Date and Caramel Shortcake

Written by Jeanette Smith 18th May 2020

Sometimes you just fancy something different. So I was looking through the cupboards to see what I could get, when I came across a bag of dates. They’re a little out of date, but were still in good order, so I put on my thinking cap to see what I could do with them.

I remembered this shortcake recipe I’d made some years ago. Can’t remember where it came from, but I adapted it to suit the amount of dates that I had.


  • 125g/4.5oz butter/marg
  • 125g/4.5oz caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 250g/9oz plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 240g/8.5oz chopped potted dates
  • 2 tablespoon soft light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 20g extra butter/marg
  • 250ml water
  • Icing sugar to decorate

Let’s cook!

Grease and line a shallow baking sheet.

In a bowl place the butter, caster sugar, egg, vanilla and flour.

Zoom with a hand mixer. It will be quite stiff, like a dough.

Spread half the mix over the prepared tin.

Cover this and the other half of mix and pop in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling.

In a pan, place the chopped dates, brown sugar, cocoa, extra butter and water.

Bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently for approximately 10-15 minutes.

It will absorb the water and become quite thick and sticky.

Turn out onto a plate, spreading it over and pop in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Take everything from the fridge.

Spread the filling over the base.

Depending on the consistency of your dough, you should be able to grate the rest over the top of the date sauce.

(Mine however, did not work according to plan this time, so I placed little dollops of the dough onto the dates instead).

Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 35 minutes until golden.

Cool in the tin for about 15 minutes then remove from the tin and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

Sprinkle with icing sugar and cut into squares.

Serve with a warm brew. Or as a dessert with some cream or ice cream.


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