These Oat, Coconut, Carrot and Chocolate Chip Cake Bars are full of healthy ingredients, meaning you can feel less guilty about eating them!
Last week I reviewed Mr Kipling’s new Exceedingly Good Slices and I was rather taken with them. These new Mr Kipling slices are full of healthy ingredients – like coconut, cranberries and orange, plus lots of oats to provide extra goodness and slow release energy. I really liked the idea of using oats in the cake mix – something I had not tried before – I loved the slightly chewy texture and thought I would have a go at making something similar myself.
My favourite flavour of the Exceedingly Good Slices was the coconut and chocolate chip one and so I decided to try recreating this flavour. I started with my basic victoria sponge recipe and began adapting – to make them as full of goodness as possible. I swapped the white self-raising flour for a mixture of wholemeal self-raising flour and oats. Adding coconut into the mix, meant I could cut back on the amount of sugar in the cake and finally I added just a few dark chocolate drops for added deliciousness.
It tasted fab, but sadly my first attempt was much too dry. I pondered what to do about this: I really liked the flavours – it was just all a bit too crumbly. I toyed with the idea of adding a mashed up banana, but I didn’t want to add a whole extra flavour into what was already a really rather nice-tasting cake. Suddenly ‘ping’ the idea entered my head of adding grated carrot – it would add a little bit of moisture and hopefully help hold the cake together a bit better, but the flavour wouldn’t dominate. I tried it out and it tasted great but…this time the cake was well, quite a bit too wet!! (I was beginning to feel like Goldilocks…)
So, I halved the amount of carrot and tried again – hoorah, it was properly a case of third time lucky, the third version was just right: it’s still quite a moist, dense cake, but in a good way, and it has the delightfully chewy texture I was after from that gorgeous oat/carrot/coconut combo. And of course adding in that little bit of carrot means it has even more goodness in it. 🙂
Obviously this cake still has quite a bit of butter and sugar in it BUT it also has loads of goodness from the oats, wholemeal self-raising flour, carrots and coconut (not to mention the dark chocolate – that’s supposed good for you too, right?!) And best of all, it doesn’t taste like a ‘health’ food – it just tastes like a really nice cake – hoorah! Win-Win.
I chose to make this as a traybake, as I wanted to recreate the Mr Kipling cake bar ‘look’, but I also tested it in mini cupcake cases (4.5cm across the base and 2.5cm high) and it works really well like that too – it still needs the same amount of cooking time, though, as the cupcakes are about the same thickness as the traybake.
Of course if all this baking malarkey is too much like hard work, you could always go out and buy some Exceedingly Good Slices from Mr Kipling or why not try and win some?
I am currently hosting a giveaway on my blog for one lucky reader to win a hamper of Mr Kipling goodies worth £30!!! Click here to read my review of Mr Kipling Exceedingly Good Slices and enter the giveaway. Good luck! 🙂
(Giveaway closes 21/04/16)
Oat, Coconut, Carrot and Chocolate Chip Cake Bars
- 200 g butter or margarine, softened
- 150 g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 100 g wholemeal self raising flour I used Allinson
- 100 g oats I used Tesco Porridge Oats, plus extra for sprinkling
- 50 g desiccated coconut I used Crazy Jack
- 50 g chocolate chips I used Dr Oetker
- 150 g carrot approximately 2 medium carrots, grated finely
Preheat your oven to 160C fan (180C if you don’t have a fan oven).
Grease and line a traybake tin or metal roasting tin (roughly 30x20cm) with greaseproof paper. (I just did the bottom and two of the sides as this is easier and full lining isn’t necessary in this recipe – it’s just to make it easier to get the cake out of the tin.)
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale.
Add the eggs in one at a time and beat thoroughly after adding each one.
Add the self-raising flour and stir gently to combine.
Add the oats and stir gently, then add the coconut and chocolate chips and stir again.
Finally, add in the grated carrot and stir gently until all the carrot is evenly distributed.
Tip the cake mixture into your lined tray/tin and smooth to make the top as flat as possible.
Sprinkle the surface of the cake with oats and pop the cake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden on top. Check it is done by inserting a skewer into the cake – it should come away cleanly.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for about half an hour.
Using the greaseproof paper, lift the cake from the tin onto a board and cut into 16 cake bars. Use a knife to carefully remove the bars from the greaseproof paper and serve, or allow to cool completely and then keep in an airtight tin until you need them.