water in a small pan.
- Add the date filling spices (cinnamon, ginger) and salt.
- Cook for 5 minutes until softened and leave to cool. If desired, blend with a hand blender until smooth.
- In a large bowl, mix all your crumble ingredients (except butter).
- Then add butter and use your hands to mix it in until crumbly consistency. You know you’ve mixed it well when no large flour specs can be seen in the mixture.
- Spoon approx. ¾ of your crumble mixture onto a lined baking tray. Use your fingers to press it down tightly.
- Then use a silicone spatula (or a spoon) to spread the date filling over your base layer. Try to get it as even as possible, not forgetting the corners.
- Top off with the remaining crumble mixture and almonds.
- Bake for 30 minutes and let it cool before slicing & serving.
- Tip 1: If you prefer thicker slices simply use a smaller baking tray.
- Tip 2: It’s crucial that you press down hard on the base layer to make sure the traybake keeps its shape.
- Tip 3: Always wait for it to cool before slicing.
- To store - Place in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- To freeze - Place in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.