Date paste, also called date caramel, is a natural sweetener that works well in replacing refined sugars and adds moisture to baked goods. Make it easily with 2 ingredients in a blender in 5 minutes.
Make date paste quickly and easily in a blender with dates and water. Use homemade date paste, also called caramel sauce, to replace refined sugar in coffee or smoothies, and it bakes well, adding moisture and texture as well as a sweet flavor. This 2-ingredient date paste literally tastes like caramel yet has all the nutrition of dates.
Why You'll Love This
Delicious flavor. Date paste or date caramel has a mild caramel flavor, like brown sugar, only more neutral.
Flexibility & Nutritious. Date paste works as an easy 1:1 ratio in a swap with sugar or maple syrup.
Allergy & Diet Friendly. Date paste is perfect for any diet, including dairy-free, vegan, gluten free and paleo. Dates don't spike blood sugar, and have a low glycemic index.
Fresh Dates. The best type of dates for date paste are a large type called Medjool dates. Second best are Deglet dates which are smaller but still useful for the recipe. Find either type in packages typically in the produce section. You can buy them already pitted or with pits.
Lemon juice and water. Lemon juice adds a brighter flavor and cuts through the sweetness but it not essential. Some water is essential to help the dates blend.
See the recipe card at the bottom for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Step by Step Instructions
For more detail on how to blend dates in a blender, visit the complete recipe at the bottom of this post, but here are general steps.
1. Soak dates by adding them into a cup of just-boiled water for about 2 minutes.
2. How to pit dates. Once soaked, use your fingers to pry open a date, pull out pit and discard. Remove the stem if there is one.
3. How to grind dates. Add pitted dates to a high-speed blender, regular blender or a food processor. Soak your dates overnight if you don't have a strong blender. Do not use an immersion blender.
3. Add lemon juice and water to the dates in the blender, then blend everything until creamy, about 1-2 minutes depending on the speed of your machine. Hold back half the water at first and see how little you can add.
Storing Date Caramel
Store the date caramel in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks, then it can begin to dry out. Freeze it for up to three months, and in ice cube trays so you can thaw only what you need.
How to Use as a Sweetener
Replace Sugar in Baking. Use date caramel in 1-to-1 replacement but realize that sugar does other things to textures in baking so you might get different results. Soften dates for baking by soaking them in just boiled water for 2 minutes.
Replace a Liquid Sweetener. Replace liquid sweeteners with date caramel sauce using a 1:1 ratio.
Add date paste to frozen no bake desserts because date paste doesn't freeze solid so the dessert retains a chew.
Mixing 12 dates and ⅔ cup of water makes 1 cup of date paste or date caramel.
Date syrup has the consistency of maple syrup, and is basically date paste with the pulp strained out of it. It's healthier to each the paste so you get the fiber.
Whole dates can be kept at room temperature or refrigerated for up to 6 months as long as they are in an airtight container. They can be frozen whole for up to a year without drying out.
If you find a white coating on your dates, or black fuzz inside, you can eat either. The white coating is crystallizing sugar, and the black fuzz is a non-toxic fungus.
Recipes With Date Paste
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Date Paste (Date Caramel, Natural Sweetener)
- measuring cup
- blender or food processor
- storage containers
- 1 cup Medjool dates (6-8 ounces) (10-12 dates, pitted and soaked)
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Prep dates by adding them into a cup of just boiled water for about 2 minutes.1 cup Medjool dates (6-8 ounces)
- Rinse dates after soaking, and pit them (unless you bought pre-pitted dates). Be sure to also remove the stem if there is one.
- Add pitted dates to a high speed blender or a food processor. A blender will probably make a creamier date paste.
- Add lemon juice and water and blend until creamy, about 1-2 minutes depending on the speed of your machine. Hold back half the water at first and see how little you can add and still get the date paste to blend. The less water added, the thicker your paste.1 cup Medjool dates (6-8 ounces), ⅓ cup water, 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Store date paste in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Freeze for three months and in ice cube trays so you can thaw only what you need.