This recipe for chess squares is super easy Southern dessert that everyone loves. The ingredients are common and the prep is simple. Make these to impress your friends and family.
Years ago, I made these Chess Squares on my old site (FortyCakes.com) after finding the recipe on Kevin and Amanda.com. The original recipe may come from Paula Deen but most likely it has been passed down through modern Southern kitchens. This recipe is an easy Southern classic that everyone seems to love.
Today, for some reason, these little squares of delicious popped into my mind while I was working at my desk. It is likely because I am on Day 3 of the Whole 30 and my brain is trying to sabotage my efforts toward better health.
My body has been crying out for all of the things it can't have: Sugar, Cheese, Cake. Hopefully, you are not in the midst of a strict lifestyle change and you can reach into the cabinets, grab the ingredients and get to cooking.
- Boxed Yellow Cake Mix
- Cream Cheese
- Powdered Sugar
The recipe is very simple. Start with a yellow box cake mix and add a topping for butter, cream cheese and powdered sugar. The magic of these chess bars really happens in the oven. After almost an hour of baking, out pops the most delicious and decadent cookie bar you have ever tried. Serve warm right out of the oven. I actually really like them cooled a bit better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to make these chess squares gluten free?
I haven't tested it yet but I think if you use a gluten free cake mix, you should be fine. I like all of King Arthur Flours cake mixes and flours so would suggest you try it with this one.
Can you make these chess squares vegan?
I didn't test a vegan option of chess squares but it doesn't seem like it could work well. The stars of the show here are the butter, eggs and cream cheese. If you are looking for a vegan dessert, I would recommend my five layer dream bars.
If you end up making these chess squares, please tag me on Instagram @the_surfers_kitchen. I love to see what you are working on in your kitchens. And, if you test a vegan version, let me know how it goes!
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 3 eggs
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1 stick butter melted
- 1 pound powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Lightly spray a 9X13 baking pan with spray or use parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix the yellow cake mix, the melted butter and 1 egg until you get a thick dough.
- Press that into the bottom of the baking pan.
- Whip together the cream cheese, 2 eggs and powdered sugar until smooth.
- Pour on top of the yellow cake layer.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until the top gets golden brown.
- Serve warm, cool or straight out of the fridge!