substitute for dates that are chefs choice

Dates are popular dry fruit type which are sweet in taste and originates from middle east. their are many types of dates which are used to add in various dishes and eaten as sweet healthy snacks across the world. many people also replace sugar with dates as its healthy to eat and is packed with many useful nutrients for our body. you can use any of the substitute for dates shared below if you don’t have dates with you at present as they all are healthy and have taste resemblance with dates making them ideal candidates for use in its absence.

substitute for dates

you can store dates easily at home in fridge and pantry but sometimes your stock gets over and you need to have some alternatives for dates to use in recipes and dishes that’s why we have come up with some popular dates substitutes for you to make use of them in place of dates and make delicious dishes to enjoy with family and friends.

Dates substitutes and alternatives

Date Syrup

if you don’t have dates with you or don’t want to add the dates due to its thick consistency you can make use of date syrup as its made from dates and is sweet just like them. you can purchase it from nearby supermarket. it resembled somewhat like honey as its soft texture and consistency feels like honey. if you want to know how to use date syrup then you can add one spoon at a time gradually to make the dish tasty and sweet with date syrup in absence of dates. it can be used as substitute for dates in baking to make tasty baked cakes, pies, coffee and other dishes.

Dried cranberries

Dried cranberries can also be used in place of dates, they are sour and less sweet than dates so if you feel that its sweetness is less in recipe than drizzle some honey in it. they can be used in dishes where you need to add dates like muffins, oatmeal bowl, puddings, cakes etc. these are dried and stored safely in fridge so its spoilage is less when compared to fresh fruits.

You can also use other berries like dried blueberries in place of dates in your dishes as they taste good too. overall all kinds of dried berries can be used for making berry cakes, added to morning cereal bowls to enhance the taste and nutrition profile of your morning breakfast.

if you want a light tangy flavor in your savory dishes then you can use them as well in stuffing’s for various items like rolls, subways, hot dogs, sandwiches, etc. or add it in your mix salad bowls or coleslaws for different yet unique taste profile which might earn you some praise for pairing berries with relevant food items and making good recipes from your friends and guests.

dried cranberries image

It comes packed with lot of anti oxidants and other essential vitamins and minerals for proper working of our body system. it has polyphenols in it which helps prevents any kind of heart issues in long run and tries to keep the arteries clean.

they are quite popular for the healing properties to prevent urinary tract infections of many kinds. people have also found its benefits for stronger teeth and bones with good mouth health after consuming cranberries. it also helps to reduce unwanted inflammation in lungs thus helping to keep your respiratory system working with good vitals for fresh and pure air in your system always.

Dried apricots

Dried apricots are sweet and little bit sour in taste. They can be used in place of dates due to their soft and smooth texture. They can be used to make smoothies, in fruit salads, in ice cream toppings, in cakes, pies, puddings and other dishes to make them taste good. you can dice them in small pieces to add to your cookie doughs, cake batters and other similar items as their filling to make the dish tasty.

Apricots packs lot of nutrients and are good for eye health. dried apricots are one of my personal favorite dry fruit to eat on regular basis as snack in morning or evening. it also taste good with with some salt or spice mix as the taste is sweet and tangy which complement the spices very well.

if you have dehydrator in kitchen then you can also dry the fresh apricots when they are in season and store for long term in fridge to eat all year long and use in various tasty recipes in off months also.

dried-apricot fruit image


jaggery is thicker than honey and sweet in taste so it can be used in replacement for dates. it has little bit caramel taste in it. it can be used as replacement for mashed dates. it is made from sugar cane juice. it is healthy just like dates and is used as replacement for sugar also n many countries as it has less side effects on our body than processed sugar. it can be termed as substitute for dates as sweetener in all kinds of sweet dishes.


jujube has its native origin to south asia but it is liked by people across the world. some people also call it Chinese dates. it is sweet in taste and has chewy consistency due to fibrous contents which make it a great replacement for dates. it color ranges from green to red brown depending upon its ripeness and sweetness in taste.

it is low in calories so people who are calorie conscious and looking for date replacement then this is for you. it can be used in all kinds of sweet desserts, cakes, cookies etc. the replacement ration would be 1:1 for dates to jujube for having good taste in your great recipe

jujube-fruit image

Dried cherries

dried cherries can also be used for dates replacement in many dishes and baked items. they are packed with useful nutrients. the taste of cherry is generally sweet with some tangy flavor in some of them. due to the presence of tarty sweet taste they are good addition to fruit salads, all cakes including pound cakes, puddings etc. they work great as a substitute for dates in baking food items.


raisins also form a good alternative to dates in their absence. raisins contains lot of good vitamins and minerals for our body. they are made from drying grapes under sun and in dehydrators. raisins are also sweet with a tinge of tanginess in them.

dates have smooth texture but raisins texture is not smooth and size is also smaller than dates but still can be used in various recipes when you don’t have dates. if you are wondering about dates vs raisins then i can tell you both are good to eat as they contain iron in them and comes from dry fruits family.

To store and preserve the raisins checkout how to freeze raisins in fridge for long term to increase the shelf life of raisins and keep them in good condition so that it can come to your rescue when you are out of dates and require to make your dish fast.

you can also make raisin paste to use in cake recipes and other dessert recipes if you don’t have dates. to make the raisin paste you can soak the raisins in water for 20 minutes and then blend them using blender or food processor to make a thick paste, if you want to change the thickness or sweetness of paste than add water and sugar or honey while making to get desired thickness ad taste.

once done then use the raisin paste in your recipes without any issues but it cant be used if you require to use raisins as toppings in place of dates on top of cakes, shakes, puddings and other food dishes.

can you freeze raisins


Are you looking for the answer to this question, can you substitute prunes for dates? then yes you can do it without ay issues. Prunes are excellent replacement for dates as dried prunes has texture and taste like dates. prunes are chewy and made by drying the plums. They are sweet in taste with some sourness to it. you can use them in place of dates in all kinds of baked goods and other similar dishes.

dried prunes image

Frequently asked questions

Can i substitute dates with maple syrup?

yes you can use maple syrup instead of dates as both of them are sweet in taste and forms good replacement for each other. gradually add maple syrup to your recipe to get perfect taste in it when dates are absent from your pantry.

Can i use figs in absence of dates?

yes figs can be used as dates substitute. figs also has chewy and smooth texture somewhat resembling to dates. they are also sweet but the inner texture of figs is different from dates because they come from different plant family. both of them are filled with good quantity of nutrition for better working of our body. so using fig in place of dates in cookie filling, pie filling, while making fig jam and other similar recipes is not a bad idea.

What can i use in place of date paste?

Date paste is a good by product of dates which is widely used across variety of food items preparations and is easily made but sometimes it won’t be available in your pantry and fridge then you can use raisin paste as its easy to make and cheap which wont put dent in your pocket which preparing tasty recipes. for 1-2 dates you can use 1-2 spoon raisin paste made in blender in your recipe production like smoothies, cakes and more different sweet desserts as its tasty and nutrition filled to its brim.

what is dates nutrition value?

dates are very healthy to eat but you should consume in moderation to its sweet taste. it has lot of essential nutrients packed into it. below i have shared a simple chart with dates nutrition facts for you to checkout and enhance your knowledge on dates nutrient content in it.

dates nutrition value


Hope you like our collection of dates substitutes to use when you don’t have dates in your kitchen and your nearby grocery store is also out of stock on dates.

let us know which date alternative you like the most and use in different recipes to make them tasty when dates are not their in comments below. share this with date loving friends to help them make dishes without dates.

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