These candied dates are the perfect utterly delicious sweet treat to whip up this holiday season.
Soft, sweet dates are tossed in a spicy and flavorful honey and brown sugar mixture and baked until they dry up a bit.
These dried dates are chewy, sweet and spicy all at the same time, and are a great healthy candy to make and share with your family!
I have to admit- I don’t exactly love dates, and while I’ve tried using them to sweeten my desserts and to make my date puree, I really wanted to give them a different twist this time.
And that’s when I tried out this recipe.
What's So Great About the Recipe?
One of my favorite things about these spicy sugared dates is the fact that they’re actually healthy.
If you’ve made those date balls packed with nuts aka energy balls, you’ll love the unique, festive flavor these wickedly delicious treats bring.
Best of all, they’re the perfect holiday treat you can enjoy with your entire family. I love batch making these and gifting them to my family and friends.
Ingredients For the Candied Dates Recipe
You’ll need just a handful of simple ingredients to make these delicious candied dates.
Medjool dates: We’ll start off with Medjool dates, which are the best quality, soft and juicy dates. You’ll find these most commonly used in dessert recipes.
Rosemary: I also used some fresh rosemary leaves to add a subtle, sweet flavor to the snack.
Brown sugar: Brown sugar melts beautifully when in the oven, and coats the dates while lending it that caramel-like flavor.
Honey: I also used a bit of honey to create a nice glaze around the dates. You can skip this if you want to keep it vegan.
Cayenne pepper: A dash of cayenne pepper to add a bit of heat to cut through the sweetness of the other ingredients.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Candied Dates
Ready to make this recipe? Here’s what you’ll need to do.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the dates into halves and remove the pits.
In a bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients and add the dates.
Stir to combine until the dates are all coated well.
Transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them for 8-10 minutes.
Substitutions & Variations
- If you don’t have Medjool dates, you can try this recipe with other dates too. Just remember to choose a variety that is softer and has more water content for best results. Delget Noor is a good choice to consider.
- Don’t have brown sugar? Use organic cane sugar, which adds a nice glittery crunch factor to the dates.
- You can also use maple syrup as an alternative to the honey for this recipe.
How to Store the Leftover Candied Dates
You can store the candied dates in an airtight container and store them at room temperature for weeks.
If you’re concerned about them going bad, you can pop them in the fridge too
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
- Want to add a bit of crunch factor and some healthy goodness into these dates? Instead of halving them, use a knife to make a lengthwise slit into them, remove the pit and stuff them with some coarsely chopped walnuts, almonds or pecans.
- If you don’t have soft dates that the recipe calls for, you can simply soak your halved harder dates into some warm water for about 30 minutes to get them nice and plump.
- Don’t forget to grease the baking sheet with some butter or cooking spray before you transfer the dates on them.
- You can also roll the dates in some dried coconut flakes or desiccated coconut along with the other ingredients to bring in a bit of a variation.
- You can also choose to air fry the dates if you don't want to turn on your oven. Just make sure you check the dates at the 5 minute mark, shake them up a bit and pop them back in again.
How to Use Candied Dates
These candied dates are a great snack snack to have after a run or a workout session, but that’s not all.
They’re actually a great appetizer to have on your holiday table. I love making them during Christmas, adding them to cute little jars and gifting them to my family and friends.
You can also chop some of these up and add them to your salads to bring a nice bit of flavor and some unique texture.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
- 12 Medjool dates pitted and torn
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper more or less to taste
- Slice the dates into halves and remove the pits.
- In a bowl, mix all the remaining ingredients and add the dates.
- Stir to combine until the dates are all coated well.
- Transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them for 8-10 minutes.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove