Date Squares- Matrimonial Bars

This weekend I’m heading off to my hometown of Humboldt, Saskatchewan to celebrate my Dad’s 80th Birthday! Usually family get-togethers in Saskatchewan involve everyone bringing some type of food. We are having an afternoon come and go event with cake and sweets at the local Legion Hall. My contribution will be my super tasting Banana Cake and an old time favourite of my Dad’s – Matrimonial squares, also know as Date Squares.

As a kid I wouldn’t go anywhere near these squares. Two treats that I thought tasted terrible were Mincemeat tarts and Matrimonial cake. Well I guess my taste buds have matured because now I love the taste of Date squares, but I’m afraid mincemeat still makes me gag!

This recipe is from my Mom’s collection in her ingredient stained Hilroy scribbler.

Matrimonial Squares (Date Squares)
By Laureen King from ArtandtheKitchen
    Makes: 32 squares Bake time: 30 minutes


  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 21/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 lb dates, chopped
  • 11/3 cups water
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease 9×13 pan.
  3. In heavy saucepan, mix together dates, water, and granulated sugar.
  4. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to med-low and simmer for approximately 5-10 minutes until dates have softened and water has evaporated .
  5. In large mixing bowl combine together oatmeal, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar.
  6. Cut butter into flour mix and mix until coarse crumbles. (I use a pastry blender for this)
  7. Pour 1/2 of crumble mix into bottom of baking pan, press down.
  8. Pour date mixture on top and spread evenly.
  9. Cover with remaining crumb mix, pressing down slightly.
  10. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes and top nicely browned.
  11. Cut into squares.

Enjoy these other tasty squares! Traditional Nanaimo Bars, Chocolate Caramel Rice Krispie Squares and Old Fashioned Butter Tarts

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  1. Betsy says

    My mother made these exact same Oatmeal Date Bars all the time when I was growing up. I felt the same way as you did about the date bars – I gagged at the thought of eating the date mixture. I’d scrape off the oatmeal cookie part and leave the date filling for someone else to eat. :)

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