Almond Bars

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Almond Bars are tender, lightly sweetened shortbread-like bars that are so good, you’ll find yourself doubling the recipe every single time you make them.

The bars are topped with sliced almonds and an almond glaze – absolutely no one can resist these Almond Bars!

Almond Bars are tender, lightly sweetened shortbread-like bars that are so good, you'll find yourself doubling the recipe every single time you make them.

This is the ultimate holiday treat for snacking, dessert tables, and for gifting! My friends and neighbors have been known to leave not-so-subtle hints on Instagram and Facebook when they see that I’m making these bars.

The first time I was handed a Scandinavian Almond Bar, I had no idea what to expect. My aunt Judy was the person who first introduced me to these heavenly bars and she is wonderfully talented in the kitchen.

Almond Bars

I imagined they would be good. However, I had no idea that anything could be THAT good.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Aunt Judy, from the bottom of my heart. There is nothing else I bake that is as frequently requested as these Almond Bars.

Almond Bars recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

I quadruple the recipe almost every time I make them, so that I have plenty of them to give away.

I have seen versions of this recipe in a couple of different cookbooks over the years, but these remain simply Almond Bars for me. And I’ve since shared a recipe for gluten free Almond Bars as well.

quadruple batch of Almond Bars

Can You Freeze Almond Bars?

Leave the bars on the wire rack until the icing is firm enough to handle. These bars store quite well in the freezer. I can usually fit 2 dozen in a gallon size Ziploc bag, with a sheet of wax paper separating the layers.

When you are ready to eat them, just set them on the counter about half an hour beforehand. I typically plate them while they are still frozen because they are easier to handle that way.

Almond Bars recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Over the years, Almond Bars have not only become one of the most requested recipes I make; they’re also one of the most popular recipes on this website throughout the holiday season.

I love seeing all of you make them and share my happiness over them. So, feel free to tag me on social and share the fun!

Almond Bars are perfect on their own or with a cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa. All of my guys cheer when they see me making them and a few years ago, for the first time, my oldest son made them entirely on his own.

If these Almond Bars are already a hit in your house, odds are good that you’ll enjoy these Cinnamon Pecan Shortbread Bars too.

Almond Bars are everyone's favorite shortbread! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

How To Make Almond Bars

Kitchen Tip: I use this mixer (or this mixer), this pan, and this whisk to make this recipe.

For a quadrupled recipe: The batch will fit, just barely into the bowl of my Kitchenaid mixer. The bars will fill two half size baking sheets. (approximately 18″x13″) I cut them into 36 bars each, for a total of 6 dozen bars.

quadruple batch of almond bars

Side note: When I’m quadrupling the bar recipe, I double (instead of quadrupling) the ingredients for the icing and I usually have icing remaining.

A single recipe is made in a 9×13 pan, a doubled recipe will fill a baking sheet pan, and a quadruple batch fills two sheet pans. (Amazon sells the sheet pans in a two pack. I highly recommend picking up two, because once you’ve tried these bars, you’ll never want to make a small batch again.)

Almond bars ready for toppings before baking

Almond Bar Recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the egg and the almond extract and then mix until light and fluffy. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until combined.
  2. Press the dough into the bottom of a well-greased 9×13 pan. For this recipe, I actually grease with butter instead of Baker’s Joy. Press with your fingers or a pastry roller to smooth the top of the dough.
  3. Using a pastry brush, brush a tiny bit of milk across the top of the dough. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and very lightly press them into the top of the dough.
  4. Bake for 18-20 min, or until just barely beginning to brown around the edges. Do not let them actually brown at all. If they brown, they will be much more crunchy than desired, once they cool. The goal is a very soft shortbread texture.
  5. Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then cut into bars. If they are too soft to cut, let them cool for a few more minutes. Remove them carefully (they will be quite soft) to a wire rack to cool completely before icing. Resist the urge to eat them now. They are even better when they are iced.
  6. Prepare the icing, adding just a tiny bit of milk at a time. If the consistency is too thick, it won’t drizzle nicely over the bars. If it is too thin, the icing will just melt into the bars. If you are unsure, test a bit of it on the edge of one bar before drizzling the icing over the entire batch.
The best Almond Bars you will ever taste! get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

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Almond Bars are tender, lightly sweetened shortbread-like bars that are so good, you'll find yourself doubling the recipe every single time you make them.

