Healthier Bakes · No Bake

No-Bake Granola Bars with Coconut Oil

No Bake Granola Bars Top of the page

Last week I was in Devon on holiday with my boyfriend and his family for the first time.
We stopped in a lovely Holiday Lodge in Dawlish Warren and it was only a 10 minute walk to the coast.

Before we went I decided I was going to bake some goodies to take with us; so I made a Carrot Cake following Nigel Slaters’ recipe and a Chocolate Chocolate Cake (see the layer cake notes).

The other thing that I made to take with us were these No Bake Granola Bars that my boyfriend really enjoys, its a healthier snack which is quick and easy to make but tastes delicious.

I adapted these granola bars from a recipe I stumbled across after looking on the various food blogs for a healthy cereal bar. I wanted to make something that was healthy but also I was trying out coconut oil for the first time.

Adapted From – FiveHeartHome

130g Coconut Oil
260g Peanut Butter
130g Honey
250g Rolled Oats
50g Desiccated Coconut
40g Flaked Almonds
40g Chocolate Chips (optional)
120g Dried Fruit*
*I did 60g each of Dried Cranberries & Sultanas.

(The second time when I doubled the recipe I did 120g Dried Cranberries, 60g Sultanas,
40g Goji Berries & 40g Dried Blueberries.)

 

1. In a medium saucepan set over low-medium heat, melt together the coconut oil, peanut butter, and honey stirring until smooth and everything is melted.

coconut oil, honey and peanut butter melted

2. Remove from stove and stir in oats, desiccated coconut, flaked almonds and your mixture of dried fruit until evenly blended.

Stirring dry ingredients the the coconut oil mixture Oats, Coconut, Flaked Almonds and Dried Fruit (Doubled Recipe)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Pour mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking tray. Spread into an even layer, sprinkle with mini chocolate chips (if using), and firmly press down with the back of a spatula or clean hands.

” When I doubled the recipe I used a Swiss Roll Tin and 8-9 inch square tin
– you can see the pictures below “

No Bake Granola Mixture in 9inch Square Tin No Bake Granola Mixture in Swiss Roll Tin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Slice into squares or bars then remove from pan.

No Bake Granola Bars Cut Up5. Store granola bars in the refrigerator, either in an airtight container with wax paper separating the layers, or individually wrapped in plastic wrap.

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These Granola Bars were great when we were on holiday, just wrapped them up and popped them in my handbag or in our little picnic box when we were off out for the day.
They were the perfect little snack.

Ship In Brixham
Ship in Brixham Harbour

One of the places that we visited was Brixham a small fishing town with a few gift shops. Me and my boyfriend Ant went for a lovely walk around the town and we sat and had a little bite of our picnic.

The few times that I have been to Brixham I have always taken a picture of the ship in the harbour. 25 years ago my parents took me there as a baby and I have a photo of my mom holding me with the ship in the background.

Travelling on Dartmouth Ferry
On the ferry to Dartmouth
View in Dartmouth of Houses
The view from the ferry

After our visit to Brixham his dad drove to the ferry to take us over to Dartmouth, which I was quite looking forward to as I had never been on the ferry in Devon before. It was a beautiful sunny day so I got some lovely photos whilst travelling on the ferry.

View in Dartmouth
Beautiful view when in Dartmouth, lovely sunny day

One of the days we went to Paignton where me and Ant had a small walk around the town then we had a lovely stroll along the beach, I was collecting shells as we made our way towards the Pier.
I always feel strange when you can see the water moving between the cracks of the wood.

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Most of the week was sunny but we did have one rainy day, so while Ant’s parents went off to visit a friend we went to Trago Mills and then had a walk around Newton Abbot town.
I always like to see the peacocks whenever I go to Trago, I love the colours and I think that they have such stunning feathers, I was lucky enough to get a few shots of the males parading about.

Peacock at Trago Mills Peacock at Trago Mills 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the last day we went back to Trago Mills as his mom wanted to go, which meant we could have another look for things to buy. Even though I’m sure when I got back home my mom would moan about the glass jars, I had bought for my baking supplies… and yes she did!!

We had another visit to Dawlish on the way back… well I thought that I couldn’t go home without bringing my mom and dad a cream tea back. Which they were both very happy about 🙂

I had a wonderful holiday with Ant and his family, every evening we would walk down to the coast and go into the arcade his dad would give us all a pound, we got quite addicted to the 2p machines our favourite was Snakes & Ladders. On these games you would win tickets after the week me and Ant had just got under 3000; I got a Spaniel Dog toy, and comic style wallet, Ant got a bell ‘to ring for a drink’ and many marbles and little toy soldiers to give his parents.

