Everything Newfoundland & Labrador with its Culture, Cuisine and Traditions

Bar & Squares

Date Squares

In Western Canada, date squares are know as” Matrimonial Cake “ the origin go back to the 1930s. Matrimony cake was more like a pie than a cake. It had a pastry case filled with a mixture of dried fruits, spices and breadcrumbs with a solid base, smooth filling and rough top. Matrimony cake was said to sum up the complexities of marriage.

Date-SquaresDate filling


  • 3 cups dates (pitted & chopped)
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 tsp orange rind


In a saucepan, low heat, cook filling ingredients for 10-15 minutes. Stir constantly until mixture thickens.

Note: do not add sugar to this recipe



Pre-heat oven 400°F


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup softened butter (or margarine)
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups cooking oats
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda


In a bowl, stir brown sugar and butter until well blended. Add remaining ingredients and  mix until crumbly. Divide mixture in half. Press half of crumb mixture evenly in bottom of a well-greased pan (13’ x 9”). Spread with date filling. Top with remaining crumb mixture. Press lightly. Bake at 400ºF for approx 25 – 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes prior to cutting in squares. Serve with a good cup of steeped tea or a cold glass of milk.

mop boards – floor base boards, moudlings