Like a good Minnesotan, I love bars. No, not the drinky kind, because trust me, the only bar I’m chasing these days is of the dessert variety. But seriously, I love the convenience of a viscous dense bar… you can eat it with your hands! And no dirty dishes! I love not cleaning for hours at a time!
If I am being honest though, I am firmly on team cake. Sometimes I just want to eat the crap out of a big fluffy cake. Who doesn’t?! So, because I am desperate to assimilate in my new frozen homeland, I have discovered a way to combine my love for cake with my obligation for bar-making. This recipe will show you how to kill two fat birds with one gooey stone! I call it Carrot Cake Bars Minnesota Realness! Let’s do this bitch:
Ingrediences (in the voice of Teresa Giudice):
1 box of Betty Crocker Super Moist Carrot Cake Mix
1/2 cup softened butter (1 stick)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
2 ounces of cream cheese
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 cup of shredded sweetened coconut flakes, mixed with the batter
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut flakes, for the top of the batter
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup of marshmallows covered in toasted coconut, quartered
6 ounces of softened cream cheese
1/4 cup of softened butter
3 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
1.) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. The oven is that big thing in your kitchen next to the cupboard with the double-stuff Oreos. You’ve seen it. Don’t be afraid.
2.) Find a 9″ x 13″ pan (steal one if you have to… this is important) and generously grease with butter or spray with Pam. Generously. I said that.
3.) Whisk the eggs until well blended (45 seconds or so). You can use a fancy machine or your very pedestrian hand whisk (no judgement) to accomplish this.
4.) Add the softened butter and cream cheese, and mix on low. I usually just throw the butter and cream cheese into the microwave for 45 seconds to soften, instead of leaving them out to reach room temperature (which is what some very strict bakers advise). This is because I am impatient. I need my butter to be soft, like now.
5.) After butter and cream cheese are incorporated, add heavy cream and vegetable oil. Blend until smooth. The mixture will be ribbony and velvety at this point. Enjoy your accomplishment with a diet coke. Go you!
6.) Next, slowly add the carrot cake mixture until well blended. Once incorporated, add the coconut just until it’s folded into the mixture.
7.) Evenly spread the mixture into the pan. Don’t be lazy here– make sure it’s spread into the corners and looks even throughout.
8.) Sprinkle the coconut, white chocolate chips, and marshmallows onto the batter. This part is very satisfying. Enjoy! Try not to eat all the marshmallows! I like how they look like tater tots. An ode to hot dish!
9.) Put it in the oven!!! Yes, that big thing opens up! And bake for 25 to 30 mins. You’ll know it’s done when the corners start to pull from the sides, and the coconut and marshmallows are golden brown.
10.) Mix the softened cream cheese and butter until well blended.
11.) Add the powered sugar one cup at a time. Periodically, you may need to turn off whatever machine you’re using to scrap the sides of the bowl just to make sure everything is being incorporated. Do not try this when your machine is on– you may hurt yourself. NOT THAT I WOULD KNOW 😦
12.) Add the vanilla and heavy cream. Beat the mixture until it’s smooth as a baboon’s heiny! This should take between 3 and 4 minutes. Just enough time for a potty break! Just kidding, don’t leave the machine unattended! You may hurt yourself! NOT THAT I WOULD KNOW 😦
13.) Let both the bars and the icing hang out in room temp for about 2 hours.
14.) Put the icing into a gallon sized ziplock bag, and cut the corner about a 1/4 inch. Squeeze icing onto the bars in squiggly lines. Get your Jackson Pollack on! Then, spread evenly using a spatula.
15.) Cut into squares and shove it into your mouthhole. Done!
Ms. Nola can’t believe that I made cake into a bar and a bar into a cake! It’s madness!