White and Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Chocolate Cake Bars
Happy April Fool’s Day. These are not a joke. They are 100% real.
Really sinful and easy. Just the way I like my desserts.
What we’re working with here is a base layer of Devil’s Food Cake chocolate cake.
Topped with white chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips.
A can of sweetened condensed milk is mixed with cream cheese and poured over the top. While baking, the sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese turns into an ooey, gooey hot mess.
The top layer resembles cream cheese frosting in that it doesn’t fully set up which helps to keep these so chewy and velvety. As an added bonus, that layer creates built-in frosting, so you don’t have to bother with that step because to serve unfrosted bars would be a cruel April Fool’s joke.
The cake rises a bit while baking, pushing up from the bottom of the pan. The layers stay separated yet combine just enough to make each bite full of chocolate cake and chocolate chips and sweetened cream cheese.
The cake is chewy, some chocolate chips remain crunchy while others melt, and the cream cheese is smooth. I love lots of different textures in each bite.
White and Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Chocolate Cake Bars (with Vegan and Gluten Free Suggestions)
Makes 24 bars
1 box devil’s food cake chocolate cake mix (or your favorite boxed chocolate cake mix)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (bourbon vanilla is especially nice)
1 to 2 tablespoons cold brewed coffee or water, optional if necessary
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 can (14-ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened (I use whipped cream cheese)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (clear imitation vanilla extract will keep this layer whiter)
Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a 9-by-13 inch pan by lining it with aluminum foil and then spraying it with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, butter, egg, vanilla and mix either with a mixer, with a spoon, or with your hands, kneading it together. The batter will be extremely thick and will be difficult to combine, but keep stirring or use your fingers and knead it together, adding the coffee (will deepen the flavor and does not make them taste like coffee) or water if necessary. Press the dough it into the prepared pan. It will be tacky, sticky, and a bit tricky to work with, but keep pressing, spreading, and finessing it. Sprinkle the white and dark chocolate chips evenly over the top.
In a mixing bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese, stir until well combined, and pour mixture evenly over dough, using a spatula to gently spread and even it if necessary. Bake for 24 to 27 minutes, or until edges of bars begin to barely brown and pull away slightly from the sides of the pan, or until the middle has barely set, taking care not to overbake. Note that the middle will not seem very well set and will be jiggly upon removing from oven and that is okay, you want to keep these gooey. They will continue to set up more after they have cooled. Allow bars to cool well before slicing and serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to three months.
To keep vegan, use a vegan cake mix, a flax egg, vegan white chocolate chips, vegan cream cheese, and coconut milk (full-fat), sweetened to taste, in place of the sweetened condensed milk. To keep gluten-free, use gluten free cake mix. Take care all ingredients used are suitable for your dietary needs.
Make the chocolate cake layer part by mixing cake mix, an egg, and a stick of butter. Press it firmly into the pan. It will be sticky and a little tricky to work with, but just keep pressing and finessing it.
Make sure to wash your hands afterward so no one thinks you were playing in the dirt. No, silly, you were playing in the chocolate cake. Again.
Top the cake layer with the white and dark chocolate chips.
And then flood it with sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese.
It looks soupy and like there is perhaps too much liquid and how could that all bake off and get soaked up, but it does, and it all works out. Very well.
The top layer of cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk remains just a little soft and gooey, a bit loose and unset.
The inside of the bars definitely remain soft and gooey.
These taste like chocolate cake, not brownies, and are an extremely moist and rich cake at that.
I despise dry baked goods and two kinds of melted chocolate, a stick of butter, a can of sweetened condensed milk, and a slab of cream cheese tend to keep things moist and full of flavor.
These bars are not over-the-top sweet.
Over the top rich and decadent? Yes.
Cheesecake – Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free
Do you like chocolate? Do you have a favorite kind of chocolate or any you don’t like?
I like white and dark chocolate, but I’m not a fan of milk.
Generally speaking, I don’t like nuts in chocolate or nuts in desserts in general.
I don’t like flavored chocolate. Save the orange-flavored truffles or the raspberry-flavored chocolate candies for someone else.
I like mine white. Or really dark. That hunk of unsweetened baking chocolate? Sure, I’ll take that.
Do you like April Fools Jokes? Do you play them or fall for them?
I am not a jokester and normally don’t find them funny. What one person thinks is funny, another person may think is cruel (especially on the internet where you can’t see someone’s facial expressions or body language) so I leave the joking around up to other people and I try not to fall for them.
I remind myself when reading blogs every year on this day that oh yes, it’s April Fool’s Day and to keep that in mind but sometimes fall for them for a second.
The winners of the Lemon and Orange NuNaturals Stevia Giveaway are:
Have a great week!