Chess Squares

Chess Squares are a simple, delicious, classic dessert. Always a crowd-pleaser! - Bake or Break

This is a recipe of indistinct origin that everyone I know has made at some time or another. I’m not sure if that’s a Southern thing or not. Regardless of that, this is one of those handy fall-back recipes when you want something with a high taste to effort ratio.

These bars are so easy and so good. The crust is very thick – essentially as thick as the sweet, cream cheese-y filling – and very buttery. It all adds up to some incredible gooey goodness. Be sure to secure one for yourself, though, because they disappear very quickly.

Chess Squares

Yield: 24 2-inch squares

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes


For the crust:

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

For the filling:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese
  • 16 ounces confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 large eggs


To make the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Combine cake mix, butter, and egg. Stir in pecans.
  3. Press mixture into bottom of a 9″ x 13″ pan.

To make the filling:

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth and well-blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  2. Pour mixture over crust in pan.
  3. Bake 40-45 minutes or until filling is set.


I’ve been making this recipe for many years. While this is not my original recipe, I have no clue where it originated.