Matrimonial Cakes

The other day, I called my mom and asked her about a cookie I remembered eating when I was a kid. It had an oatmeal-cookie-type mixture on the top and bottom and fruit in the middle.
My mom knew exactly what I was talking about. They’re called Matrimonial Cakes. I have no idea why they are called that–Oat Squares or Oat Bars would be better–but apparently Matrimonial Cakes are pretty old. My great grandmother made this recipe.
Now that I’ve made Matrimonial Cakes, I’m glad to know about them. They use ingredients I commonly have in the pantry and are a great way to use up old fruit or, in this case, boysenberry jam. With the oats and fruit, they are slightly healthier than other cookies, although the amount of butter throws that off a bit. In any case, they’re nice with coffee in the morning too.

Matrimonial Cakes

    1 1/2 c flour
    1 c brown sugar
    1 1/2 c rolled oats
    3/4 c butter, softened
    1 tsp baking soda
    Pinch salt
    1 c jam, any kind


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the jam. Make sure the butter is evenly distributed throughout the oat mixture.
In a 9X9 square pan, press half the oat mixture into the bottom. Spread the jam on the top, and then press the rest of the oat mixture on top of that.
Cook for 40 minutes. When completely cool, cut into bars. Enjoy!

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3 thoughts on “Matrimonial Cakes”

  1. These look a lot like date squares (Or “carrés aux dattes” in french). Very popular here in Québec (and probably in various other parts of the world). Recipe is almost the same except we use cooked dates as filling.
    An example here
    If you never tasted this, give it a try. You’ll love it 😉

  2. There is an incredibly delicious bar that is very similar, except instead of fruit, the middle layer is chocolate chips and caramel. While their official name is Oatmeal Carmelitas, in keeping with the matrimonial theme, perhaps they should be called Honeymoon Bars… they are that good!


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