An easy 3-ingredient recipe, these walnut-stuffed Sugared Dates make for a simple dessert or delicious edible gift. Gluten-free, vegan.
One of my favorite recipes from childhood, I grew up helping my mom make these walnut-stuffed sugared dates every holiday season.
Dates on their own are a little magical sweet treat. Like maple syrup or honey, this natural sweetener is a great sugar substitute. Their natural sugars make them perfect for making healthy recipes like date balls, date caramel, or almond butter stuffed dates.
But coat them in a little sugar, and they become an even more magical, delicious treat.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Only 3 simple ingredients
- Something different than baked goods for holiday cookie plates
- High fiber content and contain essential minerals
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here are a few quick notes about the ingredients in this recipe. You can see a complete ingredient list and instructions in the recipe card below.
Medjool dates - The type you use can make a difference. The Medjool variety is recommended for this recipe as they are larger, soft, and quite naturally sweet. Other varieties such as Deglet Noor are a bit smaller and a little dryer, but would make a fine substitute.
Organic cane sugar - This type of sweetener is not as refined as white granulated white sugar. This granulated sugar adds a glittery crunch to the chewy dates.
Walnuts - Raw walnut halves or pieces are best. Their mild, slightly earthy savory flavor is the perfect complement to the sweet.
Before you start: Place your sugar on a plate.
Step 1: If using unpitted, slice open each and remove the pits. Place a walnut half in the center and squish it closed with your fingers.
Step 2: Roll the stuffed date in the plate of sugar to coat.
- Buying pitted will cut down on prep time.
- If the skin of your dates is a little on the drier side, you can use a pastry brush to lightly wet the skin. This will help the sugar adhere better when rolled.
Dried dates have a long shelf life and should be stored in an airtight container to keep from drying out. You can store them at room temperature, in the fridge, or in the freezer. Dates can be refrigerated for up to 6 months and frozen for up to one year.
If they haven't spoiled but have just dried out and hardened, the easiest way to revive them is to soak them in water. After soaking, drain and pat dry before placing them in an airtight container.
Dates have a good amount of dietary fiber and provide a good source of potassium, magnesium, and folate and can be part of a healthy diet. They make a great snack for a sweet fix!
More Dessert Recipes
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Sugared Dates (Walnut Stuffed)
- 1 lbs fresh medjool dates about 25 dates
- ⅓-1/2 cup raw walnuts halved
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- ¼ cup water
- Using a small paring knife, slice dates open lengthwise and remove pits. Replace pit with half a walnut piece (or whole one depending on size of date). Squeeze date back together.
- Place sugar in a small bowl. Some dates have a natural stickiness on the outside, but to ensure the sugar sticks, take a pastry brush and slightly dab the outside of the date to moisten it. Roll stuffed date in sugar until coated. Place on a piece of parchment or wax paper. Continue until all the dates have been sugared.
- Once the sugar has hardened to dates, place in an airtight container. To give as gifts, place dates in a holiday tin or wrap in clear food gift bags and tie with ribbon.
- Buying pitted dates cut down on prep time.
- You won't use the whole cup of sugar, but it makes it easier to quickly roll the dates to cover them.
These very dates were also our family's tradition and I continue to carry it out for our holiday. My great-grandmother was a wonderful baker and these were one of her treats! So glad to see someone else's family has the same tradition.
I just found this post while jumping around online and it brought back memories of growing up in New Orleans (way back in the 50's!). My grandmother would stuff dates by first removing the pit (guess pitted ones weren't available) then placing half of a large marshmallow in the slit, then pressing a pecan half into the marshmallow and rolling the date in sugar. And, like you, it was my "job" to roll the dates in sugar. I've never made them that way for my family since my Yankee husband likes his stuffed with peanut butter or cream cheese but I think this year I'll surprise everyone and add the southern version as well. Thanks for the inspiration.
Oh, I love hearing that story. And those pecan and marshmallow stuffed dates sound like such a treat!! Thank you so much for sharing!
genevieve @ gratitude & greens
I couldn't help but chuckle at the bloody cow ornament, haha! I am a huge fan of "really big raisins"- usually when they're stuffed with nut butter and loaded up with other goodies but I can't wait to try these. I love dates and will have them in any way, shape, or form!
Hahaha, oh good! ;) Oh, I've never tried them stuffed with nut butter, but that sounds amazing! Thanks, Genevieve!
Kelly @ Inspired Edibles
Loved reading this post Tessa. Isn't it funny how the things we experience as mistakes often end up being some of our most cherished memories? There's got to be something in the learning there :). Your mom sounds very avant garde in her food choices; how fun to have been part of that tradition. Such a beautiful offering too - that last photo... oh là là! x
Oh, I'm very glad! You are so right - definitely something to be learned in there. My mom has always been pretty adventurous in her cooking experiments, something I am now so happy for! Thank you so much, Kelly! Hope you all are having a great weekend! xo.
I remember my grandmother (your great grandmother) making these every Christmas when I was a child. She would so love that you are carrying on the tradition! Thank you, sweetie!
I didn't even realize she made them - I'm so glad! :)
Abby @ The Frosted Vegan
I LOVE these pictures Tessa! I never quite know what to stuff dates with, so these are absolutely perfect. I love your story about the bloody cow ornament, I know our family has a few of those 'special' ones too that just keep falling apart until they are finally let go :)
Oh thank you, Abby!! Hahaha, the bloody cow makes me laugh every time. So glad to know you have something similar! ;) xo.