These delicious Oat, Coconut, Carrot and Chocolate Chip Cake Bars are packed full of healthy ingredients, meaning you can feel less guilty about eating them!
Inspired by Mr Kipling…
A while ago I reviewed Mr Kipling’s new Exceedingly Good Slices and I was rather taken with them. These particular 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.
How I created them
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.
My Goldilocks moment
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…)
Third time lucky!
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. 🙂
Packed full of goodness…
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.
Works equally well as a cupcake
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 (4½cm/1¾inch across the base and 2½cm/¾inch 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.
If you like this recipe…
…you might also like:
Oat, Coconut, Carrot and Chocolate Chip Cake Bars
- 200 g butter (or margarine) softened
- 150 g caster sugar
- 4 medium 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 dark chocolate chips (I used Dr Oetker)
- 150 g carrot (approximately 2 medium carrots), grated finely
- Preheat your oven to 180C / 160C fan / gas mark 4 / 350F.
- Grease and line a traybake tin or metal roasting tin (roughly 30x20cm or 12x9inch) with baking paper. (You only need to line the bottom and 2 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, beat 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 put the cake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden on top. Check it is done by inserting a skewer (or teaspoon handle) 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.
- You can also use this recipe to make 24 cupcakes, if you prefer.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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