Jean Denison’s Date Squares

The secret ingredient is margarine. “Don’t think you can make them better by using butter,” says Jean.

August 19, 2011 | | Desserts | Food | Recipes

This recipe for prize-winning squares was handed down to Erin resident Jean Denison by her mother Elizabeth Fisher. Denison and her son, John Wesley, have each won with it once in the Date Square category and placed second another time at the Erin Fair. The secret ingredient is margarine. “Don’t think you can make them better by using butter,” says Jean.

Jean Denison’s Date Squares

Recipe submitted by: Jean Denison


Depends how big you cut the squares!




  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups fl our
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 lb (250 g) margarine
  • 1 lb (500 g) chopped dates
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup water (approximately)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Mix together rolled oats, flour, brown sugar and baking soda.
  3. Cut in margarine until mixture is crumbly.
  4. Spread half the mixture in the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking pan.
  5. Combine chopped dates with white sugar and cornstarch.
  6. Place in a saucepan and cover with water.
  7. Bring to a boil, stirring.
  8. Cool slightly.
  9. Spread date mixture on top of the crumble.
  10. Top dates with remaining crumb mixture.
  11. Bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden.
  12. Cool before cutting into squares.

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  1. Whatever Jean bakes is the TOPS with me!!!

    John Goossens from St. Thomas on Jan 5, 2023 at 6:27 pm | Reply

  2. The best date squares unless you add chocolate

    John Fisher on Jan 5, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Reply

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