Puffed wheat squares are a classic, easy treat that always reminds me of childhood. They’re chewy, gooey, full of chocolate, and you can whip up a batch of these no bake treats in no time.
Did you grow up with puffed wheat squares as a kid? Some people call it puffed wheat cake too. You made a delicious buttery, chocolate sauce. Then mix in puffed wheat cereal. The mixture gets pressed into a pan, and once they harden you end up with chocolate-y, chewy, completely addictive cereal treats.
I think the recipe originated (or maybe is just super popular) in the Canadian prairies. It’s the type of recipe that everyone’s grandma made, and that you always see at church events, town fairs, and school bake sales.
They’re ridiculously easy to make, so it seemed like I’m cheating a little bit by posting this recipe. But since I realized not everyone know the joys of puffed wheat squares. It would be wrong not to post the recipe, and leave some of you guys out from experiencing the joys of puffed wheat cake.
How to Make Puffed Wheat Squares
Ok – let’s talk ingredients first. For this recipe you’ll need:
- ⅔ cup butter. I use unsalted butter, but feel free to use salted too. Margarine will also work just fine for this recipe.
- 1 cup brown sugar. I like to use brown sugar in this recipe because it helps to make the bars chewier since brown sugar has more moisture than white sugar.
- ⅔ cup corn syrup.
- ½ cup cocoa powder. I definitely like a more rich chocolate flavor which is why I use a full ½ cup. If you like the chocolate flavor a little more mild you can use ⅓ cup instead.
- Then 9-10 cups puffed wheat cereal. Use 9 cups for a little chewier, or 10 cups if you like it crunchier. Make sure to use puffed wheat cereal – not the kind that’s already sweetened with honey/sugar coating. Otherwise your bars will be way too sweet.
First in a large sauce pan add the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and cocoa powder. Melt everything together over low-medium heat. Then bring it to a gentle boil while stirring for 1-2 minutes. If the mixture doesn’t boil your squares won’t hold together properly. However, if it boils for too long then the puffed wheat can end up too crunchy. 1-2 minutes boiling is plenty.
Then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the puffed wheat cereal. Once it’s all covered spoon it into a buttered 9×13 inch baking pan and press it down with your hands or a rubber spatula. I often lightly grease my spatula to avoid it sticking.
Form there, it’s time to let the bars firm up. I also let them firm up at room temperature and store them in an airtight container at room temperature so that they don’t get too crunchy. Because the beauty of puffed wheat squares is really the gooey, slightly sticky, texture.
Whether you enjoyed puffed wheat cake as a child, or you’ve never heard of it before until today – make yourself a batch, get some sticky fingers, and indulge in the chocolate deliciousness.
Puffed Wheat Squares
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter
- ⅔ cup corn syrup
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup cocoa powder , use ⅓ cup for a less chocolate-y flavor
- 9 cups puffed wheat cereal*
- Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
- Add the butter, corn syrup, brown sugar and cocoa powder to a large sauce pan over low-medium heat.
- Melt everything together while stirring gently.
- Bring the mixture to a gently boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.
- Stir in the puffed wheat cereal.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and press down (I use a lightly greased spatula for this.
- Allow to firm up at room temperature for 60 minutes, then cut into bars.