One Bowl + 30 Minute Vegan Funfetti Cake Bars
There’s just something special about funfetti.
It’s like a tangible reminder of childhood joy and all those freeing feelings when being a kid was at its best. One look transports you to bouncy castles, pizza parties, and horsing around at recess. Just one bite immediately yields a smile.
Funfetti simply personifies happy food, and today we’re eating some happy.
It’s hard to decide what about this recipe shocks me more. The fact that I’m becoming a fairly decent baker, the fact that I managed to photograph this before eating the whole damn thing, OR the fact that these are utterly, truly, 100% vegan.
Yes, vegan. I’m doing new things.
The vegan trend is hard to ignore right now, and with celebrities endorsing it, food services delivering it, and restaurants serving it, being vegan is more mainstream than ever. I’d hardly say that I’m a full-on convert, but since I’ve started to eliminate meat and dairy from my diet I’ve seen hugely positive changes. I’ve got more energy, I feel better, lighter, faster, and my complexion is looking fantastic. It would be nearly impossible for me to completely forgo the joys of bacon and cheese, but marginalizing these foods within my diet landscape seems to be working, so I’m going to keep it up.
At first I threw a lot of side-eye to this whole vegan trend, just like I do most other of-the-moment thangs (see: my initial hatred of kale, quinoa, brussels sprouts, and Taylor Swift). But seeing (eating?) is believing, and once I started trying vegan eats, I realized it was something I could really get behind.
As the proud owner of an epic sweet tooth and inner carb monster, baked goods have always held a special place in my heart (and my thighs). To feed these cravings I’m always on the hunt for a healthier-yet-satisfying solution, and after some exploration I’ve found that vegan treats really do the trick. It started at my local Jack’s Stir Brew – hey west 10th! – where I grew insanely fond of their vegan muffins, breads, and scones. After nosing around about how they baked these goods + some gentle internet research, I decided baking vegan was something I could totally handle. With more people talking about it than ever, vegan baking is, dare I say… simple?
Yes, simple! I swear.
Understanding how to properly substitute for eggs and butter is probably the biggest hurdle of baking vegan. I’m still learning exactly how to do this, but for this recipe I completely nailed it. At first I wanted these bars to be more cookie like, not so much cake. But the denser I made the dough the tougher it was to spread, so I ended up with a thinner, stickier dough that was still a little hard to spread, but in general much easier to work with.
To thin out my dough I upped the amount of coconut cream + almond milk, which accounted for the moisture and tenderness this recipe needed sans butter and eggs. Using baking powder further contributed to my fluffier, more voluminous results, and coconut oil substituted the lack of fat from butter. Lastly, organic cane sugar provided sweetness along with a touch of vanilla and those precious rainbow sprinkles, which I ate a few spoonfuls of for good measure.
The dough comes together in one bowl with just a few short stirs, and from there all you’ve gotta do is spread it and bake. The spreading is a bit tricky as the dough is on the stickier side, but with just a smidge of patience it’ll be spread in no time.
And after the 30 minutes of baking + cooling time has passed? The results are simply glorious. While light and fluffy this cake still has a subtle density to it that creates such a moist, tender texture, it’s so freakin’ yummy. This really could be considered a straight-up cake recipe, but something about these just didn’t feel right with a fork. These need to be grabbed with both hands and aggressively shoved into your face with mouthfuls so big you practically choke. And in the end all that’s left is a shirt full of crumbs, cheeks speckled with colors of the rainbow, and a stupid smiling face.
Ya know, just like a kid would do.
One Bowl + 30 Minute Vegan Funfetti Cake Bars
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsps Organic Cane Sugar, sifted
- 1 1/2 tsps Baking Powder, sifted
- 3/4 cup Vanilla Almond Milk, Unsweetened
- 1/2 cup Coconut Cream (I used Trader Joe’s)
- 2 1/2 tsps Vanilla
- 1/4 cup Coconut Oil, melted
- pinch of Salt
- 1/2 cup Vegan Rainbow Sprinkles
- Crisco to grease
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In large mixing bowl combine all ingredients in the order as written*, then stir until dough takes shape.
- Lightly grease 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish with Crisco, then coat with a thin film of flour (see my bundt pan in this recipe for how it should look). Transfer dough to baking dish and using a butter knife, evenly spread it out along the edges. The dough is going to be sticky, so it will take a few minutes to get it spread – Don’t stress!
- When ready, bake for 25 – 30 minutes until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out of the center clean.** Allow bars to completely cool, then cut and serve!
* Coconut oil will harden if it’s not incorporated quickly, so it’s best that this is one of the last ingredients you add to your mixing bowl.
** Keep an eye on these beginning at the 25 minute mark
bite it 😉