Monday, 18 July 2016

Date Slice

Date Slice is a lovely tasty treat.  It's easy to make and is great added to a packed lunch, included in a picnic or even offered as a tasty homemade after-school treat.

How to make a Homemade Date Slice.

This recipe for Date Slice is super easy, super quick, super tasty and not forgetting very nutritious too.

Date Slice is one of those recipes which mum and I would often make together when I was a teen during the long summer holidays.  No sooner was the bake out of the oven and cooled, they were snaffled up and literally only crumbs remained!

Date Slice is easy to make, delicious, packed with great nutrition courtesy of the dates

As already mentioned it's a really easy bake, particularly if you choose to use shop bought pastry.  But if you enjoy making your own homemade pastry, like me, then a Date Slice bake really doesn't take that much longer.  Once rolled out, the pastry base is filled with a date mixture which is topped with another sheet of pastry, sprinkled with sugar and then popped into the oven.

Easy eh!

Before you know it, you can be enjoying a delicious piece of this traybake Date Slice with your favourite pot of tea.  

Homemade Date Slice enjoyed with a pot of tea

Now, it's probably fair to say Date Slice isn't a sexy bake.  But what it lacks in curb appeal it certainly makes up in flavour and nutrition.  Dates are rich in dietary fibre, are an excellent source of iron, potassium, calcium, manganese and copper and are also a good source of vitamin A.  In addition, as the dates are naturally high in sugar there's no need to add any additional sugar to the date mixture.

If you're a fan of dates as much as I am then you may also enjoy this Date Tart recipe which is finished with a lattice crust (a tad more sexy than it's humble cousin!) or perhaps these Snack Balls made with date apple and almonds.

Date Tart finished with a lattice crust inspired by a Rum Nicky.

How to make a Date Slice!


pastry, tray bake, dates, easy recipe, picnic recipe, packed lunch ,
Yield: 9 - 16 pieces

Date Slice

prep time: 30 minscook time: 35 minstotal time: 65 mins
Date Slice is a lovely tasty treat. It's easy to make and is a great addition to a packed lunch, a picnic or even offered as a tasty homemade after school treat.


For the Pastry
  • 220g Plain Flour
  • 110g Unsalted Butter, chilled and cubed
  • 55g Icing Sugar
  • pinch of Salt
  • 1 large Egg, lightly beaten
For the Date Filling
  • 350g block of Dates (we used Whitworth's)
  • 220ml - 250ml Water
  • Zest of half an Orange
To finish the pastry slice
  • Either milk or a little beaten egg
  • Caster or Granulated Sugar to sprinkle


  1. Cook the dates.  Break up the compacted dates.  Cut the dates into smaller pieces with a pair of scissors or a knife, removing any stray stones if you find any.  Place into a small heavy based pan.  Add about half of the measured water.   Add the orange zest.   Set the pan over a medium heat to slowly cook the dates allowing them to absorb the water.  Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture frequently.  Once the dates have absorbed most of the water add some more and stir again.  Allow the dates to continue absorbing the water and softening.  Continue cooking and adding a little more water until the mixture is soft and a slightly chunky 'puree'.  This will take about 15 minutes.
  2. Cool the dates.   Once the dates are cooked and softened, pour the mixture into a bowl and set aside to cool.
  3. Make the pastry.   Place the flour, icing sugar, pinch of salt and cubed chilled butter into a good sized bowl.  Rub the butter into the flour between your thumb and finger tips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.   Make a well in the centre of the breadcrumbs and add the beaten egg.  Using a rounded pallet knife, or the back of a table knife, cut through the mixture to make a dough.  You may need to add a little cold water or milk (perhaps 1 or 2 teaspoons) to fully bring the mixture together.  Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and lightly knead the dough for 10 seconds.  Cut the mixture in half, one piece being slightly larger than the other.  Shape each piece into a ball.  Flatten them into a disc.  Wrap in cling film and place into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 190c / 170 fan / Gas 5.  
  5. Roll out the pastry.  Remove the slightly larger portion of pastry from the fridge.  Place onto a lightly floured work surface.  Roll the pastry out into a square or rectangle about 3mm thick so that it'll fit the shape of your baking sheet.  Transfer the pastry to the baking sheet by wrapping the pastry carefully over the rolling pin.  Avoid stretching the pastry.  Use sharp knife to trim the edges of the pastry to neaten.  Set the trimmings aside (without balling them up). 
  6. Build up the walls of the pastry base.  Cut the pastry trimmings into long strips about 1cm wide.  Use a pastry bush to paint a line of milk, egg or water around the edge of the pastry.  Lay the pastry strips around the edge of pastry base.  The 4 sides of the pastry square will now have a double layer of pastry.  Repeat, using the remaining offcuts, to make the  pastry wall three layers thick.  This will create a crust and a wall for the date mixture to sit within.     
  7. Roll out the pastry lid.  Remove the second disc of pastry from the fridge.  Place onto a lightly floured work surface.  Roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick and the same size (or a little bigger) as the pastry base.
  8. Fill the patry case.  Spoon the date mixture into the middle of the pastry.  Use the back of a spoon to smooth it out to the edges of the pastry.  Avoid getting the date filling over the 'wall' of the pastry. 
  9. Add the pastry lid.  Use a pastry brush to paint a little milk , egg or water over the top of the pastry 'wall'.  Use the rolling pin to lift the pastry and unroll it over the filled case.  Use your finger tips to gently seal the pastry lid to the pastry 'wall'.  Use a sharp paring knife, or similar, to trim away the excess pastry as necessary.   Use the off cuts to create a pastry decoration if desired.  
  10. Scatter with sugar.   Use a pastry brush to paint a little milk or egg over the top of the pastry.  Liberally scatter sugar over the top of the pastry.  Use a pair of clean scissors to cut air holes into the top of the pastry.  (I tend to make 9 evenly spaced cuts in our Date Slice,  3 x 3).
  11. Bake.  Place the baking tray into the oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until it is golden and the pastry cooked through.  You may need to rotate the tray part way through the bake.
  12. Cool & slice.  Once baked remove the tray from the oven and set onto a cooling tray.  After 5 minutes use a sharp knife to slice the date pastry into pieces, we get 16 pieces from it.   
  13. Enjoy!


