Grandpa’s Date Nut Roll

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This Date Nut Roll brings me directly back to my childhood. I remember watching my grandpa roll this on the kitchen counter every holiday when we visited.

Crushed graham crackers, marshmallows, dates, pecans and a splash of cream: none of these ingredients are remarkable on their own, but when combined they become something special.

Date Nut Roll recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

 

 

 

I can’t recall another occasion for which my grandpa ever worked in the kitchen. However, making the Date Nut Roll was his domain every Christmas. He passed away when I was just ten years old and I hadn’t thought of his Date Nut Roll in years.

When I found this recipe last year and made it for the first time as an adult, it was like I was standing in my grandparents’ kitchen once again.

Some food memories stick with us more than others, and I am so glad I have this one to pass on to my boys.

Old Fashioned Date Nut Roll recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Date Nut Roll Recipe

  1. Place the graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, dates, and pecans in a mixing bowl and toss to coat everything in the crumbs.

  2. Slowly add the cream, a couple of tablespoons at a time, stirring to combine. Add liquid just until the mixture is wet enough to hold together when you press it with a spoon.

  3. Spread two large sheets of parchment or wax paper on the counter and divide the mixture on top of them. Press it into a log with your hands and sprinkle lightly with the remaining crumbs to coat all around.

  4. Roll it tightly in the paper, smoothing the shape as you go. Twist the ends tightly and chill until firm, at least 2-6 hours. Slice into pieces with a very sharp knife. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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Grandpa’s Date Nut Roll

5 from 18 votes
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Servings: 20 pieces

Ingredients 

  • 12 full size graham crackers pulsed into crumbs in the blender or food processor, reserve 2 tablespoons for coating
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 cups finely chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 - 2/3 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  • Place the graham cracker crumbs, marshmallows, dates, and pecans in a mixing bowl and toss to coat everything in the crumbs. Slowly add the cream, a couple tablespoons at a time, stirring to combine. Add liquid just until the mixture is wet enough to hold together when you press it with a spoon.
  • Spread two large sheets of parchment or wax paper on the counter and divide the mixture on top of them. Press it into a log with your hands and sprinkle lightly with the remaining crumbs to coat all around. Roll it tightly in the paper, smoothing the shape as you go. Twist the ends tightly and chill until firm, at least 2-6 hours. Slice into pieces with a very sharp knife. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
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{originally published 9/18/14 – recipe notes updated 10/30/19}

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Dianacbruening says

    I was so happy to find you a gram cracker date log my stepmother made them over 25 years ago maybe 30 years and I love them and I just typed in the ingredients and that this came thank you for being there I am a very happy grandma now myself5 stars

  2. Diane Councilman says

    My grandmother made similar version. She used walnuts, raisins, and cut up candy orange slices along with the mini marshmallows. I have not had it in years. I remember it was one of my favorites at the holidays.

  3. Tracy says

    My family has is same receipt, it is one of my favorites. I always wondered where it could have come from. What culture it could be.5 stars

  4. Sharon Morales Hebein says

    OMG!!! I can’t wait to try this tomorrow. My mom use make
    Something like this… I am hoping this recipe is it. Thank you!

  5. Sharon Morales Hebein says

    OMG!!! I can’t wait to try this tomorrow. My mom use make
    Something like this at Christmas time. It was my brother’s favorite. They have both past away. I am hoping this recipe is it. Thank you!

  6. Janet says

    My mother made this exact recipe every Christmas and would give logs as gifts. I think the only difference was cutting up large marshmallows so they’d be stickier. She was from South Carolina and pecans (pee-CANS) were plentiful.5 stars

  7. Shandelle says

    Omgosh! When I was a kid my siblings and I would make this recipe with our mother every Christmas. I have never known anyone that has made these. We use to call them Date Nut Logs, I believe my mother got the recipe from her mother when she was young, sooo yummy!5 stars

  8. Paula says

    My great-grandmother made this and it became a holiday favorite. The difference was that we used large marshmallows cut up and the pecans were chopped very small. Everything was mixed until you couldn’t tell what the ingredients were….many a mixer motor was burned out from this recipe. A few years ago I made it using fresh dates.. The flavor remained but it couldn’t be rolled into a log as the dates were so juicy. We all devoured it putting a dollop of whipped cream on top and sprinkling crushed graham crackers on top. I’m making it for Thanksgiving this year as all the siblings will be together for the first time in a long time.

  9. Peggy says

    I have searched for this recipe for years. As so many others have said, this takes me back to my long past childhood when my mother made these. Thank you so much for sharing.

  10. Paula says

    Love date roll! My grandma used to make this years ago. Only difference is that her recipe called for adding chopped maraschino cherries. I took over making the date roll when she no longer could and we still have it every year at Christmas. And every year I wonder why I only make it once a year!5 stars

  11. Rexene Olson says

    When my sister and I were little my mother made date rolls every Christmas. When she was done making the date rolls instead of letting my sister and me lick the bowl we each got a hand. Sounds a little weird now, but we looked forward to the tradition every year!!! I make the date rolls now and lick my own fingers!!!

  12. Jackie Cicora says

    My mother always made this. My neighbor and I discovered , warm a slice in the microwave until the marshmallows soften and serve with whipped cream. Totally wonderful. I just made your recipe.
    Thanks

  13. Julie says

    I just went through my grandmother’s recipes and typed on a doctor’s note pad was just the ingredients with amounts and the title said “WHAT DO YOU CALL IT?” The proportions are different (3c graham crackers, 1 1/2c chopped dates, 1c nuts, 3c marshmallows, 1/2c cream) and it also includes 1 small can crushed pineapple. Thankfully when I googled the ingredients, your recipe popped up. My recipe has to be from the late 60s as that’s when they retired and moved to another city. Thanks for posting!

  14. Irene says

    Just like what my mom made every Christmas just made some today. Brings back happy memory when the world is have a crisis. Thank you for posting recipe through I had lost it for ever.5 stars

  15. Cheryl says

    My mom made these many times and I loved them as a kid. I’ve thought about them for many years. She was from Vermilion SD. I know many have written this was one of their Christmas cookies. Im Jewish so I find it interesting to know the origin of this cookie.

    My new boyfriend is in the date business and gave me a 5 lb box of Medjool dates. So I looked up this recipe. I added chocolate chips (FYI I buy the big bag from Costco bc I make many cc cookies and it’s a great flavored chip)
    As much as I love these rolls I always felt something missing. The chip did the trick! I bet the butterscotch would be good too!5 stars

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