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Puffed wheat squares are a classic, easy Canadian treat that brings the nostalgia of childhood. These puffed wheat cakes are chocolatey and chewy, and you can whip up a batch of these no bake dessert squares in no time.  These super simple puffed cereal squares are hard to mess up, making them great for anyone new to baking or treat-making. Chocolatey, malty, chewy, and crisp, they’ll have you obsessed with their rich taste and outrageous crunch. If you love Rice Krispie squares, they are their chocolatey and wheat cereal cousins!

Three chocolate puffed wheat squares, one stacked on top of another, with additional puffed wheat squares in the background.

Puffed wheat squares are the perfect Canadian recipe made with cereal, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, corn syrup, and a few other basics. Whip them up quickly and enjoy them all week long.

For other treats that kids will love, try my pretzel bites, mint-chocolate puppy chow, or this recipe for cute chocolate strawberry birds.

Close-up of two stacked chocolate-covered puffed wheat squares topped with falling chocolate chips. More treats are visible in the blurred background.

Why You’ll Love It

No-bake convenience: There is zero reason to turn on the oven! These squares are a great no-bake dessert option, perfect for the summer months.
Long shelf life: Puffed wheat squares are great as a make-ahead treat because they keep well.
Affordable: This recipe is budget-friendly, using basic and inexpensive ingredients. Making homemade treats is an easy way to save money.
Satisfying crunch: The airy and crisp texture of the puffed wheat cereal is addictive.
Nostalgia: If you are from Canada you will remember these squares, which are popular in the prairies, with fondness from your childhood.

A close-up of puffed wheat cakes with chocolate chips scattered around them.

Puffed Wheat Squares Ingredients

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

Salted butter: This adds so much richness and also balances the other sweet ingredients. Butter also helps create a cohesive texture.
Light or dark corn syrup: Acts as a binder to hold the squares together. Light corn syrup has a more subtle sweetness and a lighter color. Dark corn syrup gives a deeper, molasses-like flavor and a darker color.
Dark brown sugar: Gives the squares with a rich, caramel-like sweetness. Its higher molasses content adds depth and a slightly chewy texture.
Cocoa powder: Use unsweetened cocoa powder (my fave here) to control the sweetness and maintain the balance of flavors.
Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips: Mini-size chocolate chips distribute evenly throughout the squares.
Unsweetened puffed wheat cereal: This cereal is the main component that gives these squares their signature light and airy texture.

A marble countertop displays ingredients for baking, including a large bowl of puffed wheat, small bowls of corn syrup, brown sugar, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, butter cubes, and a pinch of salt.

How to Make Puffed Wheat Squares

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Prepare the pan: Lightly grease a 9×13 inch pan with 1 teaspoon of butter.
Prepare the mixture: Start by pouring the puffed wheat cereal into a large mixing bowl and set that aside. Combine the remaining butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a large saucepan. Heat it over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is melted and combined. Next, bring it to a boil and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. After that, remove it from heat.
Combine wet and dry: Carefully pour the hot mixture over the puffed cereal in the mixing bowl. Working quickly but gently, mix the cereal with the chocolate sauce until all the cereal is coated.
Transfer the mixture to the pan: Transfer the coated cereal to the prepared pan and use a spatula to lightly press down. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate chips.
Cool and set: Let them cool completely and harden up before cutting and serving, about 1 or 2 hours. Store in an airtight container.

A metal mixing bowl filled with puffed wheat cereal and chocolate sauce, perfect for making puffed wheat squares, with a rubber spatula on the right. Surrounding the bowl are small empty bowls and a dish with chocolate residue.

Substitutions and Variations

Butter: Use unsalted butter (if that’s in the fridge) and a sprinkling of table salt.
Sugar: Use coconut sugar instead of dark brown sugar for a healthier alternative.
Vegan: Switch to plant-based butter and vegan chocolate chips to turn this into a vegan version.
Chocolate chips: Use white or caramel chocolate chips instead of dark chocolate as a fun swap.
S’mores version: Mix in crushed Graham crackers and mini marshmallows.
Mint choc: Add in a few drops of mint extract.
Nuts and dried fruit: Stir in a few tablespoons of chopped and toasted almonds, pecans, hazelnuts or peanuts. Dried cranberries or raisins are a yummy, healthy add-in.
Deepen the chocolatey flavor: Add ½ cup of mini chocolate chips to the coated cereal and quickly mix before transferring it to the pan. Other fun add-ins would be Reese pieces, chopped Reese bars, toffee bits, mini marshmallows, and mini M&Ms.

Several chocolate cereal bars arranged on a surface, with scattered chocolate chips around them.

