Chocolate dipped red velvet cake bars with forks on a cutting board

Chocolate Dipped Red Velvet Cake Bars with Swiss Buttercream Frosting

The Redpath chefs must have been feeling nostalgic when they came up with this recipe! Inspired by the chocolate-coated snack cakes of their childhood, this is a grown-up, gourmet version of a lunchbox classic. A layer of rich ganache hides a sandwich of fluffy red velvet cake and decadent Swiss buttercream filling. The only question now is: will you put them in the kids’ lunches, or save them for yours?

INGREDIENTS

For the Red Velvet Cake:

  • 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ¾ cup (75 g) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tsp (5 g) baking powder
  • ½ tsp (2 g) baking soda
  • ½ tsp (3 g) salt
  • 1¾ cups (430 ml) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) red gel food colouring
  • ⅔ cup (151 g) butter, room temperature
  • 1¼ cups (250 g) Redpath® Granulated Sugar
  • ¾ cup (163 g) Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract

For the Swiss Buttercream Filling:

  • 1 ¼ cup (250 g) Redpath® Granulated Sugar
  • 5 egg whites, room temperature
  • ½ tsp (3 g) salt
  • 2 cups (454 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cubed
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) caramel extract

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 2 cups (340 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream

INSTRUCTIONS

Steps on making the red velvet cake with swiss buttercream

For the Red Velvet Cake:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease and line the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 inch (23 cm x 33 cm) baking pan with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a large wet measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, vinegar, and food colouring.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the Redpath® Granulated Sugar and the Redpath® Golden Yellow Sugar until smooth and fluffy; about 3 minutes.

5. Add in the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each egg before adding the next one. Mix in vanilla extract.

6. With the mixer on medium speed, add ⅓ of the dry ingredients into the sugar and butter mixture, mixing until just combined. Add in half of the buttermilk and mix until combined. Repeat process with the remaining flour and milk, ending with the dry ingredients; do not overmix.

7. Pour and evenly smooth out the batter into the prepared cake pan. Place into preheated oven; bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

8. Let cake cool slightly in the pan; 15 minutes. Carefully run an offset spatula or a small paring knife around the cake. Invert cake and set right side up to cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

For the Swiss Buttercream Filling:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a heatproof bowl, whisk together Redpath® Granulated Sugar, egg whites, and salt. Place over a just simmering pot of water, ensuring that the bowl does not come in contact with the water. Whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved; about 3 minutes.

2. Take the bowl off the heat (transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer if heatproof bowl was used to heat sugar and egg whites), and immediately place onto the stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium high speed until mixture is thick, glossy, and cooled to room temperature; about 10 minutes.

3. Reduce mixture speed to medium. Add the cubed butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Whisk in vanilla and caramel extract. Switch to the paddle attachment and beat icing on low speed until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl; about 4-5 minutes.

To Assemble:

1. Place the cake on a large cutting board. With a sharp serrated knife held parallel to the work surface, carefully divide the cake in half. Gently remove top half and set aside.

2. Transfer Swiss buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Pipe concentric rectangles onto bottom half of the cake. With a small offset spatula smooth out the buttercream. Place top cake layer onto the buttercream, gently pressing down to adhere onto frosting.

3. Place in the refrigerator and allow to chill for 30 minutes or until icing has slightly hardened.

4. Place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

5. Remove cake from fridge. Using a sharp serrated knife, trim off ¼ inch (½ cm) of each side of the cake. Cut into twenty-four 3 x 1½ inch (7.5 cm x 4 cm) bars. Place bars on prepared cooling rack and return to fridge until needed.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

1. Place the chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl.

2. In a pot, heat the heavy cream until it just begins to simmer; do not boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let sit for about a minute before slowly stirring until all chocolate is melted and becomes a unified sauce.

3. Remove bars from the fridge. Working with one bar at a time, spoon two tablespoons (30 ml) of the melted chocolate onto the top of each bar. Using an offset spatula spread the chocolate along the top and down the sides of each bar. Repeat with remaining bars and chocolate.

4. Place back into the fridge to allow chocolate to set. Once set, transfer bars to an airtight container and store in the fridge.

Chocolate dipped red velvet cake bars on a cutting board

CHEF'S TIP

* To make slicing easier, chill cake in fridge for 1 hour.

* Try making the ganache with milk or dark chocolate for a different flavour profile.

* Red food colouring can be omitted from cake recipe if desired.