Lemon Chess Squares

If you aren’t from the south you may not get chess squares or chess pie. I had never heard of them until I moved here and for years and I didn’t  understand everyone’s fascination with them. Every potluck or bakesale I’ve attended here has had some version of them and I’ve always avoided them like the plague. One day I was at a hot chicken shack in my neighborhood and they had these luscious bars in lemon and strawberry. Oh my goodness – they were good. Really good.  They were still really sweet but adding tart lemon juice helped even out the sweetness so you can enjoy them. I’m not a complete convert but I’m definitely climbing on the bandwagon.

I got this recipe from one of my church members. It came from one of those little community cookbooks that’s probably older than I am. She’s been making this for 30 years and I can see why. It’s easy and comes together quickly. If lemon isn’t your thing, substitute a few tablespoons of almond extract  for the lemon flavorings.


Comments (13)
  • I love how these bars look so soft and light… They must be really tasty!
    Greets from bfc!

    • Thanks for stopping by. These bars are delicious. Perfect for someone with a sweet tooth.

  • These look gooey and delicious! Xx

  • Looks delicious! Why are they called “Chess” cake bars??

    • No idea. I think that name is regional – mainly in the south. There are similar recipes in other parts of the country with different names like Egg Pies.

  • I’ve made something similar called Gooey Butter Cake, but I’ve never seen lemon – yum! Thanks for posting the recipe.

  • […] dessert.  The name of this tasty treat is Lemon Chess Cake Bars.  I found this recipe on A Cook At Heart.  It had been passed along to her from a woman who had been bringing it to church gatherings for […]

  • We featured you in our blog today. These chess bars are fantastic!

  • We made these at the bakery where I worked. They had tons of flavors.. leave out the lemon for Original. Add a tablespoon of cocoa to the filling with a chocolate cake mix crust and swirl choc syrup on top before baking for a chocolate chess bar. Add your favorite crushed up candy bar or pie filling also. The possabilites are endless.

    • ohhh chocolate chess squares sound delicious. I’m thinking about nixing the lemon and adding vanilla, crushed Heath bars, and drizzling with caramel. There are tons of possibilities. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • […] A COOK AT HEART […]

  • Easy to make just put them in the oven yum yum

  • My mom has been making these my whole life minus the lemon. They are my favorite treat!! I’m making them tonight for a school function tomorrow, I will definitely try them soon with the lemon. My daughter would love them that way!

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