I remember hearing about date paste years ago, but I was always leery of trying it because the method for making it sounded so… vague. Recipe directions usually go something like “add enough water and blend until a paste is formed.” But how much water and how many dates you use could vary SO MUCH with those instructions! Especially if you soak the dates first.

Maybe that works for some home cooks, but I prefer hard and fast measurements so that I can easily follow along. (That’s why I’ve always loved baking– give me a set of solid directions I can follow and I’m happy.)

That’s why I’m sharing my exact measurements for making date paste today, along with some recipes that I’ve used it in, so you can see how you can use date paste as a substitute for sugar.

Are dates good for diabetics?

I know some people are scared of the “sugar” in dates, but research has shown that dates are a low glycemic food. A study that tested the effect of eating dates on healthy individuals and on those with diabetes found that dates do not cause significant glucose spikes in the blood, and therefore may be beneficial for diabetics as part of a healthy diet.

How to Make Date Paste

The ratio I’ve been using to make date paste is 1 cup of tightly packed dates (about 8 ounces by weight) + 1/4 cup of water. I wanted to use as little water as possible, so as not to add too much hydration to a recipe when making sugar substitutions, but this seems to be just enough water to also make the dates blend in a normal food processor. (That way you don’t need a fancy high-speed blender!)


Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins

Here’s how to make date paste, a healthy substitute for sugar, and how to use dates as a substitute for sugar and maple syrup in baking.

  • 1 pound Medjool dates , pitted (about 2 cups tightly packed)
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. In the bowl of a large food processor fitted with an “S” blade, combine the pitted dates and water.

  2. Process until very smooth, scraping down the bowl to make sure all of the dates are incorporated.

  3. Store the date paste in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks, and use it in your favorite healthy recipes.