Puffed Wheat Squares

Puffed wheat squares 2

This feels like a bit of a copout, but I’ve been meaning to mix up a batch of puffed wheat squares (a very prairie thing) and eat the whole pan myself for awhile now. And I think if anyone came across a plate of these on the kitchen counter, they’d eat them.

I’d like to say I grew up eating puffed wheat squares, but I didn’t – hopefully W will not suffer the same fate.

Puffed wheat squares 10

I’d make them more often if puffed wheat was a thing I normally kept in the house, but when I think to buy a bag, I remember that a panful takes about ten minutes to stir together. Well worth it.

Puffed wheat squares 7

There’s no technique here, really – just a formula. And likely the same ratio of butter:sugar:syrup:cocoa that has been mixed together for generations. If you really want to go all out, try making them with Corn Pops (really), or stir a handful of salted peanuts into the mix. (OK, that’s not really going all out, but it’s tasty.)

Puffed wheat squares 11

Puffed Wheat Squares
Puffed Wheat Squares

Puffed Wheat Squares

Recipe link


April 26, 2017


1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

pinch salt

1 tsp. vanilla

8 cups puffed wheat, or 7 cups puffed wheat and 1 cup salted peanuts


1Lightly spray the inside of a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put the puffed wheat (and peanuts, if you’re using them) into the bowl and set it aside.


3In a small saucepan, combine the butter, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa and salt over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour over the puffed wheat and stir to coat evenly. Press into an ungreased 9 x 13-inch pan and refrigerate or leave at room temperature until set. These are easiest to cut (and taste best) at room temperature.


5Makes about 20 squares.


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26 comments on “Puffed Wheat Squares

  1. Valarie
    April 27, 2017 at 9:02 am

    OMG YES!!! These are my favourite treat to eat every!

  2. Christy
    April 27, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Hey wondering what cereal would work well for my GF husband? Anything other than rice krispies please, if possible. Thanks! Love your posts!

    • Nikki
      April 27, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      I’ve used puffed rice, which come in a bag like the puffed wheat and are big like them. It worked fine. :)

    • Julie
      May 1, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Really, any gluten-free cereal he likes can be turned into cereal squares – these or the marshmallow kind!

    • Ray
      September 3, 2017 at 6:33 pm

      I use puffed buckwheat. It’s gf and a has the same texture as puffed wheat!

      • Julie
        September 4, 2017 at 1:36 pm

        brilliant!! I’m going to seek some out and try it!

  3. Lori
    April 27, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    I TOTALLY grew up with puffed wheat squares! Way better than those over sweet rice crispie things…
    My only question is what do you do with the other 3/4 of the bag???

    • Julie
      May 1, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      Make more puffed wheat squares!!!

  4. Judy
    April 28, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Oh, thank you so much for this recipe and reminding me where I came from. I DID grow up on these and they are wonderful! Please do add the salted peanuts and – if you’re really feeling particularly madcap the day you make these squares – a handful of plump raisins. One of my farming aunts in Alberta used to add raisins and, I assure you, the extra chewiness will transport you. To Lori: you can actually eat wheat puffs as cereal but you have to keep bashing them down underneath the milk in your bowl, ’cause they float. Try mixing them with other heftier, cereals for breakfast.

    • Julie
      May 1, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      Ha! I’ve never actually eaten puffed wheat as a breakfast cereal! But I can see how they would totally float. Mine are ALL destined to be squares… :)

  5. Lesley
    April 28, 2017 at 9:25 am

    My dad told me you have to boil the syrup for three minutes, and he’s right… it makes the cake easy to bite but not too soft that it’s falling apart. Also, I boil the syrup in a huge pot, and after taking it off the heat, pour the cereal and peanuts into the syrup, so only one sticky pot to wash.

    • Julie
      May 1, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      Good tip! I don’t like instructing people to boil the syrup as it’s thick and can scorch easily or turn into dental work-compromising candy, but if you’re comfortable with it, awesome! And yes, if you have a big pot, go for it!

  6. esme
    April 28, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    !! I had totally forgotten all about these. (How did that happen?) I loved them when I was a kid I’m SO glad you reminded everyone about them., Julie. I think you should do nostalgia recipes more often. Who knows what else we’ve all forgotten? Thanks for bringing an old friend back!

    • Julie
      May 1, 2017 at 3:03 pm

      I know, right? So glad to facilitate the reunion! :)

  7. James
    June 16, 2017 at 1:37 am

    I now use a candy thermometer when I cook the syrup. I have found cooking it to between 215°F and 220°F results in a square that is neither to soft and loose or too hard to be chewy.

    • Julie
      June 16, 2017 at 9:49 am

      Excellent tip! thanks!

    • Lisa
      November 18, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      Nope nope nope – this produced waaaay too hard of a square. What a mess and waste. Rather just bring to a boil and have it fall apart than be rock hard and impossible to cut.

      • Julie
        November 18, 2017 at 9:35 pm

        Sorry it didn’t work out for you! I just bring it to a boil to melt the mixture – any longer and they’ll get harder.

  8. Sharon
    June 30, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    I bet they would be great with Cheerios. And now real Cheerios (General Mills) are GF. ?

    • Julie
      July 2, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      Are they? Yes, you can pretty much make cereal bars with any kind of cereal.. I’ve made these with Corn Pops and they’re fab!

  9. Zachary
    September 2, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Great but messy

  10. Anonymous
    September 6, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Hard not to eat the pan!!!! I try to make only one pan for home and one for work…….I get it in both places but the more I share, the less I over indulge on lol

  11. Sure
    October 30, 2017 at 6:01 pm

    Which corn syrup do you use

    • Julie
      October 31, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      Golden corn syrup, generally.

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