Going shopping the day after any major holiday is about as dangerous on my wallet—and my waistline—as an atomic bomb. Stores place their leftover candy and sweets on sale, all of which somehow magically falls into my basket and follows me back home.
This past Monday, the day after Easter, I stopped by Target in search of more food props and greeting cards. After perusing the stationery, I wandered to the back of their grocery section and accidentally discovered all of their discounted treats. By sheer willpower, I somehow managed to leave all of the Marshmallow Peeps on the shelves (when did they start making vanilla and orange crème-flavored ones?) and walk to the register without any candy in my cart.
It also helped that Target only offered a measly 30% off on their Easter treats… But those Reese’s peanut butter eggs and chocolate Easter bunnies still shouted my name as I departed!
I drove over to Safeway next, where I immediately bumped into their sale items prominently displayed in the very front of the store. They advertised at least 50% off on everything—now that I couldn’t resist!
I scoured through bags of jelly beans, mini Cadbury crème eggs, and fruity bubble gum, but I passed all of it by, except one innocent bag of dark chocolate eggs. (You guys must know me by now—dark chocolate is my biggest weakness!)
Just as I turned to leave and continue my regular grocery shopping, I spotted a few canisters of spring-themed sprinkles. Despite splurging on a couple of tubs from Target’s dollar aisle two weeks before, I still dropped one of the large pastel-filled containers into my basket.
To make room for my cute new sprinkles on my overstuffed baking shelves, I finished off an older jar by creating a cute new treat…
Skinny Funfetti Cake Batter Granola Bars! These chewy snacks taste just like your favorite buttery cupcakes and are packed with colorful rainbow sprinkles. Despite their fun birthday party-themed flavor, they’re still surprisingly healthy: these bars are low fat, low calorie and full of fiber!
You don’t actually use funfetti cake mix to made these easy granola bars. You just need one secret ingredient: butter extract. Butter extract tastes exactly like cake batter without the excess fat and calories, and you can find it around the same shelves as vanilla and almond extracts on the baking aisle. It’s shelf-stable and keeps for ages, and you can use the leftovers to make this, this or these!
When it comes to baking with sprinkles, I prefer jimmies. They’re the long thin ones, and they rarely bleed when folded into the oat mixture (or regular cake batter either!). Avoid nonpareils—the tiny spherical ones—because they almost always bleed and will turn your granola bars (and cupcakes) an unappetizing shade of gray. Any larger sprinkles should work, like circles, hearts, and even star-shaped ones. You can even use festive 4th of July or Christmas-themed ones as those holidays draw closer!
For these granola bars, use old-fashioned oats—not instant or quick-cooking oats. With their thicker texture, old-fashioned oats absorb a little less liquid and create a better chewy texture. Save the instant oats for cookies instead! (These, these, and these are my favorites!)
Once cooled and cut, I usually pack the individual bars in plastic wrap and leave them in the fridge. There’s an added bit of fun when my snack attacks hit and the time comes to unwrap one—almost like opening a gift with that many cute colors inside!
With their sweet buttery flavor, these Skinny Funfetti Cake Batter Granola Bars taste just like your favorite sprinkle-studded cupcakes. Full of hearty oats and bright rainbow jimmies, they’ll keep you full and satisfy your sweet tooth too.
Snack time just got a whole lot cuter!