This cake became a favorite of my husbands after marrying into our family. I never really made it much as I just depended on my mother to bring it out on special occasions. Now I am 'hankering' for it again and tried to find it in my mother's recipe collection. A quick chat with Betty r brought me to the closest recipe in our similar Mennonite Cookbook. The recipe 'base' I am using for this posting was in the 1977 Mennonite Treasury of Recipes and was submitted by a Mrs. J. Dyck of Steinbach, Manitoba. The changes made to the ingredients are Betty's own which she shared with me today before I dug out the ingredients.
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 tsp. soda
Grated rind of 1 lemon
Mix ingredients as for pie, put half of mixture in the bottom of a 8 x 8 cake pan. Put date filling on to, then put the remainder of mixture on top of the date filling.
1 1/2 cup finely chopped dates (Betty adds some apple to 'soften' the taste)
1/4 cup brown sugar
enough water to cover dates (Betty uses coffee for a more distinct taste)
Juice of 1 lemon
Bring to a boil.
Simmer until thick and of spreading consistency.
Cool before spreading on cake.
Bake all in moderate over (350 degrees) for 1/2 hour.
Cool, slice in squares and serve.