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

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)

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!

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

  1. Liz S.
    March 24, 2014 at 1:42 am (1 year ago)

    Love this pie/bar hybrid recipe!

    My favorite kind of cake is Chocolate Fudge Cake.

  2. Kim G
    March 24, 2014 at 5:09 am (1 year ago)

    The bars look yummy!

    My favorite cake is carrot cake!

  3. Sue
    March 24, 2014 at 5:37 am (1 year ago)

    Love the rainbow heart cake!!

  4. Sue
    March 24, 2014 at 5:40 am (1 year ago)


  5. Ali
    March 24, 2014 at 6:20 am (1 year ago)

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

  6. fran
    March 24, 2014 at 7:16 am (1 year ago)

    I love all cake…

  7. Samantha H
    March 24, 2014 at 7:42 am (1 year ago)

    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…

  8. June G.
    March 24, 2014 at 7:45 am (1 year ago)

    Mmmm, I love Black Forest cake!

  9. Jessica L.
    March 24, 2014 at 8:23 am (1 year ago)

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

  10. Jenna O
    March 24, 2014 at 8:45 am (1 year ago)

    I love chocolate cakes :)

  11. Luz
    March 24, 2014 at 8:51 am (1 year ago)

    I love buttermilk chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting mmmmm!

  12. Abigail
    March 24, 2014 at 8:54 am (1 year ago)

    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.)

  13. Brandi Bryant
    March 24, 2014 at 10:26 am (1 year ago)

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

  14. Kim Henrichs
    March 24, 2014 at 10:30 am (1 year ago)

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

  15. Kelster
    March 24, 2014 at 10:37 am (1 year ago)

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

  16. alicia p
    March 24, 2014 at 10:56 am (1 year ago)

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

  17. Megan
    March 24, 2014 at 11:07 am (1 year ago)

    Chocolate with chocolate frosting!

  18. Barbi B
    March 24, 2014 at 11:12 am (1 year ago)

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

  19. Elizabeth
    March 24, 2014 at 11:35 am (1 year ago)

    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.

  20. Trudy
    March 24, 2014 at 11:55 am (1 year ago)

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

  21. Lacey B
    March 24, 2014 at 1:08 pm (1 year ago)

    Anything chocolate

  22. Laura Van B.
    March 24, 2014 at 1:26 pm (1 year ago)

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

  23. Terri B
    March 24, 2014 at 1:30 pm (1 year ago)

    My favorite is red velvet!

  24. LauriM
    March 24, 2014 at 1:32 pm (1 year ago)

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

  25. Lindsay Lee
    March 24, 2014 at 1:38 pm (1 year ago)

    Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Frosting YUM!!!

  26. Birdiebee
    March 24, 2014 at 2:07 pm (1 year ago)

    I love chocolate mousse cake.

  27. Rebecca
    March 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm (1 year ago)

    I love red velvet cake. This looks great too.

  28. Egg
    March 24, 2014 at 5:56 pm (1 year ago)

    Red velvet cake is the best. :)

  29. Stacia
    March 24, 2014 at 5:57 pm (1 year ago)

    My favorite type of cake is yellow with chocolate buttercream!

  30. Steph
    March 24, 2014 at 7:24 pm (1 year ago)

    Chocolate cake! and Pumpkin Dump Cake…

  31. Eileen A-W
    March 24, 2014 at 7:35 pm (1 year ago)

    Any cake that has chocolate in it!!

  32. Jenny
    March 24, 2014 at 8:40 pm (1 year ago)

    I love a good mocha cake!

  33. Keli
    March 24, 2014 at 9:56 pm (1 year ago)

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

  34. Dorothea
    March 24, 2014 at 10:18 pm (1 year ago)

    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!

  35. Tanya
    March 24, 2014 at 10:18 pm (1 year ago)

    Strawberry cream cake is my favorite :)

  36. Traci
    March 24, 2014 at 10:31 pm (1 year ago)

    Mocha flavored cakes are my favorite.

  37. Diane
    March 24, 2014 at 10:45 pm (1 year ago)

    My favorite cake is white almond cake with buttercream icing.

  38. cheri
    March 24, 2014 at 10:56 pm (1 year ago)

    carrot cakes are my favorite!

  39. Beth
    March 24, 2014 at 11:04 pm (1 year ago)


  40. Melissa Poling
    March 24, 2014 at 11:13 pm (1 year ago)

    My favorite cake is yellow cake w/chocolate icing!

  41. Leslee
    March 25, 2014 at 12:27 am (1 year ago)

    Texas Sheet Cake

  42. Laurel Wycoff
    March 25, 2014 at 12:31 am (1 year ago)

    Black forest cherry cake, pls!

