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Food for the Gods- Dates and Raisins Bars

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“ I will love you today, tomorrow and always,” were the sweet words uttered during the wedding blessing the minister officiated. I could not focus. My thoughts were on the Filipino dessert Food for the Gods- Dates and Raisins Bars I baked which were neatly tucked in tins back in our hotel room.  We were on the mountain top of a serene lake side estate in upstate New York. It was a chilly day in September. The azure blue sky was clear and a perfect backdrop to the scenic view of the grassy knolls and lush trees below us. Guests had come from far and near to witness the wedding of my nephew, Tim to his lovely bride, Kristine.


As I packed for the wedding weekend, I was also busy baking. I knew a big batch of the easy to bake, all-time favorite ‘Food for the Gods’ would be appreciated. Food for the Gods is a Filipino favorite dessert bar. It is richly filled with dates, raisins, (nuts if there are no food allergies), dark molasses and lots and lots of good butter.  When the entire baking pan went into the oven, the scrumptious scent of the butter was unbelievable. It radiated from within the oven as the Food for the Gods bars were baking. The sweet butter scent traveled all around the house, out to the patio, high in the sky, across to the neighbors.

The newlyweds sure did enjoy these moist bars. It was perfect for them to relish right after the wedding festivities. True enough, I got a sweet message from the newlyweds the day after the wedding weekend. They even sent photos of the tin that held the ‘Food for the gods’ date bars – a before and after. There was no need to explain to me. I knew these Filipino date bars are always a hit every time I bake them for anyone. They travel well and they store for a long time. Trust me, if you bake these and give them as gifts, everyone and anyone will truly “love them today, tomorrow and always.”




Food for the Gods - Dates and Raisins Bars

The secret to baking  these all-time favorite Filipino dessert bars called Food for the Gods- Dates and Raisins Bars is to use good butter. I used Kerrygold Butter and the dessert bars were rich, moist and decadent. Each bar was packed with dates, raisins, nuts, and butter, even more than the amount of flour. It was easy to bake and even easier to love. Bake these for gifts, for the family or just to indulge. These date bars stored well and were easy to travel with. This is an AsianInAmericamag recipe formulated by my sister, Isabel Besa Morales, M.S.R.D. This recipe makes 12 to 14 pieces.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Food for the Gods Dates Walnuts Raisins Bar
Servings: 14 pieces
Calories: 300kcal
Author: Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • Baking Pan : 9 x 11 inches


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature (I used Kerrygold Butter)
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 3 whole large eggs I used organic, cage-free eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1 cup chopped unsalted walnuts (optional, omit if there are nut allergies)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup pitted chopped dates chopped in small bits almost size of raisins
  • 12 to 14 pieces cellophane candy wrappers cut in 4 x 4-inch pieces; or muffin paper cups


  • Cream butter and both sugars using an electric mixer at medium speed.
  • Add eggs one at a time. Add molasses,and vanilla.
  • Add flour and other dry ingredients. Blend well. Mix in by hand the walnuts, raisins, dates. Blend ingredients well with a wooden spoon.
  • Pour batter into a greased baking pan (9 x 11 inches) that’s lined with parchment paper. Bake at preheated oven 350 F degrees for  35 minutes . Test for doneness by sticking a knife in the center of pan. If knife comes clean, then bars are cooked.
  • When done, cool on counter for a few minutes. Then slice in 2-inch bars.
  • To wrap: In the Philippines, these are wrapped individually in brightly colored cellophane. Or you can put them in colored muffin paper cups and store them in cookie tins to give as presents.
  • To store: These Food for the Gods date bars will keep with no refrigeration for up to 3 days. To store in the freezer - once cooled from baking, wrap in plastic, a layer of foil and keep in plastic resealable bags or sealed plastic containers then freeze. These keep in the freezer for up to a month.

Copyright Notice: Hello, Friends! Do not plagiarize my recipes. All the images and content here are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to use my photos or content on your site, videos, TV shows, cookbooks, media content without my permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write it in your own words and simply link back to this blog to give proper attribution. It’s the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]


    Serving: 1g | Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 405IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg

    Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking or baking methods and brands of ingredients used.

    Did you love this recipe? I have more Philippine dessert recipes in my popular cookbook How to Cook Philippine Desserts, Cakes and Snacks.

    If you need Filipino Instant Pot recipes, find more in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker PotBuy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.

    Copyright Notice: Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected].

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      1. Thanks, Nami. These Food for the Gods make a great gift or dessert anytime. They’re so easy to bake, too. So kind of you to shower me with the nicest comments. I love your new profile pic, too!

    1. Hi there,
      I have been looking for Food for the gods receipe, but wondered if it will be ok to cut some of the sugar on this??

      1. Hi Imelda. I have always used this recipe and used these exact measurements to ensure a good result. Baking is an exact science and involves chemistry, so I follow the recipe ingredients as listed. When baking, I do not change the measurement of ingredients or else the baked goods will fail.

    2. Thank you for your recipe, Betty Ann. I have one from The Pioneer Woman. I remember these bars in my childhood during Christmas time. I often wondered why we only have it then like the red queso de bola. I have all the ingredients in my pantry and would like to bake these this Christmas. Have a question — given the Filipino’s love for “not-too-sweet” dessert, would this be on the sweet side at par with American taste? All the recipes I have in my collection have been adjusted for less sugar content due to health reasons. Would appreciate your response. Thank you again and have a wonderful Christmas celebration!

      1. Thanks, Vee. These Food for the Gods are on the sweet side, Filipino style. I follow the amounts and procedure exactly to get good results. Baking is chemistry and I try to follow the recipe religiously.

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