Vanilla/Chocolate Cake Bars with Vanilla Buttercream

I was recently searching for unique cake-like recipes due to what I can only call a tub of leftover vanilla buttercream from a previous recipe, when this little gem of a recipe caught my eye.
The recipe, Bakingblonde’s grandmother’s own, sounded absolutely delicious, so I couldn’t wait to try out my own version of these yummy chocolate/vanilla marble cake bars and add my very own buttercream frosting!

Just like Bakingblonde writes, these bars are a mix between a brownie and cake.  These bars are moist and very dense.  Perfect for a sweet bite of vanilla/chocolate goodness.  And the the rich vanilla buttercream brings in the perfect amount of creamy texture to take this dessert to a whole new level.


1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup shortening (like Crisco)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (melted)



Preheat oven to 325 degrees and lightly grease or spray a 9″ x 13″ baking pan.In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar.

Add the vanilla and eggs until just combined (do not overbeat).  Add the flour mixture and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Spoon half of the batter into the baking pan and spread so it is even throughout.  Fold the melted chocolate into the remaining batter until incorporated, then spoon the batter evenly into the baking pan on top of the vanilla batter.  Swirl a greased knife throughout both layers to create a marble effect.

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Ok, they could have been a little more swirled, but not bad for a first attempt!

Note ~ mine were done in 21 minutes.  It is important not to overbake, so I recommend you check after 20 minutes and then keep checking within a few minutes until done.

Cool completely in the pan.

While the bars are cooling, whip up the vanilla buttercream (you can find my recipe here).

Spread the buttercream on the completely cooled cake bars, and slice.


  • Pamela

    Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  • TheTinyHeart

    Mmm, my mouth is officially watering! That frosting looks sooo good!

    The Tiny Heart
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  • Helen at Goldilocks

    oh my lordy! They look so delicious. I wanted to bake something for my husband so will have to steal this recipe. Diet can be missed for one day for these ;) xx

  • Nikki

    Girly girly girly those look delish!

  • Alyssa @ Sugar, Spice, and a Dash of Advice

    Oh my goodness. These are to die for.. I love anything with frosting on top of it! I’m going to have to try this recipe soon!

  • erica

    Yum! Looks amazing!!! xo

  • Lauren

    YUM!!! I tried this recipe after seeing the pictures and I tried it and they are delicious!



  • Evani Gatsby

    Yum! Love the recipes you share Niki, I always end up wanting to make them soon! :)


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  • Beverly

    Seriously looks to die for srummy!! I loveee your silver mixing bowl!! It’s the deets I notice ;)

    Happy Monday! xo, Bev

  • The Lacquer Factor

    Looks so good!!!

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    Such gorgeous inspiration pictures!
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  • Blue Dog Belle

    YUM. Looks so good.

  • still being [molly]

    oh my gosh my golly that looks amazing!

  • Stephanie @ bourbon and glitter

    Seriously looks so good!! I want one!

  • Joshua and Ashley

    Awesome I am definatly intrigued

  • Jennifer Hanson

    This makes my mouth water just reading about it! Yummo!

  • Allyssa

    These look amazing! I can’t wait to make them!

  • andrea

    these look so great! i will have to give them a try :)

  • Erin

    This just isn’t fair. Don’t show me these things.

    Or do, because it’s the reason I just started following you. Thank you for the soon to be added lbs girl.

  • Lissy

    yum these look amazing. Thanks for sharing

  • THE mom

    YUMMY!! Get in my belly! LOL

  • Georgie

    oh, that looks delicious! :)

  • Kim

    These look so awesome!!! I will have to try this recipe!! With fall on the horizon too I am getting the bug to just cake all day!

  • Laurie @

    WOW. How amazing do these look? REALLY?! I may need to try this recipe!

  • Jenny

    Oh myyyyyy, those look delicious!

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