Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert idea? Try these Red Velvet Blondies with Cream Cheese Frosting! They’re easy to put together and they’re indulgent like any good Valentine’s dessert should be.
Whether you’re staying in and getting cozy with your partner or sharing the love with friends and family, these red velvet cookie bars will make for an unforgettable Valentine’s Day.
Make ’em in fun heart shapes with a simple cookie cutter or cut into traditional squares – either way, these are bound to please!
Thank you to Domino® Sugar for sponsoring this post! I was compensated for providing this recipe and blog post, however all opinions are my own.
Why Red Velvet is the perfect Valentine’s Day Dessert
Traditional red velvet is made with cocoa powder, buttermilk and vinegar and the red color can be enhanced with food coloring. It’s lighter in flavor than plain chocolate, but does have a chocolatey taste from the cocoa powder.
These red velvet blondies do not contain buttermilk or vinegar, so arguably they are not traditional in that sense. But creative license can be applied to traditional recipes, no?! In this case I say definitely yes!
If you are into baking science, I’m happy to explain (in my homebaker-ese) why I don’t include vinegar: my blondies do not have a leavening agent, such as baking soda or baking powder. And the vinegar in red velvet is used as an acid to ensure the baking soda helps the batter rise while baking. Hence, the vinegar is not needed in this recipe because there is no baking soda.
And the reason there’s no buttermilk in this recipe is that buttermilk is more suited for red velvet cake recipes, where the buttermilk helps tenderize the batter.
One more note on why there’s no baking soda or baking powder (or vinegar) in these red velvet blondies. My blondies do not contain a leavening agent so they stay dense and chewy rather than cakelike. The extra brown sugar in the recipe also contributes really well to the chewiness of these blondies. And the name of the game with blondies is definitely chewiness!
Ingredients needed to Red Velvet Blondies
To make red velvet blondies, the list of ingredients includes mostly pantry staples.
Here are the ingredients needed:
- Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter, as this allows you to control the amount of salt in your baking. If you only have salted, go ahead and use it, but reduce the amount of salt called for the recipe by half or more, depending on your desired level of saltiness. The butter does not need to be room temperature for this recipe, as it will be melted anyway – hallelujah!
- Domino® Dark Brown Sugar: Using a higher ratio of brown sugar to granulated in this recipe allows the baked blondies to remain chewy and moist. I prefer Domino® Dark Brown Sugar because its moistness and deep, rich molasses flavor make it ideal for blondies and brownies. This can be easily substituted for Light Brown Sugar without impacting the recipe
- Domino® Golden Sugar: Domino® Golden Sugar is made from pure cane sugar. It’s a less-processed, great-tasting sugar that works cup-for-cup like any white granulated sugar. It also has a hint of molasses that adds depth to these blondies
- Egg: One (US) large egg is what is needed here. Be sure to leave it out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before adding to the batter. This will help it incorporate much better into the batter
- Vanilla Extract: this is my favorite vanilla, but use whatever you have handy. The higher quality the better. Skip the imitation vanilla and go for the pure vanilla extract instead
- Salt: I prefer to use kosher salt, however, you can use whatever kind you have. Salts have varying levels of saltiness, so start out by adding just a little bit then adding more if you need to. You may want to add more or less than is called for in the recipe based on your preferences
- All-Purpose Flour: Be sure to measure the flour correctly either by weight with a kitchen scale (the most accurate way) or by scooping the flour into the measuring cup with a spoon then leveling off the top. Do not pack the flour; this will result in very dry blondies
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: same goes for the cocoa powder – be sure to measure it correctly before adding it to the batter by weighing it or scooping it into the measuring cup, then leveling off the top
- Red gel food coloring: I recommend using gel food coloring (versus liquid) as it does not alter the texture of the blondie batter, you will use far less of it than you would liquid food coloring, and you’ll obtain a more vibrant color. I’d also recommend using no-taste red food coloring. Oftentimes red food coloring has a very bitter taste, unfortunately
Ingredients Needed to Make the best Cream Cheese Frosting
Oftentimes, I find buttercream frostings to be too sweet. So, I’ve been playing with the recipe and found the ideal ratio of butter, cream cheese and confectioners sugar that makes this frosting just right!
Here are the ingredients needed to make the best cream cheese frosting you ever did taste:
- Cream Cheese: buy brick-style cream cheese and be sure it’s left out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes, ideally more, so it’ll incorporate really well to make an ultra smooth and fluffy frosting
- Butter: when you remove your cream cheese from the fridge to come to room temperature, also be sure to remove the butter so it can get soft enough to incorporate smoothly. Otherwise you’ll have lumps of butter and/or cream cheese in your frosting. No bueno
- Domino® Confectioners Sugar: This is a very fine, powdered sugar with exceptionally smooth texture. It’s ideal for making frostings. I do recommend sifting it prior to adding to your frosting to ensure a silky smooth, fluffy frosting
- Vanilla Extract: same as above – the higher quality the better
- Salt: just a pinch! It balances out the sweetness very well without making the frosting salty
- Sprinkles: these are optional, of course, but super fun!
Best way to frost these blondies
Once the blondies are cool to the touch, pile on that glorious, silky smooth frosting and top with sprinkles, if desired. To get clean cuts without frosting getting all over the place, stick the frosted blondies in the fridge for 15 minutes before slicing into 16 squares and serving.
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Looking for more Valentine’s Day dessert ideas? Give these a try:
- Strawberries and Cream Cookie Sandwiches
- Pink Champagne Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream
- White-Chocolate Dipped Rice Krispie Treats
- Red Velvet Cookies
Watch how to make Red Velvet Blondies with Cream Cheese FrostingPrint
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Thank you to Domino® Sugar for sponsoring this post!