Don't let the name turn you away! Mud Hen Cake Bars are much more than what they sound like; put your trust in your tastebuds. A buttery, golden-brown vanilla cake serves as the luscious foundation. The most outstanding part though is the creamy, sugary meringue that is as light as air, sitting atop a layer of sweet and tangy apricot preserves. Mud Hen Cake Bars are sure to be the treat you'll reach for when your sweet tooth starts tingling!
IngredientsFor the cake: • 3/4 cup butter, softened • 1/3 cup sugar • 2 yolks from large eggs, room temperature • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour • 1/8 teaspoon salt For the meringue: • 4 egg whites from large eggs, room temperature • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar • 2/3 cup sugar • 3/4 cup pecans, finely chopped • 2 cups apricot preserves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and 1/3 cup sugar until it is light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the egg yolks to the butter mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat the vanilla into the butter mixture until thoroughly combined.
In another bowl, whisk the flour and salt until combined.
Beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined.
Evenly spread the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the batter until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 12-15 minutes.
While the cake bakes, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium speed until it becomes foamy.
Gradually add the remaining sugar to the egg whites, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until the sugar is dissolved.
Continue beating the meringue until stiff, glossy peaks form.
Gently fold the pecans into the meringue.
Take the cake out of the oven and spread the apricot preserves over the hot cake.
Spread the meringue on top of the apricot preserves, ensuring it seals the edges of the pan.
Bake the cake until the meringue is golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
Cool the cake on a wire rack.
Cut into bars, serve, and then refrigerate the leftovers.