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The 5 Best Substitutes for Medjool Dates

Do you ever find yourself curious about the taste and uses of Medjool dates?

These beloved fruits are a popular health snack because of their abundance of vitamins, minerals, and energy-boosting carbohydrates.

Not only can they be eaten as-is, but they can also be used in recipes or baked goods.

If you’re looking for an alternative to this sweet snack, then there are five great substitutions that need to make it into your kitchen.

From prunes to figs, learn how to cook with and substitute these marvelous Medjool dates.

What’s Medjool Date?

Medjool dates are a type of large, sweet date variety that originates from North Africa.

They boast a distinct caramel-like taste with a creamy texture and chewy consistency.

Nutritionally, Medjool dates are high in fiber, iron, potassium, and antioxidants.

They can be enjoyed fresh or cooked depending on the desired use.

Often used to sweeten smoothies and natural shakes, Medjool dates are also commonly paired with savory dishes such as roasted vegetables and stews, as they provide a subtle sweetness while contributing richness and depth to any meal.

Finally, these unique fruits even make an excellent base for energy balls or bites, as they are incredibly filling and flavorful.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Medjool Dates

If you’re looking for a Medjool date substitute, you have several options.

Here are the five best alternatives that can be used in recipes and cooked dishes:

1 – Date Syrup

Date syrup is quickly becoming a kitchen staple and with good reason.

Made from naturally sweet dates, this yummy alternative to sugar is much healthier.

It even has antioxidants, minerals, and fiber which can help improve digestion.

Date syrup tastes similar to cane sugar or molasses but slightly more intense.

With its thick texture and creamy consistency, it can be used to glaze baked goods or sweeten sauces for a delicious outcome.

If you don’t have access to fresh Medjool dates on hand, date syrup is an excellent substitute.

Just use one tablespoon of the syrup in place of two pitted Medjool dates for the same sweetness that bakes up perfectly every time.

2 – Raisins

Raisins are a flavorful, chewy, and nutrient-packed fruit renowned for their versatility in baking and cooking.

They are a dried form of grapes that have been sun-dried or processed mechanically.

Generally, they tend to be sweet, but they can also be tart if they are made from green grapes.

The texture is sticky, crunchy, and chewy – perfect for snacking or used as an ingredient in oatmeal cookies, trail mixes, and other baked treats.

They can even be used as an effective substitute for Medjool dates in some recipes due to their similar flavor profile and texture.

All you need to do is pre-soak the raisins before adding them to the dish – this helps make them softer, plump up their appearance and enhance their sweetness.

3 – Dried Apricots

Dried apricots have a sweet and tangy taste that makes them ideal for snacking or baking.

They are small, orange in color, wrinkled and leathery in texture.

One of the great things about dried apricots is that they give off plenty of juice when cooked, making them an excellent addition to cakes and muffins with a moist texture.

It’s also easy to use dried apricots as a substitute for Medjool dates in many recipes, as they both have similar flavors that blend well with other ingredients.

Whether it be used on its own or as part of another delicious recipe, dried apricot is an unmissable treat.

4 – Date Paste

Date paste is an often overlooked kitchen pantry staple that has many purposeful applications.

Made by steaming, blending, and breaking down dates until they reach a thick, paste-like consistency, date paste boasts sweet and sulfurous flavors, with slight variations depending on the type of date used.

Much like molasses or honey, it comes in varying degrees of sweetness – the longer you cook it, the stronger the flavor.

A great alternative to Medjool dates for recipes requiring a sticky texture, date paste adds quite a bit of sweetness to dishes but with fewer calories than sugar and more nutritional value than traditional sweeteners, such as brown sugar and golden syrup.

Date paste is simple to prepare yet lends a significant depth of flavor to food when substituted in lieu of more manufactured sweeteners.

5 – Prunes

Prunes are the dried fruit of European plum; in fact, the word “prune” is derived from the French word for plum.

Widely known for their nutritious and medicinal benefits, prunes contain high levels of antioxidants, vitamin A, potassium, iron, and dietary fiber.

Prunes have a sweet yet tart flavor and a chewy texture similar to dates; when cooked, they soften but do not turn mushy as dates often do.

Prunes can easily be substituted in recipes that call for Medjool dates; simply dice the prune and soak it in hot water prior to adding it to your cooking.

With their deep fruity notes and healthful properties, prunes add a whole new level of flavor to baking and healthy snacks.


In conclusion, Medjool dates are a sweet and versatile ingredient that can be used in many dishes, from savory entrées to decadent desserts.

However, if you don’t have access to Medjool dates on hand, there are other ingredients that make great substitutes.

Date syrup, raisins, dried apricots, date paste, and prunes all offer similar sweet flavors and chewy textures that can be used in place of Medjool dates in certain recipes.

With some experimentation and creativity, you can easily find the perfect substitute for Medjool dates in your creations.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Medjool Dates

The 5 Best Substitutes for Medjool Dates
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Date Syrup
  • Raisins
  • Dried Apricots
  • Date Paste
  • Prunes


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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