No Bake Squares Recipes

No bake squares recipes have always been popular with home cooks because they save time, they don't require any baking, and they don't heat up the kitchen in the warm weather.

These were some of Mom's favorite recipes for making homemade bars and squares. Being a farmer's wife meant there wasn't always time for baking, and these unbaked treats often saved the day before company arrived.

Mom's No Bake Squares Recipes

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)

Homemade Nanaimo BarsThe No Bake Nanaimo Bars are Totally Yummy
(Source: ©Fotosmurf/

Make old fashioned no bake bars and squares that are scrumptiously chewy and delicious, and they have a sweetness and texture all their own.

These are perfect treats for special occasions, parties gift giving, and for putting in lunches. Begin with the Nanaimo Bars. Everybody loves them!

Canadian Nanaimo Bars

Bird's® Custard Powder TinBird's® Custard Powder for Nanaimo Bars
(Source: ©Don Bell)

Bird's® Custard Powder is the distinctive, traditional filling called for in Nanaimo Bars. It's an egg-free imitation custard powder that's quite popular in the UK, Canada, and other Commonwealth countries.

If Bird's® products are unavailable in your area, you may substitute any vanilla custard-style pudding mix in this quintessential no bake squares recipe.

The traditional Canadian Nanaimo Bar consists of three delicious layers: Chocolate Wafer, Custard Filling, and Chocolate Icing.

Chocolate Wafer Layer:

1/2 cup butter, softened
5 tablespoons white sugar
5 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Place softened butter, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and egg into bowl. Set bowl in pan of boiling water, stirring until the mixture has completely melted and is the consistency of custard. Next...

2 cups graham wafer crumbs
1 cup coconut, shredded
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Mix graham wafer crumbs, coconut, and walnuts. Add wafer mixture to cocoa mixture. Pack into ungreased 9x9x2-inch pan. Cover with filling.

Custard Filling Layer:

4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons Bird's® Custard Powder
2 cups icing sugar

Cream 4 tablespoons butter. Combine milk and vanilla custard pudding powder. Add to butter. Mix in two cups icing sugar. Spread evenly over chocolate wafer base. Allow to harden. Cover with icing.

Chocolate Icing Layer:

2 squares semisweet chocolate
1 tablespoon butter

Mix 2 squares melted semisweet (or dark, if preferred) chocolate with 1 tablespoon softened butter. Spread evenly over filling and allow to harden in fridge, or a cool area.

Butterfinger® Chocolate Squares

Butterfinger® Chocolate Bar Illustration

Did you know the famous Butterfinger® candy bar was invented way back in 1923 by the Curtiss Candy Company of Chicago, Illinois?

Believe it or not, the company dropped its new candy bar from airplanes in selected cities across the U.S. to boost its popularity, and it became a huge overnight sensation.

The Ferrara® Candy Company is the most recent to have purchased rights to the Butterfinger® bar in 2018.

These decadent chocolate squares are chocolatey, crispy and delicious. The big reason they taste so GOOD is they contain actual Butterfinger® bars and miniature marshmallows, the favorite treats for generations of candy lovers.


7 Butterfinger® chocolate bars (1.9 oz/53.8g size)
6 cups toasted rice cereal
4 cups miniature marshmallows
3 tablespoon butter


Buy 7 Butterfinger® bars (1.9 oz size). Chop up 4 bars into a bowl, then mix in about 6 cups of toasted rice cereal and set aside.

Now, melt 3 tablespoons of butter into a saucepan and add 4 cups of miniature marshmallows. Carefully heat on stove top until somewhat melted. Add the chopped bars and cereal mixture, then gently stir it all up.

Pour the results into a 13 in x 9 in baking pan and let it cool until hardened. Crumble the remaining 3 Butterfinger bars across the top and then cut the pan contents into squares. Serve like fudge squares. Unbelievably delicious!

You simply have to try this chocolate dessert squares recipe; it's so GOOD tasting.

Note: This yummy no bake squares recipe could be made using almost any favorite chocolate bar if Butterfinger® bars are unavailable.

Rice Krispies® Marshmallow Crispy Squares

Unbaked Marshmallow Crispy SquaresMake Some Chewy "Crispy Squares" Today
(Source: ©

1/4 cup butter
30 marshmallows
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups Rice Krispies® cereal


Melt butter and marshmallows in double boiler until syrupy. Add vanilla and beat thoroughly to blend.

Put Rice Krispies® in large buttered bowl and pour on marshmallow mixture, stirring briskly to mix together. Press mixture into buttered shallow pan (13x9-inch). Cut in squares or bars when cool.

This vintage no bake squares recipe yields about 2 dozen 2-inch Marshmallow Crispy Squares. Nutmeats and coconut may be added.

