How to make raw date syrup


Date syrup is my go to sweetener of choice. I use it to sweeten my yogurt, top my morning oats, smother my waffles, etc. It’s an excellent all natural sweetener and is really the only “sweetener” I ever use. If I’m not using it in a specific recipe, I’ll scrape in half of a vanilla bean – which really makes for a delicious syrup. And obviously I’m sharing this recipe for a reason. Come Wednesday, you’ll be able to make a damn good pie with this date syrup – so get to work.


8-9 medjool dates
1 1/4 cups filtered water, plus more for soaking dates
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Place the dates in a small bowl; cover with warm water and let sit for 30 minutes. Once the dates have soaked, drain the water then add the dates, filtered water, and lemon juice to the container of a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix. Blend for 45-60 seconds, or until smooth. Transfer to an air tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Yield: 1 1/3 cups


  • Reply Shannon 19 March 2012 at 1:47 PM

    I don’t know why I have never thought of this. It’s probably so caramely & wonderful.

    • Reply Ashlae 19 March 2012 at 1:50 PM

      It’s delicious! And for raw caramel, reduce the water to 1/4 cup :)

  • Reply Amanda 19 March 2012 at 2:31 PM

    This sounds awesome! I’m always looking for healthier, natural sweeteners and I can’t wait to give this a try. I love that it keeps for so long, too!

  • Reply Cara 19 March 2012 at 3:11 PM

    What do you mean this is a boring post??? This is so creative! What a cool recipe–I wanna try this!

    • Reply Kathy 10 September 2016 at 12:30 PM

      You’re right, Cara! What an awesome post! I’m soaking my dates right now. Making whole wheat banana bread in my bread maker. Pumpkin spice bread next….and hopefully the date syrup will be ready for that batch. Glad for alternatives. Just an FYI for everyone…everyone has parasites (I know, gross), and parasites HATE dates. So, healthy alternative to sugar, and a dual benefit.

  • Reply Raquel @ Ovenmitts Vegan Blog 19 March 2012 at 3:43 PM

    This is so creative! Have you tried using it in other recipes, like cookies and cakes? Does it work?

    • Reply Anonymous 27 October 2012 at 6:06 PM

      Yes it works perfectly in all kinds of cakes, makes them taste delicious but incredibly healthy with a natural sweetner!

  • Reply Richa 19 March 2012 at 5:02 PM

    That pie looks oh so amazing.. i am wondering how this fares in cookies too!
    I was just thinking of picking up some date syrup the other day.. now i can make my own! love that picture!

  • Reply birrrd 19 March 2012 at 5:32 PM

    If I, oh if I had a Vitamix. Or another high speed blender. Well. No date syrup for me..

    • Reply Anonymous 6 August 2012 at 2:12 AM

      If you soak the dates overnight in water, they will easily blitz in a conventional blender!

  • Reply Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes 20 March 2012 at 8:52 PM

    This is so awesome – thanks for sharing, mmmm raw caramel- I could totally go for some of that goodness right now!

  • Reply Mindy 22 March 2012 at 2:34 PM

    silly question….do you put the water you used for soaking in with the dates when you blend??

    • Reply Ashlae 23 March 2012 at 4:33 PM

      No, you drain the soaking water.

      • Reply Jeremy 30 July 2014 at 1:44 PM

        Why discard the soak water? It becomes very sweet as it pulls sugar from the dates, so you’re just wasting all that sweetness. Wouldn’t it be better to blend the dates along with the soak water instead of dumping it out and adding fresh water?

        • Reply Ashlae 1 August 2014 at 8:53 AM

          Hi Jeremy –

          I discard it because it collects all the nasty stuff that was one residing on the outside of the dates. I don’t want my date syrup tainted by chemicals, dirt, etc. :)

          • Olympia 5 July 2017 at 11:29 PM

            But does that mean you rinse your dates when you eat them plain?

          • Ashlae 6 July 2017 at 8:25 AM

            Hi Olivia –


          • Deb 16 December 2017 at 5:38 AM

            What if you’re using organic dates? Would you still need to discard the original soaking water?

          • Ashlae 16 December 2017 at 7:36 AM

            Hi Deb –

            That’s your call! Approved pesticides are used in organic agriculture.

  • Reply Anonymous 22 March 2012 at 6:38 PM

    It sounds wonderful! How long does it last?

  • Reply Andrea 23 March 2012 at 5:55 AM

    I like to sweeten things with dates but I’ve always been very haphazard about it, never writing out a recipe or doing the same thing twice. I just throw the dates in until the thing I’m sweetening is sweet enough. Of course, your method makes much more sense. Might as well have a plan.

    • Reply Ashlae 23 March 2012 at 4:32 PM

      I’m the same way – I rarely ever follow recipes. But, for some reason, people prefer the guided, more complicated method.

  • Reply Maggie Muggins 23 March 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Huh, it’s so simple yet there’s no way in hell I ever would have thought of that. Caramel that’s yummy and healthy?! And here I was cooking sugar over the stovetop like a chump.

  • Reply shira 27 March 2012 at 3:17 AM

    This looks amazing! I’ve always been a little more barbaric – choosing the unsophisticated route of tearing dates into pieces and putting them on my food – this is a wonderful recipe! *Love* Great blog!

