These luscious snack bars are vegan, loaded with fruit and nuts, sweet and spicy and ever so moreish!
Preparation 10 minutes
Baking 20 minutes
125g (1 cup, spooned and scraped) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp spice cake blend (see below)
1 cup dried fruit (I used sultanas & chopped apricots)
1/2 cup nuts (I used flaked almonds & chopped walnuts)
120ml (1/2 cup) sunflower oil
120ml (1/2 cup) golden (cane sugar) syrup (or maple syrup or honey)
Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F) and grease a square or rectangular brownie pan and line the base with baking paper. My pan was 16 x 26cm (6 x 10″).
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spice blend, and toss through fruit and nuts.
Make a well in the centre, pour in oil and syrup, and combine well.
Press batter firmly into pan and bake in centre of oven for 20 minutes, until golden.
Cut into bars while warm, then leave to cool completely in the pan.
Spice cake blend
This is my absolute favourite spice cake blend. It’s based on a Dutch spice blend, but without ginger and with the ratios tweaked to suit our tastes. It’s rich and warm and goes so well in baked goods.
4 parts ground cinnamon
2 parts ground nutmeg
2 parts ground cardamom
2 parts ground mace
2 parts ground coriander
1 part ground white pepper
1 part ground cloves
The simplest way to put it together is to use 1 teaspoon per part (e.g. 4 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp nutmeg etc, 1 tsp pepper etc), or you can make a smaller quantity by using 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg etc, 1/4 tsp pepper etc). To make just enough for this cake bar recipe, use 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg etc, 1/16 tsp pepper etc – it won’t make precisely 1 tsp, but it will be enough.
Mix it together in a small glass jar and keep it in a cool, dark place to stay fresh and fragrant.