date & pecan cinnamon swirls


creamy and crunchy

this is the other variation on the bars i posted about last week. these may not be as photogenic as their strawberry counterparts, but they are super tasty! i thought the strawberry bars would be the popular picks of the bunch, but it was the date & pecan cinnamon swirls that were the hit of the party. they sold out! these are mildly sweet, so they are perfect for breakfast. as always, you could adjust the amount of sweetener you use to your taste, but i wouldn’t leave it out completely. the honey is what makes these bars a bit sticky and holds them together very nicely! i would love to see variation on this, but the dates are so wonderful here that they are great just the way they are. for an extra sweet treat, sprinkle a little brown sugar on top before baking.

date & pecan cinnamon swirls

-for the base:

1 jar (16 oz) almond butter

1/2 cup honey, or to taste

2 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

-for the swirls:

4 oz (1/2 block) softened cream cheese

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp vanilla

-for the pecan stir-in:

2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup pecans, chopped

1 cup dates, chopped and pitted

method: preheat oven to 325f. prep a 9×13″ glass baking dish by coating it with oil.

over low heat, toast cinnamon and pecans until they become fragrant. careful, nuts burn quickly! set aside to cool.

to make the swirl mixture, whip cream cheese, vanilla, and honey together with mixer until creamy and smooth. set aside.

now make the base. using hand mixer or stand mixer, whip the almond butter until smooth. add eggs, honey, and vanilla. mix until well combined, but do not over mix or it will make a dense finished product. mix in the baking soda and salt. by hand, stir in nuts and dates.

pour batter into baking dish in an even layer. yes, it’s a little sticky and may be kinda hard to spread out. do your best.

now drop cream cheese over batter by the teaspoonful and use a knife or toothpick to swirl. sprinkle a little brown sugar on top and pop it into the oven.

bake for 35 minutes. let cool for a few hours before cutting.


10 thoughts on “date & pecan cinnamon swirls

  1. This looks like such a fun treat to make for my family this weekend. I’ve got a nice heap of leftover dates and pecans from a dinner party last weekend so it’s perfect! I saw a mention of almond extract in the directions but no call for it in the ingredients list, could you clarify for me? THANKS!!!

    • this is a great family treat. i hope you enjoy it!
      and yes, i can clarify: i copy and pasted part of the recipe from my strawberry almond version, which called for almond extract!
      the date and pecan cinnamon swirls do not have almond extract in them. i will correct this in the recipe, thanks a ton for catching the error!
      please stop back and let me know how you all liked them!

  2. It turned out fantastically! I couldn’t be more pleased and the whole family loves it. This may be my favorite primal treat so far. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. I’m a cookie fiend and am baking nearly every day. There are some beautiful dates where I live, but unfortunately no almond butter! Is there a substitute that won’t affect the integrity of the flavor?

    • this recipe begs beautiful dates!
      have you ever tried making your own almond butter? all you need is a food processor and some almonds. process them until a paste forms, then drizzle in a spot of oil to thin it out a little. it would be awesome if you started doing this on your own, almond butter has so many applications, and you could make big batches for when you need it for recipes like this!
      if you aren’t up for that monkey business, here are a few ideas:
      so far as a stand-in, i know sunflower seed butter (sunbutter) would work perfectly here. if you can’t find that, cashew butter would work just as well. let’s not forget about peanut butter, here, but be aware that some peanut flavor may come through.
      i hope this helps! please let me know how it turns out for you!

      • I think I’ll make my own! What oil is the best for thinning out the paste?


        btw, I love your blog – I’m always subbing in whole grain flours and stevia in my baking, and that can sometimes end in a mess…there are so few resources that have tried and true clean recipes for baked goods. Thanks for sharing your awesome treats!

  4. any neutral oil should work ok, sunflower is nice if you can find it, or almond would be perfect if you can find it. but it sounds more likely that you may not be able to locate that where you are! a mild flavored olive oil or vegetable would work best here.

    i’m glad you stopped by! i have many whole wheat flour recipes more toward the beginning of my blog, when i was still eating gluten. the gluten & grain free recipes are more recent, within the past 2 years or so.

    thanks for your comments, i hope you let us know how your “experiments” work out!

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