  • Reply FI / CLUSSSTER 29 March 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Love love this! I can’t believe something so simple tastes so good! And yes, I immediately made this. ha! Now I want to add it to everything. Used it this morning on an onion and curry potato omelet. Yup, teaspoon of this to help caramelize the onions and it was AMAZING.

    Thanks for sharing!


    PS: thanks for your lovely comment on my blog :)

  • Reply eatrightandom 5 August 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Thanks for the ‘how-to’. I never thought of adding lemon juice. This is perfect for a lemon-poppy-oatmeal bar I’m working on!

  • Reply Dawn 7 October 2012 at 8:17 PM

    Now, I need to get some dates from Trader Joe’s!

  • Reply Anonymous 17 February 2013 at 3:30 AM

    Would this work in a food processor?

    • Reply Ashlae 17 February 2013 at 6:08 AM

      I haven’t tried, sorry!

  • Reply Gayle Krupin 18 April 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Anyone tried this instead of agave in baking? Light agave has little taste and I’m wondering if the date syrup would be overpowering. I love all things dates and I am so up in the air about agave, I was looking for a substitute.

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  • Reply Becky 24 January 2014 at 12:33 PM

    Great recipe; it came out perfectly. For those who dont own a vitamix, we have a nutribullet and it comes with a milling blade which was amazing for things like this and can even make nut butters. i believe its less than $100.

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  • Reply Nikole 24 February 2014 at 2:03 PM

    Well I feel like an idiot. I read the water portion as for soaking purposes only. Lol. I was wondering why it wouldn’t liquefy. I ended up adding some almond milk but I was so irritated with the recipe until after just re-reading the recipe I feel beyond silly. Well it’s great with a splash of almond milk. I’ll give this recipe another try and actually add water to it. Lol :D

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    Yum! I love date syrup to sweeten up baking. I usually use it in place of sugar, but I’m going to try minimize the amount of water and make date caramel sometime soon! I just made a chocolate muffin “bread” pudding with very little sugar so I’m going to quickly whip this up and pour it over to make it more palatable to sweeter tastes. :D

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    I keep coming back to this again and again–it’s great in Bulletproof Coffee and we just put it as a sweetener in some paleo BBQ sauce. Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing this.

  • Reply suzie blair 19 May 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Ashlae, could I use your date syrup in my coffee instead of sugar. Do you think it would melt into the coffee like sugar. I am trying to cut down on my sugar, but love everything super sweet. Thank-you, Suzie

    • Reply Ashlae 19 May 2014 at 12:02 PM

      Hi Suzie –

      I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say for certain. However, it should work. Enjoy!

  • Reply shelly 15 July 2014 at 10:02 AM

    if i want to use date syrup to replace pure maple syrup how do i found out the mesurements that match up equally. or do i just have to experiment?

    • Reply Ashlae 15 July 2014 at 10:21 AM

      Hi Shelly –

      Unfortunately it will require a bit of experimentation, as maple syrup is considerably sweeter than raw date syrup.

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  • Reply Michelle 21 April 2015 at 2:40 PM

    Anyone know if they freezes well? I made a lot and don’t want it to go bad.

  • Reply Michaela 28 June 2015 at 7:59 AM

    I have found both this and the heated version. I take it they would suit different recipes.
    I’ve just been shopping and saw a ‘healghier’ granola where the sweetner was date syrup, cant wait to try this ♡

  • Reply kat 12 August 2015 at 12:51 PM

    Oh my god thank you. I can’t have any sweetener except dates and Stevia (which is gross) and you are the only person on the whole internet who makes vegan, low-gi desserty food that is palatable. I don’t know how I lived my life without you. This date syrup may literally save my life.

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  • Reply Edina 24 March 2016 at 6:30 PM

    Hi, I really like this recipe but j was wondering if I could use dried dates? Thank you

    • Reply Ashlae 29 March 2016 at 5:12 AM

      Hi Edina –

      In my neck of the woods, all dates are dried. :)

      • Reply Peter Duckworth 3 July 2016 at 3:52 AM

        They do exist: I made your excellent recipie with fresh medjool dates (they are in season right now) and you don’t need to soak them first. I also peeled the skin off (it is very easy) before putting them in the processor with the water and lemon. It tastes fantastic – we use it in porridge every day now.

  • Reply malcolm wheelet 5 September 2016 at 9:03 AM

    Love it, but how much do I use to replace the sugar in, say, a fruit cake ie is there a majool date puree to sugar relationship. Just a humble man trying to satisfy a diabetics sweet tooth!

    • Reply Ashlae 6 September 2016 at 1:20 PM

      Hi Malcolm –

      Unfortunately I couldn’t tell ya as I’ve never used it to replace sugar in a baked good.

  • Reply Belsante 16 September 2016 at 5:41 AM

    I actually have raw dates, because I live in a hot country. What suggestions would you have about making this date syrup with them?

    • Reply Ashlae 16 September 2016 at 8:44 AM

      Hi Belsante –

      Sadly I’ve never worked with fresh dates, so I couldn’t tell ya!

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  • Reply Patricia 15 August 2017 at 9:01 AM

    what would be the ratio (for a cake) if it calls for 1 cup sugar, how much of the date syrup would you use?

    • Reply Ashlae 15 August 2017 at 11:02 AM

      Hi Patricia –

      This cannot be used in place of sugar in baked goods that call specifically for granulate sugar.

  • Reply Jessica Mckee 29 September 2017 at 10:48 AM

    Would this work with dried Figs as well? Anyone try?

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