Grandma’s Date Shortcake

28 Feb

This recipe has been in the family for a very long time.  I remember Mum making it when I was a child.  The combination of sweet dates and tangy lemon is delicious.


¾ cup cornflour

¾ cup flour

½ cup sugar

125g butter

1 egg

1tsp Baking powder


500g chopped dates

juice of ½ a lemon (use the other half for the icing)

Oven: Preheat to 180.C


Place the dates and lemon juice into a small saucepan and allow the dates to soften on a low heat. (add a bit of water if you need to) Allow to cool.

Place the rest of the ingredients into a bowl and mix together to form a dough.  I use a clean hand to combine everything together.  Cut the dough in half and roll out to fit the bottom of a small slice tin.  I roll the mixture inbetween two sheets of baking paper.  It is so much easier than having the dough stick to the rolling pin.  (or if you don’t have a rolling pin use a bottle of wine.)

After you have placed the base in the tin, spread out the date mixture on top evenly.  Then top with the other half of the dough. Just like a sandwich.

Place in the oven for about 15-20 mins or until the shortcake is golden brown on top.

Allow to cool and ice with lemon icing.

Lemon icing:

  • Knob of butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar (approx)
  • Lemon juice

Mix together until it forms a smooth icing.  If you want a thick layer of icing you will need to add more icing sugar.  Do not be afraid to add more juice if it is too thick or more icing sugar if too watery.


This was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  It really is worth a try.  It would have looked a bit better if I rolled out the dough a bit more evenly.  If you look closely at the photo the top layer it a bit thicker than the bottom layer.  But it still tasted great!

Adapted from:

My Cookbook,  handwritten in by my Mother.  It must have originated from my Grandma. There must be more to the history of this recipe, I will find out from both of these special ladies soon.

2 Responses to “Grandma’s Date Shortcake”

  1. Tom Soper March 9, 2012 at 2:21 am #

    These all look so delicious. I must get my baking hat back on soon. Really enjoying reading your blog! (tip for photos: increase the exposure either while shooting or afterwards in post-production and the pics will jump off the page a bit more).

    • expat kiwi cook March 13, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

      hey, thanks for the tips. Holidays start next week so I should have a bit more time to work on my photography and baking. Looking forward to hearing about your baking.

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