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Double Chocolate Red Velvet Chess Bars

These Double Chocolate Red Velvet Chess Bars are like a gooey butter cake on steroids. The rich fudgy result of combining red velvet with additional chocolate results in a decadent all occasion dessert that’s unforgettable.

Double Chocolate Red Velvet Chess Bars

Easy Double Chocolate Red Velvet Chess Bars Recipe

Red velvet cake is almost like a religion in the South. It’s a dessert that’s revered far and wide and there are no shortage of tasty variations of red velvet to tantalize your taste buds. Everywhere. Chess bars a.k.a. gooey butter cakes, are also a time held traditional favorite and so easy  to make. They differ from the original gooey butter cake which hails from St Louis MO, in that they begin with a dry cake mix.  By adding chocolate to the filling it takes the flavor over the top. If you’re curious about the original gooey butter cake, see a made-from-scratch gooey butter cake recipe from Tastes Better from Scratch.


Double Chocolate Red Velvet Chess Bars

How to Make the Best Double Chocolate Red Velvet Chess Bars Recipe

The chocolate filing of these chess bars not only gives them an interesting two-tone look, but the addition enhances the chocolate flavor. They are so tasty to be so very simple to make. In fact, with a little help these would be a great recipe for the kiddos or a beginner baker. They’re rich and decadent and meant for sharing with the special people in your life.

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Double Chocolate Red Velvet Chess Bars: One box of red velvet cake mix, 1 cup (2 sticks) of melted butter, one block plain cream cheese, large eggs, powdered sugar and chopped semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate.
  • Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: Mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, you’ll need a mixer either a stand mixer or a hand mixer, a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and an offset spatula or spoon to spread the mixture into the pan.
  • To make chess bars keep in mind that the ingredients are layered. There’s one cup of butter or two sticks, total in this recipe. They’re used for different layers so it’s best to melt them separately to ensure the proper amount is used in each one.
  • There’s no need to use a clean bowl or clean the beaters of the mixer between beating ingredients for the layers together. It all bakes into one gooey butter cake chess bar extravaganza anyway.
  • The biggest mistake you can make with chess bars is to overbake them. Chess bars and gooey butter cakes are just that, they’re meant to be a little gooey in the middle. To check for doneness,  gently shake the pan. If the filling still has a little jiggle and movement you’re good to go.
  • Store leftover double chocolate red velvet chess bars chilled in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


More Southern Style Desserts to Make

There’s always room for dessert whether you’re enjoying a casual meal with the family or entertaining friends. More decadent dessert recipes you may like to try:

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5 from 2 votes

Double Chocolate Red Velvet Chess Bars

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Cooling time2 hours
Total Time3 hours 5 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate-cake-recipes, double-chocolate-red-velvet-chess-bars, red-velvet-desserts
Servings: 24 bars
Calories: 263kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • Crust:
  • 1 15.25 oz box red velvet cake
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1 large egg
  • Filling:
  • 1 8 oz block cream cheese softened
  • 1 16 oz box powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate chopped, melted and cooled slightly
  • whipped cream for serving optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Liberally spray a 13 x 9-inch non stick metal baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cake mix, 1/2 cup melted butter and 1 large egg. Beat until fully moistened. Press into the bottom of the pan.
  • In the same mixing bowl whip together the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and melted butter until creamy
  • Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the melted chocolate to the creamed mixture. Beat for one minute or until fully combined.
  • Pour the filling over the crust. Bake for 40-50 minutes until the center still moves when gently shaken.
  • Cool on a baking rack in the pan. Store chilled.
  • Serve chilled or bring to room temperature prior to serving topped with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 261mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 281IU | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!



  1. 5 stars
    These were absolutely delicious and very easy to make. Will definitely be making again and you’ve given me a reason to buy boxed cake mix!

    1. You can bake these in a glass dish, sure. Metal and glass bake differently so watch the baking time and adjust as needed.

      1. I’m glad this question was asked and answered. I didn’t realize that a glass pan and metal pan would be so different. I googled it and found several suggestions to bake cakes in a glass pan at 325° instead of 350°. And the cook time can vary too, so watch them closely. This would explain why my cakes (in glass Pyrex) always seem overdone on the edges while the middle is barely done.
        I made this yesterday, in Pyrex, and I baked it at 325°, for the same time suggested, and it turned out great!!
        Also, I sprinkled powdered sugar on top after it had cooled and that was a yummy addition.

    1. These bars are scrumptious made just as they are. If I ever develop a recipe made from scratch I’ll share it.

      1. Melissa,

        You are so correct in these bars being perfect just as they are because no one will ever figure out they started with a boxed mix. Thank you!!

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