Noms: Irish Flag Blondies

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Frosted Irish Flag Bars

As a half-Irish girl who loves to bake, I had big, adventurous plans for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. I was going to make soda bread. I was going to make Shamrock Shake Cupcakes. It was going to be great.

But the weekend got away from me, as weekends often do, and for a last-minute St. Pat’s gathering I instead found myself reaching for my trusty standby. Remember how I said Cake Batter Blondies are my favorite because they’re easy and can always be made festive? Here’s my case in point.

These guys are simple to make — short ingredient list, mix by hand, done in an hour — and although they’re not authentically Irish, they’ll be a hit at any St. Patrick’s party.

First, a note about flags: Technically, these are more Indian flag blondies than Irish flag blondies. The Irish flag has vertical stripes.  But this was the best and easiest way to get all the colors in every bite. I’m sorry! If you find any part of this post offensive, please email me and we’ll work it out.

Anyway, here’s your visual shopping list:

Ingredients for Irish flag bars include white cake mix and a whole lot of food coloring.(Yes, that’s Halloween frosting. No, that’s not gross, it was only two days past its March 14 best-by date. Baking supplies last longer than you think — always stock up when you see stuff on sale! You never know when you’ll want orange frosting.)

The first step is mixing up the cake batter blondie base: white cake mix, eggs, vegetable oil and milk. The original recipe I work from, over at Girl Meets Life, uses one whole egg, but I wanted to keep the white layer as white as possible, so I only used egg whites. The Google told me to use two egg whites for every full egg called for — a handy tip for the future. I also used more milk than usual — a full 1/2 cup — because I figured it would be easier to mix food coloring into a more liquid-y batter.

Mix together white cake mix, vegetable oil, eggs and milk to make the base for Irish flag bars.

Next is the fun part — coloring the batter! I didn’t do a great job of dividing it evenly — more green next time! — but it works. A tip: If you have them, use three different spatulas or spoons once you get to the coloring phase so you don’t blend colors during the mixing process.

I worked with standard McCormick liquid food coloring. McCormick’s website has a nice guide for mixing colors — a great reference for all of your festive-treat needs. I ended up using 12 drops green for the green layer, and 10 drops yellow + 2 drops red for the orange layer.

IMG_2297Finally, carefully, layer each color into the pan (I used my 8-inch square, ungreased). You can go green-white-orange or orange-white-green — I went with orange on the top so the orange frosting would sit on the orange cake, but it’s your call. Just keep the white in the middle!

You might have trouble getting each color to fill the whole space — I did! — but make sure that you have at least some batter reaching every edge and into the corners.

Layer green, white and orange batter into a pan to make Irish flag bars.Bake for 25-30ish minutes, or until the edges start to brown (or whatever the equivalent is for an orange cake!). Let cool completely before frosting and decorating.

IMG_2300And ta dah! You have an easy, festive treat for St. Patrick’s Day. My friends enjoyed these bars a lot. They just taste like cake, despite all the crazy colors, and the frosting makes them extra sweet. Texture-wise, they seemed a little less brownie, a little more cake to me than cake batter blondies usually do — maybe because of the egg whites, or the extra milk? But still great!

IMG_2303Enjoy! And get creative — because you’re just working with layered colors, these have so many possibilities beyond St. Patrick’s Day. Red, white and blue for the Fourth, Veterans Day or even Bastille Day. Red and green for Christmas. Different shades of pink and red for Valentine’s Day. So much fun! If you do something fun with them, please send me a photo!


THE RECIPE

Irish Flag Blondies

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 box white food coloring mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Red, green and yellow food coloring
  • Frosting and sprinkles (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350*F.
  2. Separate your eggs and put the two whites in a large bowl; discard yolks or save for another recipe.
  3. Stir in vegetable oil and cake mix. (I mix by hand with a rounded spatula.)
  4. Add milk and stir until mostly smooth; batter will be a bit thick.
  5. Divide batter into 3 bowls. Leave one white; color one green (about 12 drops green dye) and one orange (about 10 drops yellow, 2 drops red).
  6. One by one, layer the batters into an ungreased 8-inch square pan, making sure to spread the batter all the way to the edges.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges start to brown.
  8. Let cool before frosting, decorating and serving. Enjoy! Makes about 16 blondies.

Adapted from Girl Meets Life’s Cake Batter Blondies.

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