Funfetti in Bar Form: Birthday Cake Blondies

I used to turn up my nose at imitation vanilla extract, thinking that it had no place in any serious baking repertoire. But Christina Tosi changed my mind. Imitation vanilla plays an important role in her confetti cookies, baller birthday sheet cake, and b'day cake truffles. And she's the reason that I keep a big bottle of imitation vanilla in the cupboard. So when I came across Mike Johnson's recipe for birthday cake blondies, I was ready. Did I mention that I also buy my rainbow sprinkles by the pound?

I made the blondie batter in my stand mixer. I combined melted butter with sugar and dark brown sugar; beat in eggs and imitation vanilla until the batter was lighter in color; added flour, kosher salt, and baking powder; and folded in white chocolate (I used Callebaut Velvet callets) and rainbow sprinkles. I spread the batter into a a parchment-lined pan and added some more sprinkles on top before baking.
The blondies were deep golden brown when I took them out of the oven, with the edges much taller than the middle.The blondies were quite fudgy in the center and I personally would have preferred the center to be a bit more cooked. But the edges were perfect. The blondies were very sweet (I think the white chocolate might have been overkill) and definitely had a Funfetti vibe, channeling the flavor of boxed vanilla cake mix. The vanilla flavor was strongest in the bars in the middle of the pan, where it didn't have to compete with the distinct toasty flavor of the edges. 
I personally am not the biggest fan of sweet Funfetti flavor, but I know it's popular, and I received some very positive feedback on these blondies from my tasters. If Funfetti in a bar sounds good to you, give the recipe a try! And if it doesn't -- or if you don't happen to keep imitation vanilla on hand -- you can make these with regular vanilla extract.
Recipe: "Birthday Cake Blondies" from Even Better Brownies by Mike Johnson, recipe available here at Cloudy Kitchen.


Louise said…
I like the looks of Jesse Szewczyk's Birthday Cake Sprinkle Crinkles. Haven't tried them yet, but they are on my short list.
I'm always looking for a way to use up sprinkles -- thanks for the tip, I will check it out!