Nothing says Christmas to me like peppermint – I’m hoping you agree because I have multiple posts coming up that embrace one of my favorite flavors! These bites are a fusion of fluffy red velvet cake squares kissed with peppermint cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of Ghirardelli peppermint bark. Petite in size, the bites remind me of bedecked packages.
Red Velvet Peppermint Bites
1 3/4 cups flour
2 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa, sifted
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt, at room temperature
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp red gel food coloring
2 large eggs, at room temperature
Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/8 tsp peppermint extract
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 oz peppermint bark, chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Combine buttermilk, yogurt, and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl.
Beat butter and sugar in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium-low and add vanilla and food coloring; beat until combined. Add eggs one at a time and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture (begin and end with flour mixture). Beat just until smooth; pour batter into prepared baking dish and smooth with an offset spatula.
Bake for about 23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached and cake begins to pull away from edges of the pan. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Use a serrated knife to cut cake into 30 squares; chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
For the frosting, beat cream cheese, butter, and peppermint extract in a large mixer bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; gradually add powdered sugar and beat until smooth; chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Use a pastry bag with a large round tip to pipe frosting onto each cake square; top with peppermint bark. Store in a single layer in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Yield – 30 cake bites (serving size: 1 bite)
Calories – 125
Carbs – 21