from my Mom’s treasure chest: cheese squares.

*republishing for a new friend, Aikko. Hallo! :D

For as long as I can remember, my Mom had always made perfect dishes – baked or cooked. She and my Dad are the greatest when it comes to kitchen wonders, but if I had to choose between the two of them, my Dad would definitely come in the top place.

When I moved away for college, my Mom worried a lot on how I would deal with the newly-found independence. She was scared that I would be “lost.” I didn’t know a thing about cleaning and well, looking after myself. I grew up with a yaya (nanny) and I was always surrounded with aunts, uncles, and older siblings/cousins. She told me once while we were doing grocery shopping for stuff to bring to Manila, “Who’s going to wash your underwear?” It’s embarrassing to have the whole world know about that, but you get the gist.

I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but I was used to having someone clean up after me, do stuff for me, cook for me. My Mom knew that, that’s why she was worried if I’d make it through college.

Thankfully, I did. I did so well during my dormitory years that my Mom no longer had to worry about the little stuff. She was proud that my dorm room was clean on a spot checkup (she didn’t tell me they were visiting from the province). She didn’t argue with me if I went to faraway places on commute. In fact, they now reach out to me if they need commuting instructions. Hah. Yes, my Mom is mighty proud of me.

Moving out of the dormitory and renting my own place did not cause a stir in my Mom’s mind. Over the years, I have probably grown up way too much that she no longer worries about me. When I was starting out on my “living alone” escapade, I would regularly text her and my Dad asking for recipes of my favorite dishes and “how to” tutorials on household stuff.

I still do that until now. They’re more used to it, though. And when I go home, I immediately become the officer-in-charge of the kitchen. They let me work my wonders now. Can you believe that?! I still can’t.

Anyway, too much information for an introduction. I know. The recipe I am posting today is from my Mom, one of my favorites. This brings back memories of birthday parties, simple get-togethers, or just random lunch or dinner. She loves to host parties at home, and this is one of her popular treats. What is it?

Here you go.

cheese bars

They’re cheese squares. Cheese bars. Or even cheese cupcakes. My ultimate go-to recipe when all my baking feats are going downhill.

Cheese Squares
2 c all-purpose flour
1 c sugar
1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 can condensed milk
2 eggs
1/2 c grated cheese plus more for topping (you can use any kind, but I’d recommend good ol’ Cheddar)

Preheat oven to 175C. Grease and flour 8x8in pan or a bigger pan, if you have one. I don’t. Haha. 
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in flour, alternating with the milk, starting and ending with the flour. Fold in cheese and mix just until incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan until 2/3 full. Bake for 25 minutes, remove pan from oven and sprinkle top with grated cheese. Return pan to oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes  or until sides and cheese topping are slightly brown. I baked mine for around 15 minutes, topped with cheese, then baked again for 5 minutes.
Cool on wire rack for about an hour before cutting.


  1. Thanks Barbie!!!
    Love your story, reminds me of my dorm days too and open houses - the day the "parents" and friends are allowed inside the dorm.
    I don't have a 8x8 pan, but I do have cupcake pans! yey! Will make a cupcake version. love that it doesn't even have leaveners, cool! Haha, what are doing still up? :D

  2. Thanks, Aikko! :)

    Yes, the open houses! I miss college! Hehe.

    You can use any pan, and yes, muffin pans! :) there are other versions of this recipe too. I tried using 1/2 tsp baking powder and 2tbsp oil.. But the "original" one works out fine.

    Why am I still up? I work at night! Hee.

  3. Hi Barbie! Did you know I dreamt about this last night? (talk about a baking obsession - hahaha!) Can't wait to make these!!

  4. Hi Aikko!

    Hahaha, I'm like that, too! I dream about what I wanna make! Hahaha.

    Let me know how it goes! :D

  5. OMG Barbie! You have a keeper here! I just made them today and can I just say I ate 2 as soon as they're out of the oven? [di ko ininda ang init ng cupcake :)] Wow! Ang sarap talaga! Next time, I'll put in more cheese toppings. As in fully covered. I think yun yung secret nya, it's a savory at the same sweet cupcake, nagaagaw ang sweet and salty (di naman sobrang salty but you get what I mean). Please tell your mom thanks so much the recipe! Do hope you'll share more.

    ps... can I blog about your mom's recipe, with links to your blog of course :)

  6. YAY! I'm glad you loved them! :D that's one of my favorites. I'll tell my Mom about that, thanks!!!

    Sure, go ahead! I don't mind at all!

    Thanks again!

  7. Thanks super, Barbie! :)

  8. Thanks for sharing Barbs!:) ill try this recipe..Nalingaw ko basa sa imo blog!:) keep it up! all the best for miss Adventure! :) miss u!xox

  9. KING!!!!

    Thanks! :D good luck sa imo business! I hope to FINALLY see you when I go home!

    I miss you!

  10. hi, thanks for sharing ur mom's recipe..:)

    i tried this tonight, but it ended gooey in the middle and its done already on the sides.. can u help me?:(

  11. Hi Anonymous!

    Im so sorry to hear that. :( did you bake them as cupcakes or as bars? How long did you bake them and at what temp?

  12. Anonymous7/11/11 21:38

    Hi there!

    I chanced upon your recipe from bakehappy.blogspot. i tried doing it and it was really good. I added the baking powder and oil as you've mentioned in your comment above because i was afraid the cake would not rise or might be sticky if i did not put baking powder. I love the texture of the bread and the taste is just right. Wonderful recipe you have here. Thanks for sharing this one. :)

  13. Hi Anonymous!

    Thanks for the like! :D I'm glad it turned out well for you. :)

  14. Anonymous8/11/11 23:20

    hi again, just want to add that, everyone (my parents,brother, cousins,nieces, officemates) who got to taste it, loves it. thanks again. :)

  15. Hi Anonymous!

    Aww, that's so great! It warms my heart. I'll be sure to let my Mom know.

    Please extend my thanks to everyone who got to taste it! :D

  16. liza ann1/9/12 15:13

    Hi! just tried baking this today. super thank you for sharig recipe. my family loved it coz it's not so sweet, yet it's yummy. am excited to try other recipes you shared. btw, thanks also to your mom for allowing you to share her recipe from her treasure box ;)

    1. Hi Liza Ann!

      Wow, thank you! Glad it turned out great for you, too! :D