Spiced Carob Cake Bars (sugar free)

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Cake bars, they’re a thing, right? Pinterest agreed when I asked Google, anyway, so I thought I could share these spiced carob cake bars. They’re sandwiched between layers of ooey-gooey date caramel and completely refined sugar-free. I’d say sugar-free, but I’m sure someone would argue about the natural sugar content of dates! So: refined sugar-free, vegan, spiced carob cake bars, let me count the ways I love you.

Naturally sweet cake bars

I like these cheeky little cake bars because they’re actually not too bad on the ingredient front. I don’t mind the kids taking a bite (for such tiny little ones they take massive bites!) and looking at me like they’ve shared in something naughty. And I don’t mind quickly inhaling one of these while they’re pulling all the drying laundry off the airer. They don’t make me feel quite so guilty as when I inhale half a packet of Oreos, y’know?

The ingredients are kept little-kid friendly by being completely free of (refined) sugar. They do have fruit in, so they’re naturally sweetened. And arguably contribute towards their daily intake of fruits! Arguably… might not be an argument I’d accept from them in a few years though. But instead of sugar, these carob cake bars have apple puree and blende dates.

Why carob cake bars?

I’m still conquering my fear of carob, so after making my cinnamon carob energy bites, I thought a nice bit of cake would be the next thing to try. I mean, if you eat something in a cake you’re pretty much guaranteed to like it forever, right? Like carrots! Anyway… in all seriousness, after Buy Wholefoods Online sent me an array of ingredients to try out, and after making the energy bites, it was still the carob powder that called to me. It’s cheeky cocoa-esque nature that isn’t really chocolate at all… It demanded that I tame it. Or try to.

And so: spiced carob cake bars. I’m still don’t think one should pretend carob is chocolate. I paired it with ground ginger here instead, which gives the cake a bit of a punch (a gentle punch!) that melts into a delicious blend of flavours once the date caramel frosting joins in too.

If you like carob cake bars…

Then you might like to try these healthy vegan snack ideas too!

Spiced Carob Cookie Bars

Ooey-gooey date caramel sandwiched between layers of spiced carob cake bars make these both delicious and completely free of refined sugar. Win win!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8

Equipment

  • Sandwich cake tins (2)
  • Food processor

Ingredients
  

  • 125 ml non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp ground linseed + 3 tbsp water
  • 90 g apple puree
  • 2 tsp maple syrup optional
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil melted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp carob powder
  • 150 g plain flour
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 50 g dried dates
  • 55 g tahini
  • 2-3 tbsp water optional
 

Instructions
 

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 175°C (fan)
  • Grease two sandwich cake tins (or the equivalent square ones) and set them aside.
  • Mix together the ground flaxseed/linseed and 3 tbsp water. This is our flax egg. Set aside to let it gel.
    1 tbsp ground linseed + 3 tbsp water
  • In a large bowl, add the plain flour, carob powder, ground ginger, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Stir until it's well combined.
    3 tbsp carob powder, 150 g plain flour, ¾ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda, ½ tsp ground ginger
  • In another bowl, add the milk, apple puree, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
    90 g apple puree, 2 tsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tbsp vanilla extract, 125 ml non-dairy milk
  • Add the flax egg set aside earlier to the liquid ingredients and stir well.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Stir well then divide the mixture evenly between the two prepared cake tins.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes - I test mine by sticking a cocktail stick in the middle. When it comes out clean, it's done. Set aside to cool while you make the frosting.

Date Frosting

  • Blend the dates and tahini together in a food processor or high powered blender. If your dates are really dry, add the water 1tbsp at a time until you have a thick paste.
    50 g dried dates, 55 g tahini, 2-3 tbsp water
  • Spread half the frosting over each cake (check they're cool first) and pop one on top of the other. Slice into about 8 bars (or more/less, depending on your preference)and serve.

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