Date and Walnut Blondies with Chocolate Sauce

A blondie is like a brownie, without the chocolate. This is my grandmother’s Date and Walnut Blondie recipe, but she called it a vanilla slice. My mother made it after her and called it caramel slice. And I’ve christened it ‘blondie’.

I like it cut up into bite-sized pieces and serve it with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and the plump white figs of early summer. It is also fabulous with my mum’s old-fashioned chocolate sauce, so I’ve included the recipe for that too. Enjoy!

Ingredients - Date & Walnut Blondies 

  • 125 g butter
  • 130 g brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 125 g walnuts
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 160 g chopped dates
  • 125 g self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt, if desired 

Ingredients - Mum’s Chocolate Sauce

  • 75 g good quality Dutch cocoa powder 
  • 1½ tablespoons golden syrup
  • 120 ml water
  • 375 g brown sugar
  • 125 ml milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 50 g butter
  • ½ teaspoon natural vanilla essence


Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Grease and line a 20 cm square tin with baking paper.

Place the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan and melt, stirring, over low–medium heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, then set aside until cool enough to touch.

Meanwhile, chop half the walnuts into medium-fine pieces. Reserve the remaining walnuts to decorate the top of the slice.

Add the egg to the butter mixture in the pan and mix well. Stir in the chopped dates and chopped walnuts, then fold in the flour and salt.

Pour the batter into the tin and spread out evenly with the back of spoon. Decorate the top with the remaining walnuts, then bake on the centre shelf for 25–30 minutes or until golden blonde on top. Allow to cool completely in the tin, then transfer to a cutting board and cut into 16 pieces.

The blondies will keep in an airtight container for several weeks.

To make the chocolate sauce, place the cocoa, golden syrup, water, sugar, milk and salt in a small saucepan. Simmer over low–medium heat, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes or until thick and smooth. Remove from the heat and beat in the butter and vanilla. Serve with the blondies and vanilla ice–cream or stir a tablespoon through a tall glass of ice-cold milk for a quick iced chocolate. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to a month.


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