This easy egg-free no-bake date slice (Dadelvingers) comes together in 30 minutes. A delightfully sweet treat is a South African favourite, flavoured with dates and Marie biscuits.
It's Heritage Day today! And well, this website is an ode to my South African heritage. Food plays a large role in heritage and culture...but so does media and the TV shows that are made show-casing parts of that heritage.
As a teen and young adult, I watched soap operas, South African soap operas, or dramas or whatever they are classified as. The most famous probably being Egoli. But honestly, my favourites was Isidingo and 7de Laan.
This particular recipe was inspired by 7de Laan's Tannie (Aunty) Hilda's se Dadelvingers. However, after some research on Dadelvingers or Date Slices, I decided to make an egg-free small batch version.
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What you need for this recipe
This recipe requires a medium-sized saucepan or pot, and a regular-sized loaf tin.
Butter or baking margarine or vegan baking alternative.
Granulated sugar or plain white sugar is used in this recipe. As to not compete with the flavour of the dates.
Pitted dates, usually dried dates are used within this recipe.
Marie Biscuits or plain Vanilla Wine Biscuits. Alternatively, even Rice Krispies can be used.
Salt to offset the sweet, especially if unsalted butter is used.
Desiccated Coconut - This is a finely shredded or flaked dried coconut that is usually not sweetened. And may also be known as unsweetened desiccated or macaroon coconut.
Refer to recipe card for details
Making the No-Bake Date Slice (Dadelvingers)
Step 1 - Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper, using the sling method, in which two sides of the parchment are allowed to hang over the edges of the tin.
Step 2 - Finely chop the pitted dates and set them aside. Take note that dates can be very sticky, I find a sharp paring knife the best way to chop the dates. Break or crush the biscuits into chunks, and set them aside.
Step 3 - In a small to medium saucepan, melt the butter and sugar over low heat, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved the butter will have a bit of a thicker texture. Then add the chopped dates, stir and slowly bring to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes.
Step 4 - Remove the date mixture from the heat, toss in the vanilla and salt, mixing through. Then add in the biscuit chunks and stir through until the biscuits are covered with the date mixture. Cover every biscuit chunk with the date mixture.
Step 5 - Press the warm mixture into the loaf pan, flatten out using the back of a spoon or offset spatula. Keep in mind that the mixture is still hot and will transfer heat through any metal.
Sprinkle the coconut over the top, and press the coconut into the top of the mixture. Allow the slice to cool on the kitchen counter for about 30 minutes before placing it in the fridge to set for 3 to 4 hours.
Step 6 - Allow the slice (date fingers or Dadelvingers) to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes before slicing and serving. This recipe makes about 20 date fingers.
Pro Tips for this Recipe
Dates are very sticky, when cleaning knives and chopping boards, really hot water is needed to lift/melt the sugars from the surfaces.
Allow the date slice to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes before slicing. Use a sharp chef's or santoku knife (my favourite knife in the kitchen), roughly mark out where you want to cut, and then press the knife down into the slice to give clean edges.
Substitutions / Variations
Butter can be substituted with baking margarine or a baking vegan alternative.
Many date slice or dadelvinger recipes also add in Glacé Cherries (candied cherries), I'm not a fan so left them out. If adding candied cherries, I would add about half to a third a cup.
Marie biscuits are common in South Africa, and popular around the world, I don't always see them here in New Zealand but have found Vanilla Wine Biscuits to be a great substitute. Any plain vanilla biscuit should be fine in this date slice.
The Marie biscuits can also be substituted with rice Krispies (equal in grams).
This recipe can easily be doubled and placed in a 9"x9" cake tin.
These date slices should be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week (if it lasts that long)
No-Bake Date Slice (Dadelvingers) FAQ
Yes. This recipe is an egg-free dadelvinger recipe. Most recipes will require one or two eggs, but I did not find that the recipe was lacking when made without eggs.
A common variation on the date slice or Dadelvingers is to use rice Krispies instead of biscuits.
It is directly translated to mean Date Finger. Because they are usually served when sliced into fingers or rectangular shapes.
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No-Bake Date Slice (Dadelvingers)
- 125 grams butter
- 110 grams granulated sugar
- 150 grams dates
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 150 gram Marie biscuits Vanilla Wine Biscuits
- ⅓ cup desiccated coconut
- Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper, using the sling method, in which two sides of the parchment are allowed to hang over the edges of the tin.
- Finely chop the pitted dates and set them aside. Break or crush the biscuits into chunks, and set them aside.150 grams dates, 150 gram Marie biscuits
- In a medium to a small saucepan, melt the butter and sugar over low heat, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Then add the chopped dates, stir and slowly bring to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes.125 grams butter, 110 grams granulated sugar
- Remove the date mixture from the heat, add in the vanilla and salt, mix through. Add in the biscuit chunks and stir until the biscuits are covered with the date mixture.1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon salt
- Press the warm mixture into the loaf pan, flatten out using the back of a spoon or offset spatula. Sprinkle the coconut over the top, and press the coconut into the top of the mixture. Allow cooling on the kitchen counter for about 30 minutes before placing in the fridge to set for 3 to 4 hours.⅓ cup desiccated coconut
- Allow the slice (Date Fingers or Dadelvingers) to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Nutrition information is an estimate. If scaling the recipe remember to scale your cook and bakeware accordingly.