People love round foods so much, there’s a faux holiday — Pi Day — devoted to them. But what about squares? Practical, angular, with a lot less sexy math behind them, no one’s making squares the poster child of an annual celebration.
But that’s okay, because you don’t need a reason to pull out your square pan or baking dish. Whether you’re looking for something sweet or savory, a star or supporting player, you can count on this workaday shape. Here are some options from our archives that will prove exactly why it’s hip to be square.
Coconut Turmeric Sweet Bread, above. There’s so much I love about this recipe. It’s one-bowl, visually stunning, vegan and scrumptious. It will also want to make you add coating a baking pan in tahini to your bag of tricks.
Bakewell Tart Bars. Whether you know and love the classic British dessert or are completely new to it, you’ll enjoy this gluten-free riff (all-purpose flour is fine in the crust, too). Moving the dessert from a tart pan to a 9-inch square pan simplifies the process and makes it accessible to even more bakers.
Peach Melba Shortbread Bars. Here’s another shortbread and jam treat that is adaptable to your choice of fruit spread and nuts.
Sour Cream Maple Cake With Maple Buttercream Frosting. Readers went bonkers for this tender, maple-packed dessert that comes together quickly. The tangy frosting isn’t overly heavy or sweet, but if you left it off, you’d still have a very good brunch candidate.
Fudgy Flourless Brownies. Brownies are the iconic square-pan treat. These are gluten-free and all about the chocolate.
Buttermilk Cornbread. This is a simple and satisfying supporting player that would be right at home with your favorite summer barbecue, although it’s so good, you’ll be tempted to turn it into a meal on its own. Cornbread for breakfast, anyone?
Sticky Pecan Rolls. If your breakfast interests are a bit richer, you can’t do better than this recipe from our Baking Basics newsletter by Joy “the Baker” Wilson. The recipe is a great introduction for folks just getting into yeast doughs.
No-Fry Eggplant Parmesan. Pull out your square ceramic baking dish for a streamlined version of this red-sauce favorite.
Mushroom and Goat Cheese Lasagna. This is another Italian-American favorite dish that works well in a square. Tangy goat cheese and earthy mushrooms add some variety to the mix.
Warm Blondie Pudding Cake. Nigella Lawson — the star of the first week of our Essential Cookbooks newsletter — offers up this gooey, gluten-free blondie that just begs for a scoop of ice cream next to it.
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