A Canadian Treat: Puffed Wheat Squares

A couple days ago, I had a huge craving for Puffed Wheat Squares. I told JB, “I want to make puffed wheat squares!” and he looked and me like I was crazy said “what are puffed wheat squares?” I was floored….Puffed Wheat Squares are REALLY, REALLY popular in Alberta (where I grew up). I couldn’t believe that Mr. Baker-man (he’s made everything) has never had these yummy chewy treats!! Once I decided to make them….I Β had to go to three stores to find plain puffed wheat. Whole Foods finally came through. When did plain old boring puffed wheat become a specialty item? I suggest that everyone try them, they are like Rice Crispy Treats but are chocolate chewy goodness.

Puffed Wheat Squares

1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups puffed wheat

Measure out puffed wheat in a heatproof bowl. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Set both aside.

Combine butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes before removing from heat. Add vanilla and stir briefly to combine.

Pour the hot mixture over the puffed wheat and quickly stir to coat evenly. Pour the coated cereal into the greased baking pan and use a damp spoon or hands to press the mixture evenly into the pan.

Cool and slice.

*Strange but true: In my experience, Puffed Wheat Squares (also called Puffed Wheat Cake) is a distinctly rural Canadian phenomenon. Nearly everyone I meet who is familiar with the square hails from Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba.


(Image and Recipe via The Casual Baker)

28 thoughts on “A Canadian Treat: Puffed Wheat Squares

  1. Really?… Huh, never would have thought that not everyone knows about puffed wheat squares. Thanks a lot… now I’m hungry! Mmm… chocolately gooeyness… nom, nom, nom.

  2. Thanks for taking me down memory lane. I am from Alberta and I love these chocolatey treats. I too had trouble finding puffed wheat but was able to find them at Loblaws. They are just as yummy as I remember them and my family equally enjoyed them plus it is easy to make. I too will need to hit the gym. Thanks again!

  3. Living in Ventura Ca,home province was Manitoba. Love Puff Wheat squares,the canadian secret I’m thinking as it’s not well heard of in the USA.

  4. Never thought of these just being a Canadian thing. Am going to introduce them to some Englishmen next week. I hope they love them as much as I do! thanx for the recipe on your blog.

  5. I moved from Canada to the US too and there are times I just craves these. Unfortunately in Hawaii and now Alaska, I cannot find plain puffed wheat. Only the sugar covered ones. I am gonna try it with the sugar covered ones and see how it goes.

  6. I too am from the province of Manitoba and as kids, ok and adults, this is a staple treat. I found my puff wheat too at a local grocery store and as a treat I add maple syrup to mine to make them extra Canadian..love these damn things….

  7. I’m wondering if these are actually just a prairie thing. I grew up in Alberta and had puffed wheat squares regularly. But now I live in Toronto and, when planning a bake sale for work, I mentioned them to co-workers. No one here has ever heard of them. Shock!

  8. Yes, they are a Canadian treat! Had to go online to find the recipe and I had the chance to hear another Canadian expat talk fondly about the Canadian Midwest. We’re from Winnipeg where everyone knows about puffed wheat squares! Go winnipeg jets!
    Carol from Ohio

  9. I’m From Sask, now living in Nova Scotia, I mentioned this at work the other day had a craving for them and NO ONE knew what they were, I’m making them tonight for a friends B-day party….. time to bring the prairies to the east coast…..

  10. It’s true, Puffed Wheat squares where actually invented in Red Deer, Alberta by a candy store owner just after WWI. His original recipe was made with molasses and was his attempt to help the local grain industry.

  11. This cracked me up. I am from Alberta, and married an American. He did not know what puffed wheat squares were, so I googled the recipe and found your artical, it was like reading the conversation I had just had!

  12. I’m had these in Utah. You leave out the chocolate and you can make squares or form puffed wheat balls around a lollipop. Preferably a Tootsie Pop! One of our neighbors made them for Halloween every year. Her house was my favorite stop!

  13. Puffed wheat squares!!! Born and raised in the States, I spent many summers at my Grandma’s house in Saskatchewan. Those lovely bits of crunchy, chewiness along with Freshie, Shreddies, and Aero Mint bars were some the stuff that made those summer memories. I do believe I need to go find some puffed wheat! πŸ™‚

  14. Yay for puffed wheat squares!! I’m living in Tennessee, but from Alberta originally. I haven’t had a puffed wheat square in years! My family is going camping soon with our US friends. I want to make these and freak them out. I find they’re easily freaked out by Canadian “specialties” like poutine, shreddies, and Tim Hortons. πŸ™‚

  15. I was born in Saskatchewan too. We made them there and mom made them in Nova Scotia. I haven’t had them for 30 yrs now. So good. I live in BC, Canada now.

  16. I am from Alberta but now living in Texas. I LOVE LOVE LOVE puffed wheat squares. Had a craving for these yesterday and finally found some Kamut puffs at Wheatsville. They were a little larger than puffed wheat but the end result was the same – chocolate chewy goodness. No one I’ve met in Texas has heard of these…except another person from Calgary. πŸ™‚

  17. Definitely a Canadian thing. I have a totally different recipe – think it came from the back of the puffed wheat bag that we used in our recipe in Medicine Hat, Alberta. If you like, I can pass it along. I found the plain puffed wheat in an organic market (Roots) here in Maryland. My daughter and I have been craving them for a long time. Found this family recipe in a book (school project) that I gave to my mother back in 1960 – and got the book back when she passed away in Sept. last year. I have other distinctly Canadian recipes (homemade Nanaimo Bars, etc.) Would love to offer anything I can to your ex-pat Canadian recipes. I lived in Pasadena, CA from 1993 to 2010 then moved to Maryland. You can take the girl out of Canada but you can’t take Canada out of the girl. Particularly, the food. Carol J. Smith

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s