French Silk Pie Bars (and a Surprise-Inside Cakes giveaway!)

by Julie Ruble on March 24, 2014 · 87 comments

French Silk Pie Bars
French Silk Pie Bars

French Silk Pie Bars



Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Yield: 9 bars

If you love French Silk pie, this is your kind of dessert! A buttery shortbread crust forms the base for creamy chocolate mousse and fluffy whipped cream. Use Pioneer Woman’s tutorial for making cute chocolate curls to boost the presentation!

Crust Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup icing sugar

Filling Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into ½-inch pieces

Topping Ingredients:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
4-5 tablespoons powdered sugar
chocolate curls (optional)

Directions:
Make shortbread crust: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8-inch square baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. Cut the butter into the flour and icing sugar and press into the baking dish (I used a food processor to cut the fat into the flour — about 6-10 pulses — and then the bottom of a glass to press the mixture into the pan). Bake 18-20 minutes or until light brown. Set on a wire rack.

Make the filling: Melt your chocolate by heating in 30-second intervals on half power, stirring between each. Once melted, set the chocolate aside as you complete the filling. In a chilled bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream to stiff peaks. Place it in a bowl in the fridge to chill until it’s needed. In the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer, beat together eggs, sugar, and water for 5 minutes until pale yellow and slightly thickened. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water to form a sort of double boiler. Heat, whisking occasionally, until a candy thermometer reads 160 degrees F.

Put the bowl onto the stand mixer carefully and beat on medium speed until cooled to room temperature and thickened, about 8 minutes. While beating, add in the chocolate and vanilla. My chocolate almost seemed to stick to the bowl and get difficult here, but I just turned the mixer up for a few seconds and all was well. Beat in the room temperature butter a piece at a time, mixing between each. Fold in the whipped cream until no white streaks remain, and then pour the mixture over your cooled shortbread crust and smooth the top. Cover and chill the bars for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Make the topping: In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the 2 tablespoons cold water to soften for 2 minutes. Heat for 15 or so seconds in the microwave, whisking to dissolve the gelatin. Whip 1 cup heavy whipping cream to stiff peaks, adding the gelatin and powdered sugar halfway through. Chill in the fridge until set.

Want to see some of my own “surprise inside” cakes? I’ll be honest: I use a special pan to craft my heart-shaped creations. Amanda’s book will help you to be much more crafty!

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{ 86 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz S. March 24, 2014 at 1:42 am

Love this pie/bar hybrid recipe!

My favorite kind of cake is Chocolate Fudge Cake.

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Sara @ Confectionary Tales March 24, 2014 at 2:30 am

I love anything with chocolate. Or ice cream cake.

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Kim G March 24, 2014 at 5:09 am

The bars look yummy!

My favorite cake is carrot cake!

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Sue March 24, 2014 at 5:37 am

Love the rainbow heart cake!!

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Sue March 24, 2014 at 5:40 am

Lovexoxoxo

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Ali March 24, 2014 at 6:20 am

My favorite cake is my great Grandma’s famous jimmy cake :)

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fran March 24, 2014 at 7:16 am

I love all cake…

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Samantha H March 24, 2014 at 7:42 am

My favourite cake is Chocolate Mud Cake, although I have yet to find a recipe that duplicates the moist, rich, dense, fudge heaven that I’ve tried in a cafe before…

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June G. March 24, 2014 at 7:45 am

Mmmm, I love Black Forest cake!

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Jessica L. March 24, 2014 at 8:23 am

I love yellow cake with chocolate frosting…so classic, but SO good!

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Jenna O March 24, 2014 at 8:45 am

I love chocolate cakes :)

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Luz March 24, 2014 at 8:51 am

I love buttermilk chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting mmmmm!

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Abigail March 24, 2014 at 8:54 am

I’ve loved her blog for so long, how awesome! Also, this cake looks amazing.

Favorite cake? My birthday cake is always either orange cake with lemon frosting, or lemon cake with orange frosting. (This year it’s the latter.)

