Chewy Date-Nut Cookie Bars for a Dairy-Free, Oil-Free Treat


These chewy date-nut cookie bars were shared with us by Paul England of Cookies, Etc during his days writing for a blog called Just Baking. They’re naturally butter-free, oil-free, chocolate-free, and low fat, but still quite decadent.

Chewy Date-Nut Cookie Bars Recipe - Naturally Dairy-Free, Butter-Free, and Oil-Free - Low-Fat, Sweet Rich Flavor

Chewy Date-Nut Cookie Bars for a Dairy-Free, Oil-Free Treat

This recipe is actually a King Arthur classic. We originally shared Paul’s version back in 2007, but today we’re giving the post a big update.

According to Paul, these cookie bars have just a subtle date flavor that provides rich sweetness. He uses dark brown sugar to compliment the dates, but you can use light brown sugar if that’s what you have on hand. If you’re looking for less sweet bars, you can reduce the brown sugar to 3/4 cup. You can also substitute coconut sugar for the brown sugar. The result will be just a little less sweet and a touch drier.

Chewy Date-Nut Cookie Bars Recipe - Naturally Dairy-Free, Butter-Free, and Oil-Free - Low-Fat, Sweet Rich Flavor

Special Diet Notes: Chewy Date-Nut Cookie Bars

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, peanut-free, soy-free, oil-free, and vegetarian.

  • For nut-free, substitute seed or other add-ins for the nuts.
  • This recipe hasn’t been tested egg-free. See our Egg Substitute Guide for egg-free suggestions.
Chewy Date-Nut Cookie Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe is just slightly adapted from one of Paul's favorite cookbooks, The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion: The Essential Cookie Cookbook.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 16 bars
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or sliced almonds
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F and grease a 9x9-inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the nuts and dates.
  4. Scrape the (very sticky!) batter into your prepared baking dish and even it out.
  5. Bake the bars for 18 to 22 minutes, or until they are golden brown and shiny. For chewy bars, instead of crunchy, the center should be slightly moist when a toothpick is inserted into the center. Overbaking will dry the bars out and make them crunchy.
  6. Let the bars cool completely before cutting. Dust the tops with powdered sugar, if desired.

More Dairy-Free Recipes with Dates

2-Ingredient Date Caramel Sauce

Two-Ingredient Dairy-Free Date Caramel Sauce Recipe from The 5-Ingredient Vegan

Date Nut Bread

Dairy-Free Date Nut Bread Recipe with Muffin and Mini Loaf Options (can be made vegan or gluten-free). Great for teatime or holiday gifting.

Date-Sweetened Almond Milk

Date-Sweetened Almond Milk Recipe - easy, dairy-free, natural, no sugar added, and healthy

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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