10 Best Substitutes for Dates

Dried Dates

When it comes to fruits we have the opportunity to choose between fresh and dried ones. Further, both options are used in cooking and can be a good way to add sweetness and nice flavors to your cooking.

Dates are actually one of those fruits which come from the Middle East. If you search for dates, you’ll find out that they have many varieties and all of them can serve as a substitute for each other. They have different sizes and have a soft texture with a sweet taste.

They are consumed worldwide and dates are used as a way to replace sugar in recipes. When it comes to dates, they can also be turned into a paste which is also used in cooking.

However, if you have none at your reach or you want to try something else in your dish, is there a way to replace dates?

Yes, you can substitute dates with prunes, date syrup, dried raisins, raisin paste, dried cranberries, dried apricots, Medjool dates, jaggery, and jujube.

Find out which out of these dry and fresh fruits will help you find the best substitute for dates. 

Substitute for Dates

Even though you might find it hard to replace dates because of their natural sweetness and size, don’t worry. We found the best substitutes so that you can save your dish and make the tastiest and wonderful dish with mouth-watering aromas.

Dates are very common and popular due to their nutritious benefits. They have a naturally sweet taste which can come in handy. Below, you will find other fresh and dry fruits which can provide similar results.

1. Prunes

Dried Prunes

Prunes are the first choice that can replace dates successfully. They taste like plums with sweet traces which are brought during the drying process.

Prunes are sticky and chewy. The key difference between the two is that dates are a fruit of their own, whereas prunes come from plums. They have a similar texture and taste which makes them a good substitute for each other. 

2. Date syrup


A very similar and closely related to date is the date syrup. It is actually a sweetener and may be considered one of the oldest that exists.

Date syrup has a sweet flavor which makes it very similar to honey. They also have the same soft texture. You easily add date syrup in recipes instead of fresh dates. You can use one date for one tablespoon of date syrup. 

3. Dried raisins


If you are out of date, you can always use dried raisins. They are healthy and have vitamins and minerals. What I like most about dried raisins is their natural sweetness. The only difference is in the texture. Dates have a creamier texture. However, you can still use dried raisins in recipes that ask for dates. They are naturally dried in the sun and delicious.

4. Raisin paste

You can use raisin paste to substitute dates, especially if you are baking. First, you need to make the paste. The taste may vary from the fresh raisins. You need to soak them for about 3 minutes in hot water. Then lend them to a food processor so you can get a butter texture. You can use 1-2 teaspoons of paste for a piece of data in your recipe. 

5. Dried cranberries


Dried cranberries are another excellent replacement. They are usually unsweetened and dry with a sour taste. They can be used as a substitute in any recipe that calls for dates.

You can use them in salads, oatmeal, muffins, and other baking goods. Also, since they are dried and are considered dried fruit, they are less prone to spoilage than fresh fruit.

5. Dried cherries

Dried Cherries

Another dried fruit that can be used to replace dates is dried cherries They are very healthy and provide vitamins. Actually, you can use it in most recipes that call for dates. Most dried cherries have a sweet taste like candy with tart traces. You can use them in fruit salads, puddings, and in some baking goods.

6. Dried Apricots

Dried Apricots

Further, some other type of dried fruit that is healthy and great for replacing dates in any recipe is dried apricots. They have a very mellow and sweet flavor.

You can even eat them as snacks. Use to replace dates in smoothies, baking goods, salads, and other recipes. What is more interesting about dried apricots is that you can also use them with cheese as gouda cheese or serve them as appetizers.

7. Medjool dates

Medjool dates

Medjool date is a date type that can serve as a replacement for regular dates in recipes. When compared, Medjool dates are softer than regular dates but they are quite the same in everything else. They have a rich, caramel taste and are chewier than the others. You can use equal amounts in most of the recipes that call for regular dates.

8. Jaggery

You can also consider Jaggery as a replacement for dates in most recipes thanks to their sweet taste. Their texture is a bit thicker than honey.

The best way to describe the taste is that it comes in between spicy molasses and buttery caramel. It is made from the sap of coconuts and can be used instead of dates in any recipe. Use a bit more so you can adapt the sweetness. 

9. Jujube


Jujube is a fruit that is native to Southern Asia, but it’s popular and used all over the world. It is also known as Chinese date, which makes it a great substitute for the recipes that require dates.

Jujube contains low calories and has high fiber. It is also healthy, small, sweet, and has a chewy texture which makes them very similar to dates. You can use jujube in most recipes like desserts or baking goods. Replace equal amounts or adapt by your own taste. 

Related Questions

Can I use maple syrup instead of dates?

You can use maple syrup as a way to replace dates in most of your recipes. Even though dates may be sweeter than the maple syrup you can easily swap them. 

What fruits are similar to dates?

Figs are very similar to dates. They come from different plants. However, they have very similar nutritious profiles, so you can swap them in different recipes. 

Can I substitute raisins for dates?

Yes, in fact, rains are the most common substitute for dates. Use equal amounts when replacing.

How many raisins equal a date?

When it comes to substituting raisins for dates you can use 2 tablespoons of raisin for every date that calls in for your recipe. 

  1. If I wanted to use maple syrup instead of dates what would be the equivalent measurement? If it calls for two dates, how much maple syrup? Thanks!


    1. Hello, Kelcie! To replace two dates, I recommend using one tablespoon of maple syrup. Good luck!

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