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Brandi Bryant March 24, 2014 at 10:26 am

My favorite now is thin yellow layers with cooked chocolate frosting. Thanks for the giveaway. Good luck everyone.

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Kim Henrichs March 24, 2014 at 10:30 am

My favorite cake is chocolate with strawberry, bananas and whipped cream!

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Kelster March 24, 2014 at 10:37 am

Chocolate cake. I haven’t made one in months. I also gave up chocolate for Lent. It’s a rough life.

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alicia p March 24, 2014 at 10:56 am

I’m a lover of all cakes – but I can never deny how delicious chocolate cake is!

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Megan March 24, 2014 at 11:07 am

Chocolate with chocolate frosting!

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Barbi B March 24, 2014 at 11:12 am

Black Joe cake with Peanut Butter Frosting…..who am I kidding any home made chocolate cake!

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Elizabeth March 24, 2014 at 11:35 am

These bars look fabulous.

Anyways, my favourite cake would be either red velvet or carrot. Though there are not many cakes I would turn down.

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Rebecca {foodie with family} March 24, 2014 at 11:47 am

French silk BARS? Oh goodness, yes please! This is gorgeous, Julie.

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Trudy March 24, 2014 at 11:55 am

I love most cakes, but anything chocolate would be at the top of my list.

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Lacey B March 24, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Anything chocolate

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Laura Van B. March 24, 2014 at 1:26 pm

If I had to choose one…Hungarian Dobos, exquisite all the way, hands down the best.

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Terri B March 24, 2014 at 1:30 pm

My favorite is red velvet!

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LauriM March 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm

I love pretty much any chocolate cake and anything that works well with it.

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Lindsay Lee March 24, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting YUM!!!

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Birdiebee March 24, 2014 at 2:07 pm

I love chocolate mousse cake.

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Mari @ Oh, Sweet & Savory March 24, 2014 at 2:28 pm

My favorites are carrot cake; red velvet cake comes a close second!

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Rebecca March 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm

I love red velvet cake. This looks great too.

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Rachel @ Bakerita March 24, 2014 at 5:01 pm

I love a good, fudgy chocolate cake!

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Egg March 24, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Red velvet cake is the best. :)

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Stacia March 24, 2014 at 5:57 pm

My favorite type of cake is yellow with chocolate buttercream!

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Steph March 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Chocolate cake! and Pumpkin Dump Cake…

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Eileen A-W March 24, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Any cake that has chocolate in it!!

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Jenny March 24, 2014 at 8:40 pm

I love a good mocha cake!

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Keli March 24, 2014 at 9:56 pm

I absolutely love dark chocolate cake with Rich’s whipped vanilla icing! Will be my fave til I die!

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Dorothea March 24, 2014 at 10:18 pm

My favorite cake is one I first made many, many years ago – it’s a chocolate layer cake with sweetened whipped cream in between the layers, and enrobed in a fudge-like frosting!

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Tanya March 24, 2014 at 10:18 pm

Strawberry cream cake is my favorite :)

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Traci March 24, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Mocha flavored cakes are my favorite.

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Diane March 24, 2014 at 10:45 pm

My favorite cake is white almond cake with buttercream icing.

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cheri March 24, 2014 at 10:56 pm

carrot cakes are my favorite!

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Beth March 24, 2014 at 11:04 pm

Caramel!

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Melissa Poling March 24, 2014 at 11:13 pm

My favorite cake is yellow cake w/chocolate icing!

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Leslee March 25, 2014 at 12:27 am

Texas Sheet Cake

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Laurel Wycoff March 25, 2014 at 12:31 am

Black forest cherry cake, pls!

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jessica March 25, 2014 at 1:17 am

I would have to go with chocolate!!

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Marje March 25, 2014 at 2:46 am

My favorite cake is anything with chocolate

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Jess Z March 25, 2014 at 4:34 am

I love peanut butter chocolate chip or banana creme. Honestly, any type of cake! :)

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Phyllis March 25, 2014 at 5:31 am

Favorite cake is chocolate with chocolate frosting & vanilla ice cream

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Debbie K March 25, 2014 at 6:13 am

Peach Sunrise cake… or Triple Chocolate cake… or…. ANY cake, pretty much

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MicheleW March 25, 2014 at 7:34 am

Chocolate frosting and cake

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Denise McDonald March 25, 2014 at 8:25 am

I’ve never met a cake I didn’t like, but chocolate is always a favorite.

