Soft-baked cake batter cookie bars loaded up with Golden Birthday Cake Oreos, Vanilla Cupcake white chocolate M&Ms, and of course, sprinkles!
By now, y’all should know that I have an extremely unhealthy obsession when it comes to anything funfetti/cake batter/sprinkles/birthday cake-flavored. So it should come as no surprise how ridiculously overjoyed I became when I discovered THESE Vanilla Cupcake M&Ms in Target.
WHITE CHOCOLATE Vanilla Cupcake M&Ms, to be exact. And yes, they’re just as amazing as they sound. It’s like eating vanilla buttercream in white chocolate form on a cloud in utopia. I’ve been waiting my entire life for this very moment. (Dream big, folks!)
Immediately, my mind began exploring the many possibilities for what was to become of these beautiful pastel pebbles of white chocolatey cake battery perfection. Don’t get me wrong, I did buy a few (ok, ten) more bags just for eating (slash engulfing) because who knows how long they’ll be available? (Dear God, please make these M&Ms a permanent flavor!)
Right off the bat, I was reminded of Oreo’s Golden Birthday Cake Oreos.
I mean, why not? What could go better with Vanilla Cupcakes than Birthday Cake?
Thus, the Loaded Cake Batter Cookie Bars were born.
So what makes these cookie bars different from blondies? Well, I’m not totally sure to be honest…but I will say that these cookie bars taste just like sugar cookie dough even though they’re baked.
The key to creating that sugary sweet raw cake batter/cookie dough flavor is a combination of butter flavoring, almond extract, and imitation clear vanilla extract. The clear vanilla might seem odd, but it does a better job of providing that classic, bakery-style white cake flavor. If I were to compare it to the real stuff, I’d say that you really can’t smell the alcohol in the clear imitation vanilla. It smells sweeter and lighter. In this case, the cheap stuff wins. Of course, if you don’t have it, regular vanilla extract will suffice.
For all you soft-baked cookie fans, these bars are your dream come true. The dough is perfectly soft, pleasantly chewy, and ultra buttery without the greasiness. One of my favorite ingredients when it comes to creating soft, moist, and lusciously thick cookies is instant pudding mix.
For these cookie bars, I used vanilla. Similar to the imitation clear vanilla extract, the vanilla pudding mix adds that almost indescribable sweetness that you can’t get from anything else. Not only does it add more flavor and sweetness, but it also keeps these cookie bars nice and soft for days and days.
That is, if they even last that long outside of your stomach…
Now to the “loaded” part, AKA the fun part…
One might think I’m crazy for putting an entire package of Oreos into these cookie bars. However, Albert Einstein was once thought of as crazy too…
So I guess that makes me a genius!
The Golden Birthday Cake Oreos add a perfect contrasting crunch to the soft dough, and their birthday cake-flavored creme filling totally boosts the cake batter factor.
Oh, and lest we forget our lovely and talented little stars of the show, AKA the whole reason why these heaven-on-earth cookie bars exist–the Vanilla Cupcake M&Ms! If these cookie bars weren’t cake batter-licious enough, the M&Ms really pushes these bars over the top. While these bars are nothing short of heavenly whether eaten cold or warm, I absolutely love how melty and creamy the M&Ms get when the bars are warm.
And because cake batter and sprinkles pretty much go hand in hand with each other, I made sure to load these cookie bars up good with PLENTY of sprinkles.
Soft, buttery, fudgy bars, Golden Birthday Cake Oreos, Vanilla Cupcake white chocolate M&Ms, rainbow sprinkles…what more could you ask for?
Loaded Cake Batter Cookie Bars
Yields: 20 Squares
2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1½ teaspoons imitation clear vanilla
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring*
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 (5.1 oz) box instant Vanilla pudding mix, dry
1 (15.25 oz) package Golden Birthday Cake Oreos, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup Vanilla Cupcake M&Ms, divided
1/4 cup sprinkles + 2 Tablespoons, divided
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and grease with butter or nonstick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt until combined; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add in both sugars and mix on high for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition until combined. Add in the vanilla, butter flavoring, and almond extract. Then stir in the pudding mix.
With mixer set on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture into the wet mixture until everything has been incorporated. Gently stir in 3/4 of the chopped Oreos, 1/2 cup of the M&Ms, and 1/4 cup of the sprinkles. Turn batter out into prepared pan, pressing evenly, and smoothing out the top. Press the remaining Oreos and 1/4 cup M&Ms into the dough, then evenly sprinkle the 2 Tablespoons of sprinkles over the top.
Bake for 19-21 minutes, or until top and edges are set. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean, or with a few moist crumbs attached. Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
*Butter flavoring can be found in most craft stores like Michaels or JoAnns. Along with the almond extract and clear imitation vanilla, this ingredient gives the bars that iconic cake batter taste. If you can’t find it, just leave it out.