I am no expert at baking with dates but I do bake with dates ALL the time. It has become my new normal to reduce the refined sugar in a baked good recipe by adding my date paste. For example, if a recipe asks for 1 cup of sugar, I may use 1/2 cup date paste and either 1/2 or 1/4 cup sugar. Have fun exploring with your recipes and taste as you go, but as you play with mine, you can get a better feel of the ratios I have chosen.
I enjoy using dates as a sweetening agent for several reasons.
1-Dates offer a great source of fiber along with many micronutrients such as potassium, magnesium, copper and manganese. This is how dates separate themselves from sugar. You get so much more with this delightfully sweet mouthful!
2-Date paste (as you make it below) can bring a moistness to a recipe and add to its indulgent appeal. Soft, rich, and decadent =)
3-I am always able to find dates at Trader Joes or other common markets. They are readily available so no need to hunt for them (at least in southern California).
4- Lastly, I enjoy adding dates to an assortment of my go-to meals. I add them to smoothies, oatmeal, pancakes, dressings and spreads on both sweet and savory sandwiches. Have fun with it!