SPECIFIC EQUIPMENT:  1 Large baking Sheet, lined; rolling pin. 
STORAGE: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.  
a) The baking tray we use for this is flat without sides, which means that the sides of pastry need to be built up with offcuts, the benefit being that it's easier to portion up and remove from the baking tray.  Feel free to use a sided baking tray if you prefer such as a Swiss Roll tin. 
NUTRITIONAL VALUES: Please note, nutritional values are offered as a guideline only.  Values below are for 1 piece of date slice, based on it being sliced into 16 equl pieces.  Any Percentage Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
fat (grams)
sat. fat (grams)
carbs (grams)
protein (grams)
sugar (grams)
Created using The Recipes Generator

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Grab the #DateSliceRecipe over on the blog.  It's an #EasyRecipe perfect for #LunchBoxIdeas or #PicnicTreats as well as being a great #homemade #AfterSchoolTreat.

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This post has been shared with: 


 Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Corina over at Searching for Spice.



  1. Yummo! I've never tried anything like this before but as a fan of a good old sticky toffee pudding I'm sure they can't be that far removed and would therefore be delicious! Hope you've been enjoying the Yorkshire sunshine today, looking forward to seeing the write up of your drip cake too!
    Hannah :)

    1. Ooh you'll definately have to try it Hannah, date slice is so easy to make and delicious to enjoy with a nice drink. Ooh yes, the Yorkshire sunshine has been glorious these passed couple of days hasn't it. Yesterday was lovely when Mr E & I went out for a walk onto the hills and with the breeze it was just perfect. It felt lovely having the sun on my arms without feeling the need to take a jacket with me!

  2. Yum! These sound amazing. I am really getting into dates at the moment. Before I started the Sirtfood Diet I wasn't to sure, but now I am happily eating them morning noon and night (ish). I particularly love the medjool dates and I love how healthy they are! I am also loving your photography - you are getting quite adept at that 'eating a bit of the cake' shot - I particularly like the going going gone element of this one. Did it take many goes to get it right?? ;-) Eb x

    1. Hahaha :-) For some reason I particulrly liked taking those shots too ;-) I did have to go through the 'going, going, gone' routine a couple of times, just to be sure I captured it as best I could ;-) As you've said before, it's a tough old job :-)
      Mr E & I love dates too, they're great for snacking on aren't they and they make a great base for 'energy/snacking' balls when a few nuts and other fruits are added into the mix.
      Angela x

  3. These look very similar to our local sly cakes, or currant slices. Not very pretty but oh so tasty. I love dates, they don't last long in our house

    1. I completely agree Alison, they're not very pretty but they certainly make up for that in the taste department.
      Thanks for popping by Alison,
      Angela x

  4. I love these: dates are a wonderful fruit, but I don't use then nearly enough! Time to rectify that and make a batch. Thank you for posting #TastyTuesdays

    1. Ooh I completely agree that dates are wonderful. I hope you enjoy the date slice as much as we do :-) Do let me know how you get on with it.
      Angela x

  5. I haven't had date slices for a long time but would love to have one of these! They remind me of my childhood too as they're the type of thing my gran used to make. Thank you so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice!

    1. I always love how food can trigger memories Corina.
      Thank you for your lovely comment Corina, and of course for hosting.
      Angela x

  6. Angela these look and sound soooo yummy! You had me at 'date'. I could eat them all day long. So to have them as the main feature of a delicious bake is my idea of heaven! Thanks for sharing!
    As always - your biggest fan,
    Betty x

    The Betty Stamp

    1. Dates are great aren't they Betty, I too could happily snack on them all day too.
      Thanks for popping by Betty, off to check out what delicious goodies you've been making recently,

  7. I've made date slices before but they had a crumble topping instead of using pastry as yours do - these look so good, I will be making these over the holidays with the kids. Thanks for adding to #CookBlogShare

    1. I love the sound of them with a crumble topping Mandy :-) I must admit I did consider making a crumble layer for them or even pushing half of the pastry through a potato ricer to create texture on the top but I was running short of time that day so I stuck with the method mum & I always use. Will definately have to try a crumble top next though. Happy baking with your children Mandy,
      Angeka x

  8. I've made something similar to these before but not with dates, I really like the sound of these!

    1. It's such a versitile principle to sandwich fruit between sweetened pastry isn't it, what fruit did you use?
      THanks for popping by,
      Angela x

  9. What a delicious, traditional bake. I love using dates, you can do so much with them! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x

    1. Dates are just fab aren't they - and surprisingly so healthy too which certainly makes them a winner in my book :-)
      Thanks for popping by Kirsty,
      Angela x

  10. Ooh, how intriguing. I've only ever made date slices with oats, but now I badly want to try them with pastry. Either way, I haven't had one in years. Mmmmmm.

    1. Ooh you have to remedy that Choclette if you've not made any for so long! I love the sound of them with dates, making them even healthier! Thanks for popping by,
      Angela x

  11. These look fabulous. date slice is one of those things that I have grown to like. Who cares if the filling isnt sexy so long as it tastes good.


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