Cute Spaniel Dog that we got with the tickets.
Cute Spaniel Dog that we got with the tickets.
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Cakes

Toscakaka – Swedish Caramel Almond Cake

Toscakaka on Wire Rack

I have finally got my laptop back after it going in for a service, I was getting withdrawal symptoms after being without it and not being able to post this next bake. A while back my Lakeland order arrived (I always get excited about new bakeware goodies) I got a 7 inch loose bottomed square tin and a 9 inch loose-bottomed round cake tin, a silicone Swiss-roll flexi-sheet, and some ‘get a grip’ piping bags – can’t wait to try these out, I’ve seen contestants using them on the GBBO. Also in my order I got some Hazelnut flavouring as I thought this would be a great alternative from some of my almond bakes – I’m thinking a chocolate and hazelnut combo must be done, and finally I got some Raspberry Fudge Sprinkles – you know I can’t resist the raspberries.

I wanted to try out my new 9 inch loose-bottomed round cake tin first and while looking on the internet I saw this cake with an almond praline coating on top of the cake and I remembered seeing this in a book called ‘Scandilicious Baking by Signe Johansen‘ and I thought my mom is going to love this with all those caramelised flaked almonds on top.

I posted a picture of my Toscakaka I made on my Instagram and Signe Johansen said that it ‘Looks Perfect…’ which I thought was great to get a compliment from her, after doing her recipe.

Adapted from Signe Johansen Toscakaka

For the cake
75g Unsalted Butter
3 Large Eggs
150g Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (I used Almond Extract)
150g Plain Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
75ml Buttermilk*
* substitute with 75ml Milk mixed with 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice or White Vinegar

For the topping
150g Flaked Almonds
125g Unsalted Butter
125g Light Brown Muscovado Sugar
50ml Milk
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt (I only used a pinch)

1. Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 3-4 and lightly grease and baseline a 23cm (9 inch) loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment.
Melt the butter for the cake mixture in a small saucepan over a low heat or place in a heatproof jug and melt in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds or until melted.

2. In a medium-sized bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the eggs, sugar and almond extract until pale, thick and fluffy, this should take about 5 minutes on high speed.

3. While the egg mixture is whisking; sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together into a separate bowl.

4. Gradually add the melted butter, buttermilk and dry ingredients to the beaten egg mixture, alternating between them and folding through with a large metal spoon or rubber spatula as you go until everything is well incorporated – do this thoroughly but very gently scraping the bottom of the bowl, as it is easy to get little pockets of flour in the mixture but you need to converse as much of the volume as possible.

5. Carefully transfer the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin by scraping it gently out from as little height as possible, then tap the tin once or twice on the work surface to get rid of any big air bubbles.

6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

7. Half way through the cake baking start the Caramel Praline Topping so that it is ready to use by the time the cake is cooked. Put all of the topping ingredients in a medium saucepan and place over a low-medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Allow the mixture to simmer for 3-4 minutes to thicken slightly.

8. Once the cake has come out of the oven turn the oven temperature up to Gas Mark 7. Use the hot praline to glaze the top of the sponge, while the cake is still in the tin – spread the nuts out evenly on top using a knife to help smooth them over the sponge.

Toscakaka In Tin before going into the oven
The praline topping added to the cake – ready to go back in the oven

9. Now put the cake back into the oven on the top shelf and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the topping is crispy and golden brown.

10. Once the cake is out of the oven place on a wire rack to cool slightly in the tin for a few minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the tin to separate the praline from the cake tin. Gently remove the cake from the tin and place back onto the wire rack to cool before serving.

Toscakaka on In Tin

This cake will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days

Some of the variations that Signe Johansen suggests in her Scandilicious Baking Book are the following:
Coffee: adding a double shot of espresso in the praline topping, if you love coffee.
Coconut: Instead of flaked almonds use coconut flakes to make this in to a Danish Drommekage – Dream Cake 

Toscakaka on Plate ready for Serving

I think that we all loved the praline topping on the top of the cake, but I think it would of been better if the sponge was a bit thicker.

The next time that I make this Swedish ‘Toscakaka’ I think that I am going to adapt it slightly with another Toscakaka recipe that I have seen by Edd Kimber (The Boy Who Bakes). In Edd Kimber’s recipe he has used ground almonds in the sponge mixture, which I think would give an extra nutty flavour along with the praline topping, plus his sponge is thicker than the traditional Toscakaka.