Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Healthified Birthday Cake Pop Bars {Happy 1st Bloggiversary!}

Happy Bloggiversary to youuuu!

     -- YOU!

Happy Bloggiversary tooooo youuu!

-- YOU!!!

You are a blog about desserts and stufff....soo I made one forrr you!

The first published post on my blog was one year ago. It was: Vegan Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips.

Fun fact? I made that 3 days ago and it was even more delicious than the first time. Completely unintentional but I guess even baking history repeats itself ;)

I wasn't going to have a bloggiversary because to be honest -- really? That seems strange. But I feel like a milestone is a milestone regardless of how small and we ALL know how much I love to bake for any occasion so..yes. Naturally.

Before I tell you about the recipe I wanted to ANNOUNCE that I will be starting a NEWSLETTTERRRR!!!!! It is really going to be about the blog, of course, but talking about baking tips, new healthy products and ingredients you may want to try and demystifying some of the healthy baking world! I will wait to send out the first newsletter until I can gauge if people will be interested so if you ARE please enter your e-mail on the right sidebar! I want to begin to grow this little blog and spread the good word about feeling better and baking at home! PLEASE HALP :D

Moving on, the following story you are about to hear is 100% true and 100& typical when I am experimenting.

I wanted to make a beautiful funfetti cake but gluten free and healthy and yada yada. You know my shtick.

And the cake part was an experiment gone RIGHT. Fluffy and sooooooo moist and delicious. Wow. It was a beauty.

And then it pretty much fell apart from there. Literally. I didn't layer the cake properly so everything toppled over. SO feel free to make it as a CAKE and keep it as a CAKE! Because they turned out beautifully. Like I mentioned -- I just butchered the layers unevenly and it fell apart.

Now at this point I usually cry and throw it in the bag.

But I just knew I couldn't do that this time. I hate wasting time and I hate wasting FOOD. PRECIOUS FOOD!!!!

So instead I mashed everything together and I was like...Hmm.. This taste like a cake pop. But it's in a bar. And the Funfetti Cake Pop Bar was born!

But my bloggiversary only comes once a year so I used marshmallow fluff :D

These bars are chewy, dense and SO GOOD. Kind of like a birthday cake brownie. Really they just taste like the inside of a cake pop and that's the best part!

I was initially pretty disappointed. I had such intention with this cake. I measured out everything lovingly and with care. I brought everything to room temperature even though I can sometimes be lazy and skip that step. I watched the little beauties rise in the oven and typed away patiently while the sweet vanilla bean scent filled the kitchen.

But I digress...not all is lost!

And the whole point of this is not the cake pop bars...okay it is. But ALSO to say thank you so so very much for being a part of this journey. It may be a small journey to some. I am definitely nowhere near the caliber or talent of some other food bloggers and I don't have as far or wide of a reach -- but at the end of the day you just have to be happy with what you have, right?

I truly do appreciate EVERY SINGLE like, comment, share or kind word. It means a lot and I do read every message and appreciate any and all support.

This blog means a lot to me because connecting to food has always been something that has escaped me. Being able to share my passion with others has helped me immensely in terms of letting go of food fears, trying new things and not being afraid to admit defeat.

I hope my blog can do that for someone else, too. Life is so short and to not be able to enjoy the little things would be a tragedy.

So let's have a look at how to make these -- get the candles, sprinkles, candies, frosting and plates because it is time to PARTAYYY like it was 2014! When I started this. WAHOO!