Retro Marshmallow Crispy SquaresRetro Marshmallow Crispy Squares Treats
(Source: 1950s Retro Magazine Ad)

Do you remember the Howdy Doody Show? It was broadcast on NBC in the U.S. from December 1947, until September 1060. It was one of the first shows produced in color in 1956.

The kid's show featured Buffalo Bob Smith as host, along with a cast of puppets: Howdy Doody, Heidi Doody, Phineas T. Bluster, Princess Summerfall Winterspring, Flub-a-Dub, Dilly Dally, and others including animal puppets.

Meanwhile, Howdy Doody was also broadcast on CBC in Canada from November 1954, until June 1959.

The Canadian show featured a forest ranger as host, Timber Tom (Peter Mews), along with a cast of puppets, some familiar to the U.S. show: Howdy Doody, Heidi Doody, Phineas T. Bluster, Dilly Dally, Flub-a-Dub, along with Percival (a parrot), and Mister X (a time traveler).

The Canadian show's Clarabell the clown was played by Alfie Scopp who later played the bookseller Avram in the classic 1971 film Fiddler on the Roof. I got to meet Clarabell at the Sears store in Peterborough when I was a young boy. He waved and honked his horn at me. What a thrill.

Ranger Bob, was an early character on the CBC Howdy Doody show in 1954. He was played by William Shatner who went on to become Star Trek's Captain Kirk. And, it's reported that James Doohan (Scotty) was the show's first host for a short time before Peter Mews was given the role.

Apparently, Howdy Doody's favorite treat was Marshmallow Crispy Squares and he's not alone. Those Crispy Squares were always a favorite treat at Halloween and Christmas time at our house.

Top of Stove Cookies

2 well-beaten eggs, 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 pound (3-1/4 cups approximately) finely chopped, pitted dates; 1 teaspoon vanilla, pinch of salt, 3 cups rice cereal, 1 cup (approximately) shredded coconut.

Combine beaten eggs, sugar, dates, vanilla and pinch of salt in saucepan. Cook slowly, stirring constantly, for about 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir rice cereal into cooled egg mixture.

Shape into balls, each about the size of a large walnut. Roll in coconut. This recipe makes about 3 dozen cookie balls.

Mock Strawberries

You just have to try this vintage no bake squares recipe! Yeah, I realize they're not squares, but I absolutely loved it when Mom made these sweet, melt-in-your-mouth strawberries. They are SO good tasting. Make lots as they disappear quickly!

1 fifteen-ounce can sweetened condensed milk, 6 cups shredded coconut, 3-1/2 cups (approximately) sifted confectioners' sugar, 1 package strawberry-flavored jelly powder, 20 drops red food coloring.

Combine milk, coconut, sugar, jelly powder, and red food coloring in bowl. Mix together well and chill.

Form into shapes of average-sized strawberries. Roll strawberries in 2 to 3 tablespoons of strawberry-flavored jelly powder. (It will be necessary to open a second package.)

Add a few drops of green food coloring to a small quantity of royal icing. Use it in a cake decorating tube to make a stem and 2 leaves on each strawberry. Makes about 30 delicious strawberries.

Crispy Marshmallow Squares

1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup grated chocolate, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 pound marshmallows, 5 cups rice cereal.

Melt butter and marshmallows over boiling water, stirring often. Add vanilla and beat well. Mix well with cereal and chocolate. Press into a large buttered pan; when cool, cut into squares, sticks or bars.

Chewy Peanut Butter Coconut Bars

2 cups moist coconut (shredded), 1/2 cup peanut butter, 4 teaspoons vanilla. Mix all ingredients, keeping back 1/2 cup coconut; shape mixture into small bars and roll in remaining coconut.

Chocolate Cream Bars

1 pound tin of dried milk powder, 1 cup boiling water, 7 tablespoons sugar, 4 tablespoons cocoa.

For this no bake squares recipe, dissolve sugar in water, then add to dried milk and cocoa, mix it well. Place layer of chocolate in a flat tin, next a layer of the vanilla cream filling, and top with a layer of chocolate. Set overnight and cut into small bars or squares.

Vanilla Cream Filling:

Mix 1/2 pound icing sugar to a stiff paste with 1 tablespoon condensed milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Delicious!

Nutty Stuffed Dates

Roasted Cashew NutsEnjoy Nutty Stuffed Dates with Cashew Nuts
(Source: ©ld1012lsk/

It can be argued that strictly speaking this also isn't a no bake squares recipe, but these little treats are moist, sweet, chewy, and every bit as satisfying to munch on as squares.

Slit large, fresh California dates along one side. Stuff with plain or salted cashews, walnut halves, almonds, or candied orange peel or fondant. Roll in fine sugar. Store in covered container to ripen.

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