The other day, I discovered what looked like multiple bloody gashes on my hands, arms, and elbows. You would’ve though I just took a tumble onto hard pavement and scraped myself up. But then came the awkward moment when I realized it was just dried red velvet batter, which I had been elbow-deep in all day.
That’s Food Blogging Problems 101 right there.
I guess it’s never really a problem to be working with delicious red velvet batter though. Unless of course you’re like me and a) can’t keep it in the bowl and b) can’t stop eating it raw and putting yourself at risk for salmonella. But let’s not get hung up on the negatives here. Red velvet flavored anything is about feeling good. It evokes pleasure, creating a romantic moment between you and your food. Maybe that’s why it’s such a popular flavor around Valentine’s Day.
On Monday, I’m going to be churning out one lovey-dovey post filled with my best Valentine’s recipes to get you ready for the big day, but I had to slip in a few more V-Day recipes before the big round-up. So here you go, fellow red velvet lovers: Chewy Red Velvet Bars with Whipped Cream Frosting.
These are similar to my Strawberry Sweetheart Bars because we start with a boxed cake mix. Then, you just need to add two ingredients to turn it into a moist and chewy bar with a texture teetering between cake and cookie. You’ve only got to dirty one bowl, and they bake up pretty quick, so you could say these 3-ingredient bars are one of the easiest, tastiest treats on the planet. Who doesn’t love the ease semi-homemade?
The only thing that could make these bars better is so creamy, cloud-like Whipped Cream Frosting. It’s sweet and smooth with a hint of vanilla flavor. But what makes this whipped cream better than most? It’s stabilized, which means it won’t separate and get runny like regular whipped cream does, so these bars last for days!
If you’re looking for something that will impress but requires minimal effort, then this is the recipe you want. The bars are indulgent yet light at the same time, with the perfect amount of sweetness. Share ‘em with your sweetheart or enjoy ‘em all yourself. I won’t tell!
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- Not over-baking is the key to a nice and chewy texture. These guys go from done to dry fairly quickly, so pull them just before you actually think they’re done.
- I would imagine this recipe works with any brand of cake mix, but because I’ve only done this with Betty Crocker Super Moist, I cannot guarantee they’ll come out the same. I know they’ll work; your texture just might be slightly more brownie-like, or you may have to adjust cooking time.
- People who haven’t made whipped cream are scared by the idea of it, but it’s actually super easy to make; in fact it’s easier than any other kind of frosting, I think. All you have to do is beat the crap out of it until it forms stiff peaks. How much easier could it get?
Red Velvet Bars with Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting
By The Smart Cookie Cook
For the bars
- 1 box red velvet cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Super Moist)
- ½ cup (1 stick), butter, softened
- 2 eggs
For the whipped cream frosting
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. cornstarch
- Place a large mixing bowl in the fridge to chill. You will use this to make the whipped cream later. The cooler the bowl is, the faster the cream will whip.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray.
- In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the cake mix, butter, and eggs on low speed just until well-combined.
- Transfer batter to the prepared pan and press down into an even layer. It will probably be sticky, so you may want to spray your hands with nonstick spray when spreading out the batter.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, or until puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs. Let cool completely.
- Make the frosting: Place all the frosting ingredients EXCEPT for the cornstarch into the chilled mixing bowl. Beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Add cornstarch and continue beating until stiff peaks form. When you pull the beater away, the whipped cream should follow and hold its shape.
- Spread frosting onto cooled bars in an even layer. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.