I got this recipe from my mother, who I assume got it from her mother. I have NO idea why it's called Matrimony Cake. It's not like any wedding cake I've ever had. In fact, it's a variety of what is normally called date squares or date bars. Is it named for the institution of marriage? It has oats -- because hopefully all the wild oats have been sown and from now on there will only be domestic ones. It has dates -- lots and lots of dates, of which a happy marriage should have many. Sugar -- well, yeah. Cinammon and salt for spice. Okay, so I'm getting carried away and should stop, but if anyone knows the real reason for its name, please tell me!

1/2 cup butter
1.5 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon soda

Mix together to a crumbly texture and spread half the mixture on the bottom of the pan. My recipe doesn't specify the pan size. I seem to remember my mother using a rectangular pan, but I used an 8"x8" pan and it worked fine.

1 pound dates, pitted and chopped. I suggest using those very sweet lovely dark Mediterranean dates.The lighter-brown California dates just aren't as good, in my opinion.
1 cup water
Salt. The recipe doesn't specify; I used 1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon. Again, the recipe doesn't specify. I used 1 teaspoon.

Cook filling until soft and spread over the bottom crust. Then spread the rest of the crumble on top.

Bake for 1/2 hour at 350 degrees. Cut into squares. They're great hot with ice cream or cold just by themselves.


  1. Beth Trissel // June 27, 2010 at 1:06 PM  

    These look absolutely fabulous. Thanks for posting the recipe.

  2. Scarlet Pumpernickel // June 27, 2010 at 3:34 PM  

    Barbara how wonderful, I found your recipe before I set off to the store so I can gather the needed ingredients! Thanks for sharing, this sounds like a great breakfast treat.

  3. Mona Risk // June 27, 2010 at 4:36 PM  

    I love dates. I am ready to eat it anytime, but don't count on me to bake. That's one task I always flunk.

  4. Barbara Monajem // June 27, 2010 at 8:51 PM  

    I've been feasting on these things for two days now. I've decided to freeze the rest. Haven't tried that with these before, but it works well with other squares I've made.

    I wish you all were here to share them with me!

  5. Judy // June 28, 2010 at 7:54 AM  

    Yum! Looks delicious and I like your descriptions! Thanks!

  6. Joanne // June 28, 2010 at 7:47 PM  

    Interesting post, Barbara, and great recipe. I must try it, although I'm already married and have been for 35 years.

  7. Pamela Vee // June 30, 2010 at 12:37 PM  

    You make something I wouldn't ordinarily eat sound delicious. I'll try it. Thanks for the recipe.