Serving Suggestions

Appetizer: Kick off with a batch of cowboy sliders or these fun baby chick mini cheese balls. My air fryer bacon-wrapped cheeseburger bites are another option.
Main: Keeping it casual, try this recipe for a homemade margherita pizza for guaranteed joy or a hearty beef chili. Also, ever popular.
Dessert: Serve your Canadian puffed wheat squares as is or in a bowl with a scoop of ice cream or dollop of whipped cream.

Close-up of a chocolate puffed wheat cake squares topped with chocolate chips, with visible puffed rice and gooey texture.

How to Store Puffed Wheat Cakes

Store: Place them in an airtight container to maintain their freshness and prevent them from becoming stale. Keep the container at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, for up to a week.
Freezer: Freeze Canadian puffed wheat squares. Wrap each square individually in plastic wrap and place them in a resealable freezer bag or airtight container; they can be frozen for up to three months.
Thaw: To thaw Canadian puffed wheat squares, simply leave them at room temperature for about 30 minutes or until they reach the desired softness.

Close-up of stacked puffed wheat squares made with wheat cereal and chocolate chips.

Top Tips

Don’t overboil: The longer you boil the mixture, the tougher the bars will be. Two to three minutes is plenty.
Choose a large pot: This ensures enough space to let the mixture bubble and boil.
Use fresh puffed wheat: For the best puffed wheat squares, ensure your cereal is fresh. Stale cereal can make the squares taste off and lose their crunch.
Even layer: When pressing the mixture into the pan, aim for an even layer to ensure a consistent thickness and uniform squares when cutting.

Close-up of two stacked chocolate-covered puffed wheat squares with visible chocolate chips and caramelized coating.

Puffed Wheat Squares FAQ

Just skimming through this recipe post? Here’s what you might be looking for:

Can I make these squares without cocoa powder?

Yes, you can make a caramel version by skipping the cocoa powder and adding more brown sugar for a richer caramel flavor.

What’s the best way to cut the squares cleanly?

Use a sharp knife and wait until the squares are completely cool before cutting. Wiping the knife with a damp cloth between cuts can help achieve clean edges.

How do I keep the mixture from sticking to the pan?

Line the pan with parchment paper or lightly grease it with butter or cooking spray for easy removal.

Can I substitute puffed rice for puffed wheat?

Yes, puffed rice can be used as a substitute, but it will change the texture slightly, making the squares lighter and less dense.

A close-up of puffed wheat squares piled up with visible chocolate chips embedded in and around other puffed wheat treats.

Puffed Wheat Squares Recipe

5 from 2 votes

Puffed Wheat Squares

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Puffed wheat squares are the perfect Canadian treat made with cereal, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, corn syrup, and a few other basics. Whip them up quickly and enjoy them all week long.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 12 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

  • ¾ Cup + 1 Teaspoon salted butter
  • ¾ Cup corn syrup, light or dark
  • ¾ Cup dark brown sugar
  • Cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • Cup semisweet chocolate chips, mini
  • Teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 Ounces puffed wheat cereal, unsweetened

Instructions 

  • Prepare a 9×13-inch pan by greasing lightly with 1 teaspoon butter.
  • Pour the puffed wheat cereal into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, combine the remaining butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.
  • Heat over a medium low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture is melted and combined, then bring to a boil. Boil for 2 or 3 minutes then remove from heat.
  • Carefully pour the hot mixture over the puffed cereal in the mixing bowl. Working quickly but gently mix the cereal with the chocolate sauce until all the cereal is coated.
  • Transfer the coated cereal to the prepared baking pan and use a spatula to lightly press down.
  • Sprinkle the top with the chocolate chips.
  • Let it cool for an hour or 2 to harden up before cutting and serving. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

Don’t overboil: The longer you boil the mixture, the tougher the bars will be. Two to three minutes is plenty.
Choose a large pot: This ensures enough space to let the mixture bubble and boil.
Use fresh puffed wheat: For the best puffed wheat squares, ensure your cereal is fresh. Stale cereal can make the squares taste off and lose their crunch.
Even layer: When pressing the mixture into the pan, aim for an even layer to ensure a consistent thickness and uniform squares when cutting.

Nutrition

Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 164mg | Potassium: 88mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 382IU | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Make these cheeky Canadian puffed wheat squares filled with crunchy, gooey ingredients and textures. The chocolate chips and cocoa powder give this easy treat recipe a delicious chocolate hit. These squares pretty much follow the same way and method as Rice Krispie treats.

Other Treat Recipes to Try

  • Confetti squares are another classic Canadian recipe that is always a favorite.
  • This beaver tail recipe is easy to make at home any time of the year.
  • Are you even from Canada if you don’t love butter tarts?
  • Nanaimo bars are another no bake dessert from Canada that gets rave reviews.
  • Another favorite square that is popular in the prairies is these date bars.
Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

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