Vegan Ooey Gooey Butter Bars

I grew up watching Food Network and, of all the culinary stars they had at the time, one in particular shined brightest to me and that was Paula Deen. The sassy southern belle had me glued to my TV. I was utterly obsessed with her food, the way she talked, and her grandmotherly vibes, and I envied her being born a southern girl. I had (and still have) a bunch of her cookbooks and I planned an entire trip around going to her restaurant in Savannah, GA when I was in my early 20s. (Now you understand why most of the recipes I do are southern-inspired and/or comfort food based… she was such an inspiration to, and influence on, young me.)

Since going vegan, I’ve managed to veganize quite a few of her famous recipes but there was one which I had not even attempted to tackle and that was her Gooey Butter Cake. You might notice the word “cake” where I’ve chosen to use the word “bars”… in all reality they are bars and I will die on this hill. You might also notice I’ve added the additional adjective of “ooey.” I just think it sounds better. Don’t @ me. Anyways, these are basically just a cookie/cake-like mixture with a insanely rich, pudding-like top that will melt the teeth right out your damn mouth. They’re like nothing else you’ve ever tried before and I don’t even like super sweet desserts and I love these bars!

I hadn’t attempted to veganize this super sweet creation because vegan cream cheese and I haven’t always been the best of friends. (Vegan sour cream and I have a similar relationship but that’s another subject…) I finally just decided to give it a go however and much to my surprise the bars came out amazing. I think that is due in part to using the right vegan cream cheese – in this case that was Tofutti brand. Whether you’re a fan of Paula or not, I do hope you’ll give these bars a try and let me know what you think of them!

Vegan Ooey Gooey Butter Bars

  • Servings: about 18 bars
  • Print


Credit: Compassion is the Secret Ingredient, http://www.citsiblog.com

Ingredients

    For the pan:
  • Nonstick cooking spray or 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • For the bottom layer:

  • Ener-G Egg Replacer for 2 eggs (follow instructions on box)
  • 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 10 tbsp vegan butter, melted
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
  • For the top layer:

  • Ener-G Egg Replacer for 2 eggs (follow instructions on box)
  • 8 tbsp vegan butter, melted
  • 8 oz. vegan cream cheese (I prefer Tofutti brand!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Get your oven preheating to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a 9″x13″ metal pan by lightly greasing it then lining it with parchment paper (the grease helps the parchment paper to stay in place). Set pan aside for a moment.
  2. In a small dish, prepare the Ener-G Egg Replacer for 2 eggs, following the instructions on the box. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes until thickened slightly. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and whisk together. Next, add in the sugar, 10 tablespoons of melted vegan butter, almond milk, and Ener-G mixture, and stir with a large spoon or silicone spatula to combine. Set this bowl aside for a moment.
  3. In a small dish (maybe the same one you used before), prepare the Ener-G Egg Replacer again for 2 more eggs, following the instructions on the box. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes until thickened slightly. Meanwhile, in another large bowl, combine the 8 tablespoons of melted vegan butter with the 8 oz. of vegan cream cheese and the vanilla. Whisk or stir until smooth. Add in the Ener-G mixture and whisk or stir again to combine. Next, add in the powdered sugar a half a cup at a time, whisking or stirring until smooth before adding in more. Once you have incorporated all of the powdered sugar, set this bowl aside for a moment.
  4. Grab your prepared pan and dump the bottom layer mixture (the dough) out into the pan. Using your fingers or a silicone spatula, spread the dough out evenly across the bottom of the pan. When done, pour the cream cheese mixture over top of the bottom layer and wiggle the pan slightly to even it out. Bake in your preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. When it’s done you’ll notice it will still be wet looking in some parts and that’s okay – you’re just looking for a light golden brown color to it. Pull it out of the oven and let it rest in the pan on a cooling rack for 1 hour. After 1 hour, the bars can be cut and served. Bars will keep in an airtight container on counter for up to 3 days.

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