Passover Prep: The Raspberry Squares

I am sharing this recipe in the spirit of Passover – but this is by no means just a special Passover recipe. I’ve given a makeover to an old family favorite, making it a gluten-free, refined sugar-free tasty treat for anytime!

It should come as no surprise to you that I choose my favorite holidays based on food. Ok, food, and family togetherness, and celebrating the many miracles in this world, but mostly food.

So isn’t it funny that if you asked me what we eat on my favorite holiday, Passover, I’d start off by answering what we dont’t eat? Wheat. Barley. Oats. Spelt. And Rye. In all forms – bread, cereal, pasta, crackers, etc. Except for matzoh. We are allowed to eat those grains if they’ve been baked into matzoh, the traditional unleavened bread, in accordance with Jewish law.

We like to pretend matzoh makes a suitable replacement for the stuff we’d eat on a normal basis, so we slather it in cream cheese, or layer it with sauce and ricotta cheese to bake, or scramble it with eggs like french toast. Although, “we” doesn’t really include me since I rarely eat a bagel or lasagna. I do love me some french toast though.

Anyway, I know a Jew or two (or three or four) who will complain to no end how little there is to eat during Passover (I guess that’s true if you eat cereal and sandwiches and pasta on a daily basis) and how sick they are of matzoh by day 3 (again, that’s probably true if you are substituting matzoh instead of that cereal, sandwich and pasta.) But I’m sure every one of them has a favorite dessert that his or her grandmother makes only during Passover, involving, you guessed it, matzoh.

In my family, that special dessert is The Raspberry Squares. As in,

  • “Mom, is Grandma making the Raspberry Squares?”
  • “Can you tell her to make an extra pan for me to take back to school?”
  • “What?! No? Can you make me some?”
  • “I don’t care if you found a ‘new’ dessert recipe. You’re making the Raspberry Squares too.”

This year, I made an early batch of The Raspberry Squares to test out a gluten-free and refined sugar-free scenario. Truth be told, I used quinoa flakes, whose status as a Passover-friendly food is probably just as debatable as its cohort quinoa flour. And truth be told, Ben and I were psyched to have an entire pan of The Raspberry Squares all to ourselves, three weeks early, embracing their gluten-and-sugar-free glory.

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Raspberry Crumb Bars

Yield: 16 squares

A gluten-free and refined-sugar free of my grandmother's "famous" raspberry squares, a favorite dessert in our family.


3 tablespoons (32gm) chia seeds
1/2 cup water
4oz fresh or frozen raspberries (thawed if frozen)
2 packets of stevia, or other sweetener equivalent to 4 teaspoons sugar

1/2 (70gm) dates
boiling water
2 eggs
6 packets of stevia, or other sweetener equivalent to 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (80gm) coconut sugar
1/4 cup (56gm) coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup (80gm) quinoa flakes
1/4 cup (48gm) potato starch
1 cup (100gm) unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup (56gm) finely chopped walnuts


Combine chia seeds, water, raspberies, and stevia in a blender or food processor and pulse to combine. Set aside while you prepare the crust .

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line an 8x8" square baking dish with parchment paper.

Place the dates in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Drain the dates, reserving 4 tablespoons soaking liquid. Transfer the dates and liquid to the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add eggs, stevia, and coconut sugar. Process until smooth. Add the melted coconut oil and quickly process to incorporate.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the quinoa flakes, potato starch, and shredded coconut. Pour the mixture from the food processor over the dry ingredients and mix together with a spatula. Stir in the chopped walnuts.

Scoop half of the crust mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingertips and press the mixture into an even layer. Spread the raspberry chia jam over the crust, then scatter the remaining crust mixture over the jam in bits and pieces.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool completely before slicing.

Nutrition Facts:

Amount Per Serving
Calories 181.3
Total Fat 11.5 g
Saturated Fat 7.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 23.1 mg
Sodium 23.2 mg
Potassium 63.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 18.0 g
Dietary Fiber 3.1 g
Sugars 7.2 g
Protein 2.8 g

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

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16 Responses to “Passover Prep: The Raspberry Squares”

  1. 1

    Lee — March 29, 2012 @ 8:29 am Reply

    This looks really good. I am not a very observant Jew so I just eat whatever during Passover, but I sometimes will get it in me to actually make something special for the holiday.

  2. 2

    Heidi @ Food Doodles — March 29, 2012 @ 12:32 pm Reply

    Oooh, these look so delicious. I’m always looking for ways to use up raspberries too, we still have a ton in our freezer, and not long till I’ll be picking fresh ones like crazy again. I need to try your chia seed idea to thicken the fruit, I bet it works perfectly and it’s a way better option than the cornstarch I usually use!

  3. 3

    Kim-Cook It Allergy Free — March 29, 2012 @ 1:52 pm Reply

    Oh my! These look unbelievable! I would ask to have these at every special occasion too!! 🙂

  4. 4

    Joanne — March 29, 2012 @ 9:27 pm Reply

    It’s funny, because every time I ask someone what they CAN eat for passover, I end up realizing that a lot of what I eat IS actually pretty passover-friendly since I rarely eat bread, have cut a LOT of pasta out of my diet and don’t eat cereal. Dessert would surely be the hardest part for me…but Cara to the rescue, of course! Love the sound of these!

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  6. 5

    Ari @ The Frugally Rich Life — March 29, 2012 @ 10:24 pm Reply

    Can you make these with oatmeal instead of quiona falkes? I would love to try these but quiona flakes are hard to find and very very expensive. Thanks! Ari

    • 5.1

      Cara — March 30, 2012 @ 7:58 am

      Hi Ari, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure, but they seem similar enough that it should work 🙂

  7. 6

    Katrina (gluten free gidget) — March 30, 2012 @ 7:52 am Reply

    Awesome! I just added these to my Pinterest Recipe Inspiration board. Great recipe!

  8. 7

    Kate — March 30, 2012 @ 11:12 am Reply

    I’m really excited to bring these to my mom’s seder this year – or to have for our Easter dinner on Sunday. It’s nonstop “festival” meals next weekend round these parts.

  9. 8

    Nikki — March 30, 2012 @ 3:22 pm Reply

    These look amazing, but is there anything you would recommend to substitute the potato starch? I can’t have that… 🙁

    • 8.1

      Cara — March 30, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

      Can you do arrowroot or tapioca starch? Almond flour/meal would probably work too.

  10. 9

    grace — April 1, 2012 @ 5:42 am Reply

    i love how you’ve updated a favorite family recipe, cara–this looks great!

  11. 10

    Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet — April 1, 2012 @ 3:30 pm Reply

    I love fruit squares like these! They look delicious!

  12. 11

    Elina (Healthy and Sane) — April 11, 2012 @ 1:44 pm Reply

    I made the original recipe last year and it was a huge hit – especially with my dad! 🙂

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