Mennonite Girls Can Cook is a collection of recipes which were posted daily for a period of ten years from 2008 to 2018. We have over 3,000 delicious recipes that we invite you to try. The recipes can be accessed in our recipe file by category or you can use the search engine.

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Matrimonial Squares

I like to trick myself into thinking that these are healthy, after all they are chocked full of oats and dates. they have loads of sugar, and margarine to hold them together. These are so quick and easy to bake and they freeze well... and taste great.

Crumb Crust Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup margarine (you can use butter, but it changes the taste in this recipe)
Date Filling Ingredients:
  • 1/2 lb pitted dates, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Stir together all dry ingredients for crust. Cut in margarine until you have a fine crumble.
  2. Press half of the crumble into a lightly greased 9x9 cake pan.
  3. Place dates, sugar and water in a microwaveable bowl and cook for 1 minute. Stir and cook another minute, or until dates are bubbly and soft. Immediately stir in baking powder and vanilla. Stir well.
  4. Pour hot date mixture over crust, and top with remaining crumble.
  5. Bake at 350ยบ for 25 minutes.


  1. my husband just loves these.
    i think i will whip up a batch tonight for him......he deserves it.

  2. These are my favorite squares!

  3. These sound really good Kathy. Maybe I'll teach my newly engaged daughter how to make them! :0)

  4. I've never had one, but they look soooooooooo good. I wonder if figs would work instead of dates???

  5. Oh do I remember these...this was a specialty in our house...My Mom always made them...and if you can't really find them anymore...Starbucks makes the best.

    1. starbucks has a blueberry version. not as good as a long shot.

  6. Matrimonial squares were my dad's favorites...and got baked most Saturdays in my childhood home. I could use a slice about now!

  7. My mom used to make these from a box mix. When I first learned that they were called Matrimonal Squares up in Canada, I researched why. Can you guess the answer?

  8. I love them cold. ...with a good strong cup of coffee. Yum!

  9. I'd love to know why they're called Matrimonial Squares! My Mennonite grandma used to make cookies very much like this, but they were just called "date squares." Oh! Is there a joke in the name--dates lead to matrimony?

  10. I love these but my kids are NOT so keen on the dates, so I have used a substitute of chocolate - melted semi-sweet chocolate chips with a bit of milk and/or a bit of margarine. Yummy!

  11. HOpe these are good. I've tried a couple recipes and can't find the perfect one...most of your recipes are a true find and end to hunting I must say. I like mine slightly warmed with my cup of coffee for breakfast...naughty naughty.

  12. These are a great way to use up old dates that maybe of been overlooked in the baking drawer. They soften up nicely during the heating process.
    Good source of fibre between the dates and oatmeal!
    Thanks for this recipe. You ladies have done it again! Last night it was Julie's chocolate cake with French silk frosting for our son's 21st - another hit!

  13. These remind me of date bars! I have successfully replaced the date filling with fig preserves. Love these!

  14. Matrimonial squares --- always a treat at our house!

  15. Love these squares. I like to put some orange and/or lemon flavouring in with the dates as well.

  16. To answer why they are called matrimony cake. Many years ago my mother told me that they used to wrap individual pices as a little gift and they were handed out to guests at the wedding reception and they were called grooms cake. My understanding was that the guests were to put the little wrapped cake under their pillow and they would dream of the one they were to marry.

  17. My mother and grandmother made matrimonial square, but the filling was whatever fruit was abundant. Just make it like a pie filling, sugar, cornstarch, lemon and fruit, cook till thickened and use the same as the date filling. My family loves it with homemade green tomato mincemeat.

  18. I have fresh, soft dates that I bought at Costco. Do I still add the water and microwave them?


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