Red velvet gooey butter bars are perfect for Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or any occasion! 

Three cut bars, on a crumpled sheet of wax paper, on a wooden cutting board.

Photo reprinted with permission from Red Velvet Lover’s Cookbook by Deborah Harroun.

I’m really excited to tell you about my good friend Deborah Harroun’s book! You might know Deborah from her beautiful blog, Taste and Tell. Or you might remember when I featured her in my Day in the Life series.

I was thrilled to receive a review copy of her book*, Red Velvet Lover’s Cookbook. It’s filled with 50 red velvet recipes for every occasion. I am having so much fun paging through this book and I can’t wait to get started on making the recipes.

The front cover of Red Velvet Lover's Cookbook by Deborah Harroun.

In addition to these gooey butter bars, I can’t wait to make the red velvet crepes, the red velvet “Oreos,” red velvet biscotti, shortbread bars, frozen cheesecake pie, and churros. Truth be told I want to try them all!

Deborah also covers the basics in her book — so you’ll never have to worry about perfecting that red velvet cake…she has it all figured out for you already. Included in the book are recipes for the ultimate red velvet cake, as well as cupcakes, and frosting, too. Whether you like boiled frosting, cream cheese frosting (my fave!), white chocolate cream cheese frosting or marshmallow cream cheese frosting, you’ll find the recipe in Deborah’s book.

The book touts 50 recipes but she manages to sneak in a few bonus variations on some of the recipes included. She’ll tell you how to turn her cake roll recipe into a mug cake for one (yes please!) and how to use that cheesecake and red velvet cake ice cream to whip up an awesome red velvet cake milk shake.

This is definitely a book you want to have in your cookbook library! Congrats, Deborah! Proud of you and happy to call you a friend.

About these red velvet gooey butter bars

As you see from the photo, these bars consist of two layers. The bottom layer is rich and buttery, with a hint of chocolate, and tinted with red food coloring. The second layer is almost like a sweet cheesecake. Dusted with powdered sugar, these bars are very, very good! 

Serve red velvet bars for a special Valentine’s day treat. They are a festive addition to a plate of Christmas cookies, especially sprinkled with green sugar. If you like, skip the red food coloring and the cocoa powder in the bottom layer for plain gooey butter bars. Hmmm, is there such a thing as “plain” gooey butter bars?

More delicious bar recipes


Three gooey butter bars, on a crumpled sheet of wax paper.

Red Velvet Gooey Butter Bars

Yield: 16 bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Red velvet gooey butter bars are perfect for Valentine's Day, Christmas, or any occasion! 


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon red liquid food coloring
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a large bowl to combine. Add 1 egg, 1/2 cup of the melted butter, buttermilk, and red food coloring. Mix to form a dough. Press into the bottom of prepared baking dish.
  3. Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the remaining 2 eggs, vanilla, and remaining 1/2 cup melted butter. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat until the mixture is creamy. Pour over crust.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, being careful not to overbake. The center should still be a bit gooey.
  5. Cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, then cut into 16 bars. Store in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 square
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 310Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 195mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 1gSugar: 46gProtein: 4g sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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*Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the book at no cost but all opinions, as always, are my own. Post contains affiliate links.