6 Mouthwatering Recipes for Delicious Dessert Bars
Bar desserts are generally easy to make, also offering the ease of portability that few other desserts can. They’re perfect for enjoying on-the-go and using just your hands (who needs utensils?) — and besides, they’re irresistible in taste. Simply mix up, chill or bake, slice, and serve. There are tons of different ways to get creative with these treats, as dessert bars can consist of any number of different flavors — whether they be sweet toffees and fruits or salty butter crackers and cream cheeses.
Try making any of these six recipes to get your dessert bar fix at home.
1. Toffee Ritz Bars
Who knew such a delightfully decadent dessert could be possible using only four ingredients? Toffee Ritz bars combine some of your favorite sweet and salty flavors — buttery, flaky crackers, along with rich toffee and chocolate — to create a creamy, unforgettable after-dinner (or indulgent snacking) experience. This recipe from Bakerita takes around 40 minutes to complete and yields sixteen bars.
- 1 (11.3 ounce) box Ritz crackers
- 1 (8 ounce) bag toffee bits with milk chocolate
- 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line and grease a 9 x 9 inch pan.
In a food processor, crush the Ritz crackers until they are fine crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl and mix with toffee bits and sweetened condensed milk until fully combined. Press evenly into the prepared pan.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips. Return to oven for 1-2 minutes or until the chocolate chips are melted. Spread the chocolate over the bars with an offset spatula. Allow to cool. Cut into sixteen squares.
2. Apricot Pastry Bars Recipe
Apricots are sweet and tangy, yet elegant, making this pastry bar recipe one of the more versatile additions to your arsenal of go-to desserts. Try making them for a simple night with the family — or bring a batch along to the next special occasion that you might be attending. It doesn’t matter where you end up eating these Apricot Pastry Bars — they’re sure to be crowd-pleasers. This recipe from Taste of Home takes an hour and 20 minutes (plus cooling time) and yields fifty servings.
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup shortening
- 3 eggs, separated
- ¼ cup 2 percent milk
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 cans (12 ounces each) apricot filling
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Directions: In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks, 2 egg whites, milk and vanilla; gradually add to crumb mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide in half, making one portion slightly larger.
Roll out larger portion of dough between two large sheets of waxed paper into a 17-inch x 12-inch rectangle. Transfer to an ungreased 15- x 10-inch. Press pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of pan; trim pastry even with top edges. Spread apricot filling over dough; sprinkle with walnuts.
Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pan; place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in top. Whisk remaining egg white; brush over pastry. Sprinkle with remaining sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
3. Funfetti Gooey Cake Bars
If you enjoy indulging in gooey cake batter — be honest, who doesn’t? — then here is the bar for you. This recipe from Crazy For Crust begins with a boxed yellow cake mix. Throw in a few basic ingredients along with it, mix well, and layer with chocolate, sprinkles, and condensed milk. Before you know it, you’ll have some of the sweetest, gooiest bars around — sure to be a hit among children and adults alike. Recipe takes about an hour to complete and yields one 9 x 9 inch pan of delicious cake bars.
- 1 yellow cake mix
- 1 stick (½ cup) butter, softened
- 1 egg
- ⅔ cup sprinkles, divided
- ½ cup (from a 14 ounce can) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9- x 9-inch pan with foil and spray liberally with cooking spray.
Add cake mix, butter, and egg to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix until a thick dough forms. Add ⅓ cup sprinkles and stir until incorporated.
Press about ⅔ of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle with white chocolate chips and remaining ⅓ cup sprinkles. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top. Separate remaining dough into small balls and evenly space over the top of the bars. Press down to flatten.
Bake bars for about 30 minutes, or until they just begin to brown. Cool completely before slicing, otherwise the mixture will be too gooey to cut.
4. Chewy S’mores Bars
These rich dessert bars have a buttery, oatmeal cookie-like crust. The filling is a decadent mix of chocolate and marshmallow, recreating the flavors of the classic s’mores dessert in a convenient, portable, and delicious bar form. This recipe from Better Homes and Gardens takes 25 minutes to complete and yields twenty-four bars. This dessert packs in all the fun of s’mores — without the campfire.
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 ½ cups tiny marshmallows
- 1 ¼ cups semisweet chocolate baking chunks or milk chocolate baking pieces
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with heavy foil, extending foil over the pan edges. Lightly grease foil. Set pan aside. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in brown sugar until combined, scraping bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in flour. Stir in oats and graham cracker crumbs.
Reserve 1 cup of the oat mixture. Spread remaining oat mixture into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over warm crust. Top with chocolate chunks. Dot remaining oat mixture atop chocolate and marshmallows.
Bake bars about 20 minutes more or until top is lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Using the edges of the foil, lift the uncut bars out of the pan. Cut into bars.
5. Cream Cheese Filled Red Velvet Cake Bars
There are innumerable ways to get creative with cake mix in the kitchen. Not only is it tantalizingly tasty, but it also makes for fun and quick desserts that can be thrown together in no time. The rich, yet tart flavor of cream cheese mixes irresistibly with sweet condensed milk and red velvet mix. This recipe from the Kitchen Magpie can be completed in just 30 minutes and yields sixteen servings.
- ½ cup butter
- 1 large egg
- red velvet cake mix
- ½ cup cream cheese
- ½ cup condensed milk
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9- x 9-inch baking pan with foil then spray with cooking spray. Mix butter with a mixer until smooth. Mix in cake mix and egg; beat until combined. Press ½ of the cake mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan.
Combine the cream cheese with the condensed milk until smooth. Pour onto the cake mix. Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the bars, making sure there are no gaps in the top.
Bake for 25-28 minutes until the top is completely baked. Cool before slicing.
6. Nutella Swirl Cheesecake Bars
The combination of Nutella and cheesecake is perhaps as rich as it gets, dessert-wise, and we love these dessert bars for just that reason. And, of course, it never hurts to start off with a buttery graham cracker crust. Because Nutella is a thick ingredient to work with, and this recipe requires giving it a swirl, you may find it easier to microwave the spread before incorporating it into the dish. This recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction takes about 4 hours and 50 minutes, including cool time, and yields sixteen cheesecake bars. Bars may be stored in a covered container for up to five days in the refrigerator.
- 12 full-sheet graham crackers (or 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs)
- 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 16 ounces cream cheese (2 standard packages), softened to room temperature
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup Nutella, slightly warmed
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 8- by 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil with enough overhang on the sides. Set aside.
Make the crust: Using a food processor or blender, pulverize the graham crackers into a fine crumb. Pour into a medium bowl and mix with melted butter and sugar. Press into the lined pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Allow to cool as you prepare the filling.
For the filling: Beat cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla extract together with a hand or stand mixer until smooth and creamy, about 3 full minutes. Spoon filling onto the crust. Drop large spoonfuls of Nutella on top of filling and swirl gently with a knife.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cheesecake has set up and the edges are lightly browned. The bars will be very puffy, but will sink slightly down as they cool. Allow to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature on a wire rack and then chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours. Lift the foil out of the pan and cut into squares.