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Heather March 25, 2014 at 10:16 am

Chocolate coke cake with fudge frosting

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Jeanne March 25, 2014 at 10:58 am

I make a cake using Swiss Mocha Instant Coffee with a whipped cream icing that is to die for!!

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Kim March 25, 2014 at 11:40 am

my fav kind of cake is coconut cake!!

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Mercedes March 25, 2014 at 11:50 am

My favorite kind of cake is german chocolate!

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Peggy Luna March 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Love German Chocolate Cake, it reminds me of my mother who use to bake it. Plus Boston Cream Pie, same reason…my mom use to make it.

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nimbe March 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm

my favorite cake is chocolate or flan!

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Tamika March 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm

My favorite cake is a classic pound cake.

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keely March 25, 2014 at 4:03 pm

devils food with chocolate frosting! :)

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Melinda March 25, 2014 at 4:11 pm

cheesecake

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Amanda March 25, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Hmm…my favorite kind of cake? That’s such a toughie….. Maybe Yellow cake with chocolate Frosting!

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stephanie March 25, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Any layer cake with pudding as layers! Or lemon curd.

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Elizabeth March 25, 2014 at 7:03 pm

I just had lemon cake with blackberries–delicious!

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heidi March 25, 2014 at 9:45 pm

my favorite cake is flourless chocolate cake with fresh raspberries.especially as thick as fudge!yum

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mariel March 25, 2014 at 10:11 pm

I’ll never stop loving funfetti

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MelodyJ March 26, 2014 at 1:04 am

I love half vanilla half chocolate cakes.

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MelodyJ March 26, 2014 at 1:04 am

I love half vanilla half chocolate cakes.

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Stephanie Johnson March 26, 2014 at 8:17 am

These look delicious!

My favorite is angelfood cake. Love. It.

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Terri C. March 26, 2014 at 9:31 am

My favorite cake is German Chocolate

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katy b March 26, 2014 at 9:39 am

this silk pie looks amazing! my favorite cake is a meringue cake with caramel filling

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Megan March 26, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Fave cake…..chocolate with either peanut butter or coconut filing and covered in chocolate ganache. Mmmm

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itzia March 26, 2014 at 11:15 pm

coconut cake with coconut pudding

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Lauren G. March 27, 2014 at 4:47 pm

I’m a purist…chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream.

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Elizabeth R March 27, 2014 at 5:59 pm

My favorite kind of cake is carrot cake with cream cheese icing

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Emily March 28, 2014 at 8:29 am

I love lemon velvet cake!

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Grace March 28, 2014 at 1:53 pm

danish layer cake with whipped cream and fruit!

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Marcia S. March 29, 2014 at 12:58 am

I love hummingbird cake with cream cheese frosting!

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Katie March 29, 2014 at 8:14 am

I love French Silk Pie! I might just have to try making this!

My favorite cake is the Ultimate Coconut Cake that I made from your recipe :o)

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Mabel chan March 30, 2014 at 3:37 am

I love carrot cake! Lots of crream cheese frosting too!

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kiki March 30, 2014 at 7:22 am

That Chai Mousse Croque em Bouche cake is a masterpiece! What an artist! Chapeaux !!! Greetings from Bavaria

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Angela H. March 31, 2014 at 1:22 am

Chocolate cake with a good ganache. Yummy!

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Karri S March 31, 2014 at 8:44 am

I love a good vanilla cake with chocolate frosting.

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Vaishali Ramjee March 31, 2014 at 4:20 pm

I love making layered cakes with cinnamon,caramel and chocolate cream.

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Renee @ Awesome on $20 April 6, 2014 at 12:29 am

Oh my god, Perkins!!!! I haven’t thought about that place in ages. These bars look amazing!

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