pineapple squares – a vintage dessert

pineapple squaresAs a child, one of the Christmas things I eagerly looked forward to was all the baked goodies my mom and maternal grandmother would make.  One of those goodies was pineapple squares.  I’m not sure where or when the recipe came to be but it’s been around in my family since the mid-1960s.  It’s the perfect dessert to bring to a family gathering. I have to admit, though, it’s been a very long time since I made these.

Food plays its role in nostalgia and this Christmas I was thinking about my children’s paternal grandmother.  Nanny Chase always had her Christmas kitchen full of baked goodies and pineapple squares were one of them.  My children loved and adored her.  These are cherished food memories waiting to be passed on for future generations to enjoy and reminisce.

you will need

1/4 cup butter for the base
1/4 cup butter (topping for base)
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons reserved pineapple juice
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup crushed pineapple, well drained (reserve some of the juice)


Preheat oven to 350f (180c) and line the bottom of an 8×8″ pan with parchment paper.  Spray sides with baking spray. In a small bowl, melt ¼ cup butter. Stir in graham crumbs until butter is combined. The mixture is ready when a handful of the crumbs are held together in your hand when you squeeze them. Evenly distribute the crumbs around the pan. Use the back of a spoon and press onto the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Beat the remaining ¼ cup butter and 1 cup powdered sugar with an electric mixer. Add one tablespoon of the reserved pineapple juice until it comes together and is spreadable (you don’t want it too runny).  If a bit dry, add more pineapple juice.  Spread onto cooled base.

Beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in crushed pineapple and spread onto the base.  If you want, sprinkle crumbs over the pineapple just like Nanny Chase did. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours until chilled.  Cut into squares.

the culinary chase’s note:

This dessert keeps well in the fridge, covered for up to 7 days.  Enjoy!