Makeover Chocolate Layer Bars Recipe
Makeover Chocolate Layer Bars Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Makeover Chocolate Layer Bars Recipe

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Our makeover recipe boasts all the delicious decadent flavor of Anita Nickless' original bars but with 38 percent less fat and 75 fewer calories each. Now friends and family in Platte City, Missouri can enjoy them guilt-free! Healthy Cooking Test Kitchen
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling
MAKES:40 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling
MAKES: 40 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 175 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 27mg cholesterol, 94mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (21g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch, 1-1/2 fat.


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, applesauce and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, cocoa and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  2. Pour into a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. For creamy layer, in a small bowl, beat the butters, confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Spread over top of cake.
  4. For frosting, in a small heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, milk and cocoa. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat; stir in chocolate chips until melted.
  5. With a hand mixer, beat frosting for 2-4 minutes or until thickened. Gently spread over the top. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 40 bars.
Editor's Note: This recipe was tested with Land O'Lakes light stick butter.
Originally published as Makeover Chocolate Layer Bars in Healthy Cooking June/July 2008, p6

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TheBrat56 User ID: 4920181 105054
Reviewed Feb. 3, 2013

"Diabetic friendly???? Around 30 carbs in one piece?? Not only is this not friendly to a diabetic, it could be dangerous w/ all this sugar."

meyerdo User ID: 220566 174187
Reviewed Nov. 10, 2012

"Agree - 40 servings. Must be very small servings. Whoever posted picture shoul show the actual serving size as well as give actual dimensions of serving."

wiscook User ID: 1143528 157677
Reviewed Apr. 4, 2009

"40 servings? give me a break, that's crazy, no one will cut them that small. I too had trouble with the layers, will try the suggestion."

khandia User ID: 2693813 178022
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2009

"I too had problems with the layers but then I started putting the whole pan in the fridge after adding the white layer and letting it get good and cold. Then I quickly add the chocolate layer on top and spread that VERY fast. Back in the fridge. Comes out."

4sherilyn User ID: 274668 101090
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2008

"This is delicious but I always have trouble with the white and chocolate layer so I started swirling the two on the top. It's easier and it looks pretty also."

kathimax User ID: 1832747 172690
Reviewed Sep. 17, 2008

"It doesn't mention cooling the chocolate frosting at all, and when I put it on top, it seemed to work at first, then it heated the creamy layer and it all slid off the sides of my poor cake!"

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