  43. jessica
    March 25, 2014 at 1:17 am (1 year ago)

    I would have to go with chocolate!!

  44. Marje
    March 25, 2014 at 2:46 am (1 year ago)

    My favorite cake is anything with chocolate

  45. Jess Z
    March 25, 2014 at 4:34 am (1 year ago)

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

  46. Phyllis
    March 25, 2014 at 5:31 am (1 year ago)

    Favorite cake is chocolate with chocolate frosting & vanilla ice cream

  47. Debbie K
    March 25, 2014 at 6:13 am (1 year ago)

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

  48. MicheleW
    March 25, 2014 at 7:34 am (1 year ago)

    Chocolate frosting and cake

  49. Denise McDonald
    March 25, 2014 at 8:25 am (1 year ago)

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

  50. Heather
    March 25, 2014 at 10:16 am (1 year ago)

    Chocolate coke cake with fudge frosting

  51. Jeanne
    March 25, 2014 at 10:58 am (1 year ago)

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

  52. Kim
    March 25, 2014 at 11:40 am (1 year ago)

    my fav kind of cake is coconut cake!!

  53. Mercedes
    March 25, 2014 at 11:50 am (1 year ago)

    My favorite kind of cake is german chocolate!

  54. Peggy Luna
    March 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm (1 year ago)

    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.

  55. nimbe
    March 25, 2014 at 12:01 pm (1 year ago)

    my favorite cake is chocolate or flan!

  56. Tamika
    March 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm (1 year ago)

    My favorite cake is a classic pound cake.

  57. keely
    March 25, 2014 at 4:03 pm (1 year ago)

    devils food with chocolate frosting! :)

  58. Melinda
    March 25, 2014 at 4:11 pm (1 year ago)


  59. Amanda
    March 25, 2014 at 5:39 pm (1 year ago)

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

  60. stephanie
    March 25, 2014 at 6:09 pm (1 year ago)

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

  61. Elizabeth
    March 25, 2014 at 7:03 pm (1 year ago)

    I just had lemon cake with blackberries–delicious!

  62. heidi
    March 25, 2014 at 9:45 pm (1 year ago)

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

  63. mariel
    March 25, 2014 at 10:11 pm (1 year ago)

    I’ll never stop loving funfetti

  64. MelodyJ
    March 26, 2014 at 1:04 am (1 year ago)

    I love half vanilla half chocolate cakes.

  65. MelodyJ
    March 26, 2014 at 1:04 am (1 year ago)

    I love half vanilla half chocolate cakes.

  66. Stephanie Johnson
    March 26, 2014 at 8:17 am (1 year ago)

    These look delicious!

    My favorite is angelfood cake. Love. It.

  67. Terri C.
    March 26, 2014 at 9:31 am (1 year ago)

    My favorite cake is German Chocolate

  68. katy b
    March 26, 2014 at 9:39 am (1 year ago)

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

  69. Megan
    March 26, 2014 at 10:20 pm (1 year ago)

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

  70. itzia
    March 26, 2014 at 11:15 pm (1 year ago)

    coconut cake with coconut pudding

  71. Lauren G.
    March 27, 2014 at 4:47 pm (1 year ago)

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

  72. Elizabeth R
    March 27, 2014 at 5:59 pm (1 year ago)

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

  73. Emily
    March 28, 2014 at 8:29 am (1 year ago)

    I love lemon velvet cake!

  74. Grace
    March 28, 2014 at 1:53 pm (1 year ago)

    danish layer cake with whipped cream and fruit!

  75. Marcia S.
    March 29, 2014 at 12:58 am (1 year ago)

    I love hummingbird cake with cream cheese frosting!

  76. Katie
    March 29, 2014 at 8:14 am (1 year ago)

    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)

  77. Mabel chan
    March 30, 2014 at 3:37 am (1 year ago)

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

  78. kiki
    March 30, 2014 at 7:22 am (1 year ago)

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

  79. Angela H.
    March 31, 2014 at 1:22 am (1 year ago)

    Chocolate cake with a good ganache. Yummy!

  80. Karri S
    March 31, 2014 at 8:44 am (1 year ago)

    I love a good vanilla cake with chocolate frosting.

  81. Vaishali Ramjee
    March 31, 2014 at 4:20 pm (1 year ago)

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

  82. Renee @ Awesome on $20
    April 6, 2014 at 12:29 am (1 year ago)

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


1Pingbacks & Trackbacks on French Silk Pie Bars (and a Surprise-Inside Cakes giveaway!)

  1. […] French Silk Pie Bars from Willow Bird Baking. My mind is racing with ideas as I crave a bite of these pie bars. Pure genius! Well played, Julie, well played. […]

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