Chess squares without cake mix are a delicious homemade dessert made with lady fingers.
The recipe also uses half the sugar of a typical recipe without losing any of the flavors. The recipe is the perfect treat for any holiday, potluck, or party.
Gooey Butter Cake
Chess squares, also known as gooey cake bars or gooey butter bars, are a pretty popular dessert.
They are popular in the south, and whenever I’ve brought them to a church potluck they are one of the first desserts to get eaten up lickety-split. I always get people asking me for the recipe because they are the real deal.
You’ll be amazed at what an easy recipe they are to make, as well. And, they only require a few simple ingredients.
I had a comment on my original southern chess squares post about lowering the amount of sugar. I thought I’d give it a try and it turned out delicious.
Instead of putting four cups of powdered sugar, I used two in this recipe. The four cup chess squares are sweeter, but the two cup chess squares are just as flavorful. My husband said he’d eat more of them!
If you love this recipe, try lemon chess squares, as well.
What Ingredients Are Needed For The Easy Chess Squares?
- Lady fingers
- Cream cheese
- Powdered sugar
Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.
How To Make Chess Squares Without Cake Mix
- Mix the cream cheese and eggs together in a large bowl with a hand mixer.
- Add the two cups of powdered sugar, mix well, and set aside.
- Place the lady fingers into the bottom of a greased 9-inch by 9-inch baking dish.
- Gently pour cream cheese mixture over the lady fingers.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until the cake tester comes out clean.
Tips For Making The Perfect Chess Squares
- The recipe works best in a 9-inch by 9-inch baking dish.
- Set the cream cheese out on the counter for an hour or two before mixing, so it has time to soften.
- Use the “hard” lady fingers. They will soak up the moisture while cooking and come out soft.
- The recipe uses half of the sugar as other chess squares recipes.
- Use a cake tester to make sure the dessert is fully cooked. If the tester comes out clean the dessert is done.
- Let the chess squares without cake mix cool before serving, otherwise, they will be a bit of a mess going on the plate. Believe me, there’s nothing tastier than warm chess squares, but if you can wait they will cut easier and look a little prettier.
Start by adding cream cheese and eggs to a medium-sized bowl and mix it together with an electric mixer.
It will be lumpy until you add the powdered sugar.
If you forget to set the cream cheese on the counter for a while, don’t worry about it. It still cooks the same, it will just be a little harder to mix together and take a minute more.
I made the mistake of using a smaller bowl and ended up dusting half of the kitchen with powdered sugar when I turned on the mixer. Use a medium bowl or large bowl.
Mix the first cup of powdered sugar into the cream cheese and eggs before adding the second cup.
Add the second cup of powdered sugar and mix until it is well blended.
It might still be a little lumpy, but that is ok. It will still cook up smooth and delicious.
Line the bottom of the baking dish with the lady fingers.
Make sure your dish you grease your dish with some butter or nonstick cooking spray.
I love lady fingers. They are amazing in Tiramisu. Wouldn’t these chess squares taste great with lady fingers soaked in espresso? Might have to try that sometime.
The lady fingers will soak up some of the moisture in the mixture and soften while they cook.
Pour the cream cheese mixture over the lady fingers.
If you get a crazy stray lady finger that wants to come up, just push it back down underneath the cream cheese mixture.
The picture came out a little yellow. But, you get the idea. You’re going to love these homemade chess squares without cake mix.
Bake the chess squares at 300-degrees for approximately 40 minutes. The top will come out a little flaky.
Use a cake tester to check if they are done cooking. If it comes out clean, they are done.
Let the chess squares cool and then slice a piece and put it on a plate. This recipe makes about 12 small servings.
If you love this recipe, try my other chess square recipes.
- A Southern Girl’s Chess Squares – this is the old fashioned, tried and true recipe for chess squares. The recipe includes a yellow cake mix and butter. These are very similar to Paula Deen Chess Squares.
Spice Cake Pecan Chess Squares – Chess squares with pecans and spice cake makes a great dessert for the fall and Christmas season.
More Delicious Desserts
- Chocolate chess squares are a wonderfully delicious and decadent recipe.
- Try gooey cream cheese cake cookies for a fluffy and light cookie.
- How about a sweetened condensed milk chocolate pie? You’ll love it.
- Homemade red velvet cake mix is a simple recipe for the holidays.
- Take a basic white cake mix and make 20 different cake mix recipes with help from Janice over at Out Of the Box Baking.
- Brown sugar pound cake with butter pecan glaze is a rich and decadent dessert.
Lady finger chess squares without cake mix are a wonderful recipe, family favorite, and easy-to-make dessert that will impress your guests at any potluck or party.
Don’t forget, the recipe uses half the sugar of old fashioned chess bars, but still delivers on flavor. Be sure to get the recipe, head on down to the grocery store to get the ingredients, and try it out for yourself!
- 1 package lady fingers
- 8 ounces softened cream cheese
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 300-degrees.
- Grease a 9" x 9" casserole dish and line with lady fingers.
- Add the cream cheese and eggs to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Mix together.
- Now, add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and mix together.
- Pour over lady fingers and bake for 40 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 115Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 55mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 14gProtein: 2g
Nutrition is approximate.