Low Calorie Butter Cake Bars {Recipe}

At Walgreens, my husband and I are usually there for only one of 3 reasons.

1.) There’s a make-up sale. (Ok, that’s more me than my hubby.)

2.) We have a Redbox movie to return.

3.) Butter cake.

You see, Walgreens makes this delicious, pre-packaged butter cake that is irresistible. It’s flaky, sweet, buttery and about $1.29 each or you can buy 2 for $2.

Let’s face it…we buy 4.

Did I also mention my weight loss has sucked the past few months? Yeah. Wonder why.

Then I saw a recipe in Better Homes & Gardens’ May 2013 issue for gooey butter bars. They look JUST LIKE the morsels of awesomeness we love from Walgreens. Then I read the nutritional information- one 9×13 pan makes 24 bars for 209 calories each. Now, I’m no math whiz, but those would be some tiny squares. Even the cakes from Walgreens are like a 3×3” square for 220 calories.

So, I did what Monica does best. I found a way to lighten it up while still retaining that gooey, buttery, melt in your mouth flavor.

Low calorie butter cake bars via MonicaWantsIt.com

My recipe makes 15 decently sized squares for about 220 calories a piece (with strawberry topping), and you likely have all the ingredients at home already. To make it a bit more dessert-esque without a ton of calories, I made a strawberry topping for it. The end result is a buttery, flaky, shortbread like bar that is simple, sweet, tasty and perfect with a glass of iced tea. A southern treat for sure.

Here’s what you need (recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens’ May 2013 issue):


  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1.5 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of butter


  • 2/3 cup softened butter
  • 1.25 cups of Splenda for baking
  • 1/4 light corn syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup half and half

Strawberry Topping:

  • 8 oz of sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup of Splenda

Low calorie butter cake bars via MonicaWantsIt.com

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. To make the crust, you combine the flour and sugar together. Then, using a pastry blender or your clean, dry hands, incorporate the butter until it’s all nice and finely crumbled together. Get a 9×13 pan lined with parchment paper, and pat your crust down.

Now for the bars, beat the softened butter with a hand mixer for about 30 seconds. Gradually add in the Splenda. Once that’s all mixed well, add in the corn syrup, egg, and vanilla extract. Alternately add in the flour and half and half and continue beating it all together. Your mixture may look a bit thick and curdled, which is ok. Carefully spoon the mixture over the crust and pop in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Low calorie butter cake bars via MonicaWantsIt.com

While that’s baking, put your sliced strawberries in a sauce pan with the Splenda. Simmer on medium until the strawberries and Splenda reduce to a nice topping consistency. If you like your sauce a little more saucey, add in about a tbsp of water. I chilled my topping in the freezer for about 15 minutes while my bars cooled.

Once your bars are cool, cut into 15 squares, top with some strawberries and enjoy!

Low calorie butter cake bars via MonicaWantsIt.com

My favorite part about this is definitely the crust, but even more so, the topping! The sauce seeps into the butter bar and it’s heaven on a plate.

Low calorie butter cake bars via MonicaWantsIt.com

The flavor profiles are amazing. Butter, strawberries, and a flaky crust. Delish! Plus, by swapping some of the sugar for Splenda, we get to eat a bit more and save calories. I’m all for that.

Low calorie butter cake bars via MonicaWantsIt.com

Sigh. I can’t wait to whip up another batch of these. Who needs Walgreens, right?

This is a simple treat that is sure to please anyone. Maybe you’ll try it out this summer at a BBQ or something.

And while we’re cutting calories and trying to be healthy this summer, I thought I’d mention Diet To Go’s Summer Shape-Up sweepstakes on Facebook. You can enter to win one month of meals. You can read official rules right here. Good luck!

What’s your favorite summer treat?


1 Comment

  1. Mariela Perez
    July 6, 2013 / 2:23 pm

    That looks delicious, will try them today! Thanks for the recipe!