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

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
Healthy Diabetic Exchange Test Kitchen Approved
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 bar equals 175 calories, 8 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 27 mg cholesterol, 94 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g 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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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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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