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A super easy and tasty dessert, these Chess Squares are an old classic recipe with simple pantry staple ingredients that everyone will love.

Three stacked Chess Squares on top of one another.

I’ve been on a baking kick lately in my house. Do you ever get into those moods? Because sometimes the baking inkling just kicks in, and I love it!

Usually, we freeze things to have for later, but we know we have it on hand. That is exactly what we love to do with these Chess Squares.

This has always been one of my favorite recipes since I was a kid. My mom would make them all the time, and they were always a huge hit!

Over the years, they have become a staple easy recipe in our house for so many different occasions, mostly because they are so tasty and super easy.

When you have easy and flavor then you know that the recipe is good. You don’t need hard recipes to have a dessert to taste amazing.

These Chess Squares are just amazing on their own with the minimal ingredients that they do take, they are an absolute must-make.

Some of our other favorite bar recipes that we have on our site include: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, Cherry Cheesecake Bars and Fudgy Brownies.

Cut up squares on parchment paper.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  • Pantry staple ingredients help these come together in no time.
  • Makes a big batch, perfect for a crowd.
  • They are kid and adult-approved.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED (FULL RECIPE BELOW):

Yellow cake mix
Unsalted butter
Eggs
Cream cheese
Powdered sugar

Ingredients needed to make Chess Squares.

HOW TO MAKE CHESS SQUARES:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer mix together the yellow cake mix, melted butter, and 1 egg until combined. 
  3. Press into the bottom of the baking dish, set aside.
  4. In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer add the remaining 2 eggs, cream cheese, and powdered sugar. 
  5. Mix until smooth.
  6. Pour over the crust. 
  7. Bake until the top appears dry and it is crinkly. The crust along the edges will be lightly golden brown, 40-45 minutes.
  8. Let the bars cool in the pan completely. Use the parchment paper to help you lift it out and cut it into bars. Add a dusting of powdered sugar if desired.

Step by step photos on how to make Chess Squares.

WHAT CAN I TOP THESE WITH?

While traditionally, they are topped with powdered sugar, you can really top them with whatever you like. 

Some of our favorite things to top them with include: ice cream, dark, milk, or white chocolate, chopped nuts and berries, the berries have a tartness that offset the sweetness of the bars.

CAN I USE ANOTHER CAKE MIX?

Yes! These will work with any cake mix that you’d like, try chocolate, red velvet, carrot, strawberry, etc. This makes them great for any occasion.

CAN I FLAVOR THE FILLING?

I have added extracts to the topping to switch up the flavors, so good options are almond, strawberry, cherry, maple, lemon, or peppermint.

One of the Chess Squares on plate with toppings being sprinkles with powdered sugar.

HOW TO STORE:

These can be stored in an airtight container on the countertop for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days. 

They can also be frozen, place in a freezer container and they will keep for up to 3 months.

To defrost, remove to the refrigerator overnight until thawed.

TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • You can use any cake flavor that you’d like.
  • Extracts can be used in the cream cheese mixture to change up the flavor, see some suggestions above.
  • Other toppings can be used, see above for ideas.
  • This makes a large batch, but can be doubled.
  • These can be frozen, see above on how to do that.
  • Top with a variety of toppings, see some of my ideas above.

Bite taken out of one of the bars on white plate with toppings.

Love easy and simple recipes that pack a punch of flavor and that are versatile? Then these Chess Squares are exactly what you need.

If you like this recipe you might also like:

If you’ve tried these CHESS SQUARES let me know in the comments how it turned out! You can follow me over on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK to find some more of our mouthwatering recipes!

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5 from 1 vote

Chess Squares

Author Dana at ThisSillyGirlsKitchen.com
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
A super easy and tasty dessert, these Chess Squares are an old classic recipe with simple pantry staple ingredients that everyone will love.
Servings 20

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper, set aside.
  • In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer mix together the yellow cake mix, melted butter, and 1 egg until combined.
  • Press into the bottom of the baking dish, set aside.
  • In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer add the remaining 2 eggs, cream cheese, and powdered sugar.
  • Mix until smooth.
  • Pour over the crust.
  • Bake until the top appears dry and it is crinkly. The crust along the edges will be lightly golden brown, 40-45 minutes.
  • Let the bars cool in the pan completely. Use the parchment paper to help you lift it out and cut it into bars. Add a dusting of powdered sugar if desired.

Notes

  1. You can use any cake flavor that you'd like.
  2. Extracts can be used in the cream cheese mixture to change up the flavor, see some suggestions above.
  3. Other toppings can be used, see above for ideas.
  4. This makes a large batch, but can be doubled.
  5. These can be frozen, see above on how to do that.
  6. Top with a variety of toppings, see some of my ideas above.

Nutrition

Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 234mg | Potassium: 38mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 330IU | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course Baked Good, Dessert
Cuisine American

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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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15 Comments

  1. Christina at I Gotta Create! says:

    I think I gained a pound just reading this! Lol!

    Thank you for partying with the Wildly Original Crowd.
    <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!

  2. I did a similar recipe for Thankgiving but with a pumpkin pie top. It was so delicious and make me realize that I just don’t like crust. Some pies I will eat the crust, but for the most part I pull off the top of the crust. This recipe is a good alternative to crust! I have pinned it to my desserts board. Thanks for linking up to my Pin Me Party!

  3. OOhh, the lemon sounds great!! Make that post so I can try ’em, lol!

  4. Wonderful and delicious looking cake!

  5. Oh they look so delicious!
    Thank you so much for sharing this at Wednesday Extravaganza! Hope to see you there again this week with more deliciousness 🙂

  6. Looks delicious!! Loved and pinned. Thanks for sharing at MightyCrafty Mondays.

  7. I “raised” my kids making these. My daughter sold many, many chess cake squares to friends at church. We did a Homeschool “Coffee Shop” every year also and they were the rave. She made them for the first time in many years last Thanksgiving. What wonderful memories it stirred. I’m making them tonight for a family reunion Saturday. We add pecans to the top. YUM!

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