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!
These healthy granola bars taste like your favorite childhood cupcake flavor! With their buttery flavor and bright rainbow sprinkles, these bars will disappear really quickly at snack time. Store any leftovers in an airtight container or tightly sealed inside plastic wrap.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F, and lightly coat an 8”-square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together the coconut oil, applesauce, milk, honey, and butter extract until smooth. Add in the oats, stirring until thoroughly coated. Fold in the jimmies.
- Gently press the mixture into the prepared pan, and bake at 300°F for 13-16 minutes, or until the center is no longer wet to the touch. Cool completely to room temperature in the pan before slicing into bars.
Notes: Vegetable oil, canola oil, or melted butter may be substituted in place of the coconut oil.
Any milk (2%, 1%, whole, or non-dairy) may be substituted in place of the skim milk.
Agave, brown sugar, or granulated sugar may be substituted in place of the honey.
Have you tried adding protein powder? I have a delicious birthday cake flavored one that I want to try, to add some protein to these bars! Just trying to decide how much to add to the recipe. Thanks!
I haven’t tried adding protein powder before Hannah, but that sounds like a really yummy idea with your birthday cake flavored powder! I’d recommend decreasing the oats to 2 cups and adding 1-2 scoops of your protein powder. (All brands of protein powder behave differently in baking recipes, so I can’t quite give you an exact amount since I’ve never worked with that protein powder before!) If the mixture seems really liquidy, add more oats back in, and if it seems too dry, then add more milk. I’d love to hear what you end up trying and how they turn out Hannah!
I made a batch yesterday and while I enjoy them, other family members aren’t so keen on the flavor. Do you know if they keep well in the freezer?
I’m glad you enjoyed the granola bars Diana! I haven’t personally frozen them, but other readers have had success. 🙂
Are they bigger or smaller than typical granola bars?
It depends on the granola bar you’re referencing! For example, they’re wider and flatter than Quaker’s chewy granola bars, but they’re a little thicker and narrower than Nature Valley granola bars. 🙂 I’d love to hear what you think if you try them Bre!