Healthified Birthday Cake Pop Bars 

Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan Option 


For the Cake
  • 2 cups gluten free flour blend (1/2 cup each of tapioca flour, oat flour, coconut flour and rice flour with 1/4 teaspoon corn starch and 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum) 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup rainbow coloured jimmies 
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (or other neutral oil)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste 
  • 1 cup greek yogurt or non-dairy yogurt, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup egg whites (from the carton works fine!), room temperature*
  • 1 cup non-dairy 'buttermilk'** milk of choice, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar or organic cane sugar (or a mix of both)

* For the vegan version of the recipe replace the egg whites with Ener-G egg replacer for 3 large eggs and omit the foaming step in the directions

*To make almond 'buttermilk' simple add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a 1/2 cup measure and fill the rest with almond milk. Allow to set for a few minutes before using

For The Creamy Whipped Marshmallow Frosting

  • 1/2 cup coconut cream or heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 8 ounces cream cheese or non-dairy cream cheese product, softened at room temperature 
  • 1 tub marshmallow fluff (I have found vegan marshmallow fluff!) 
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Sweetener: Liquid stevia drops (to taste) or icing sugar (to taste)  


For Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease 2 6-inch cake tins 
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda and baking powder
  3. In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment add in your egg whites and mix on medium for a few minutes until foamy -- continue to mix on high until you have stiff peaks. 
  4. One at a time add in your sugar, vanilla, coconut oil, yogurt and buttermilk and mix for a few minutes until you have a uniform liquid mixture
  5. Gently add your dry mixture 1/3 at a time into your wet until mixture comes together and begins to form a cohesive airy batter -- this should only take 1-2 minutes. You will notice a change in texture when the batter ceases to be lumpy and becomes smooth
  6. Scoop batter into pans 2/3 of the way full -- equal amounts in each!
  7. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean 
  8. Allow to cool in the pans for 2-3 minutes and then invert the cakes onto a cooling rack to cool completely 

* If your cake ends up having a hard top or high dome simply level the cakes off so they are the same height by using a large serrated knife or a cake leveler if you have one!

For the Frosting

  1. In a medium sized bowl whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks are achieved. If using coconut milk to achieve this make sure you refrigerate the can of coconut milk first, then scoop out 1/2 cup of the cream off the top of the can (you don't want the clear liquid at the bottom!) 
  2. In a separate bowl whip the cream cheese and marshmallow fluff with the sweetener and vanilla until light and fluffy 
  3. When the mixture is nice and whipped fold the whipped cream mixture in gently so as not to deflate the mixture 
  4. Set aside for bar assembly!

How to Assemble:

  1. Once your cake is cooled and your frosting is ready to go add everything to a large bowl or a stand mixer and crumble it with your hands -- breaking apart the cake as best you can -- making sure it is all thoroughly mixed together. You can, at this stage, add in marshmallows, more sprinkles and chocolate chips (like I did!) 
  2. Putting the mixture in the stand mixer helped break it apart easily but that's not necessary -- you just want a large ball of dough
  3. Line a large rectangular pan (9x13 should work perfectly) with plastic wrap
  4. Scoop dough into pan and press down until it's all level and evenly spread
  5. Wrap the top in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 - 60 minutes
  6. Cut into squares and serve! 
  7. Optional: Drizzle with melted chocolate
  8. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days

Et Voila!

A bar born of disaster!

I think it is pretty fitting that in an attempt to make something for an anniversary post I failed miserably. Life is stressful -- I have not been in the right head space which, in the kitchen, is probably not a good idea!

But for once I decided to roll with the punches.

No this isn't super fancy or frilled or glamorous.

But it taste amazing and is a great example of "when life gives you delicious funfetti cake but you didn't level it right" you make "cake pop bars, DUH!"

Oh...that's not a thing!?

I have learned a lot in terms of what works and what doesn't for allergy-free baking. And I have made some grave, grave, gummy, hard, inedible mistakes. Keep checking the FAQ page for answers to some common troubleshooting problems -- I find it easier to keep everything in one place for readers to refer to.

But even I have no idea where I went wrong sometimes. It's okay -- eating the screw ups is just as fun!

So THANK YOU again. Especially if you made it to the end of this post :p

I love and appreciate you SO MUCH.

Now enjoy these beautiful sprinkle-filled disasters,


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