Almond Bars

4.56 from 9 votes
Almond Bars are tender, lightly sweetened shortbread-like bars that are so good, you'll find yourself doubling the recipe every single time you make them.
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Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 18 bars

Ingredients 

Almond Bar Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour *
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Icing Ingredients

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Cream together the butter and the sugar. Add the egg and the almond extract and then mix until light and fluffy. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until combined. 
  • Press the dough into the bottom of a well-greased 9×13 pan. Press with your fingers or a pastry roller to smooth the top of the dough. Using a pastry brush, brush a tiny bit of milk across the top of the dough. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and very lightly press them into the top of the dough.
  • Bake for 18-20 min, or until just barely beginning to brown around the edges. Do not let the bars brown at all. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then cut into bars. If they are too soft to cut, let them cool for a few more minutes. Carefully transfer the bars to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.
  • To make the icing: Add just a tiny bit of milk at a time to the powdered sugar. If the consistency is too thick, it won't drizzle nicely over the bars. If it is too thin, the icing will just melt into the bars. If you are unsure, test a bit of it on the edge of one bar before drizzling the icing over the entire batch.

Notes

For a quadrupled recipe: The batch will fit, just barely into the bowl of my kitchenaid mixer. The bars will fill two half size baking sheets. (approximately 18″x13″) I cut them into 36 bars each, for a total of 6 dozen bars. Also, I double (instead of quadrupling) the ingredients for the icing and I usually have icing remaining.
  • Gluten Free recipe is posted HERE

Nutrition

Calories: 181kcal · Carbohydrates: 28g · Protein: 2g · Fat: 7g · Saturated Fat: 3g · Cholesterol: 23mg · Sodium: 82mg · Potassium: 82mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 18g · Vitamin A: 171IU · Calcium: 34mg · Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

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{recipe originally posted 6-19/2011 – recipe notes and photos updated 4/2/21}

Almond Bars are everyone's favorite holiday treat!

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Jeff Rasmussen says

    I tried to make these from a different recipe awhile back, and they definitely didn't turn out as well as these! I'm totally erasing that recipe and using yours next time! Beautiful!

  2. Nicky says

    These look great. I love anything almond flavored. I make a similar cookie called Jan Hagel. It's a Dutch cookie with almonds but doesn't have the glaze or extra almond flavor thi sone has. I think I'll just have to make both! 🙂

  3. Lesa says

    These are the most wonderful things in the world!! I have made them now 3 times and sugar-free as my husband is diabetic, and I can't thank you enough for this WONDERFUL find!!!

  4. Anonymous says

    Delicious! I'm of Scandinavian heritage and I always tell people that almond is for Scandinavians what catnip is to cats! This is high powered catnip! I added 1/4 tsp more almond extract and subbed out 1/2 cup of the all purpose flour with finely ground almond flour to intensify the almond flavours even more and it turned out just great. I also used 1/2 the amount of frosting called for since I don't like things too sweet. I think I will be the belle of the Memorial day picnic with these babies!

  5. sue | theviewfromgreatisland says

    Would you believe it ~ I just posted about these today! I’ve been lusting after them for years and finally treated the family to a batch (or two) ~ they live up to their reputation, that’s for sure! Thanks Mary ~ and your Aunt ~ for a fabulous recipe 🙂

  6. Debra says

    I made these just last night and they are wonderful! They have been added to our “must have every Christmas” list! Thank you for this delicious (and so easy!)recipe, Mary! Only problem is they are gone too fast.

  7. Beverly Shaffer says

    Mary,
    I will be making these tomorrow .I AM SURE THEY WILL BE DECLICIOUS! THANK YOU FOR YOUR WONDERFUL RECIPES.

  8. Marge says

    Been making Jan Hagel for years – recipe is almost identical – sprinkle with sugar/sugar w/cinnamon/ before baking instead of using icing. Everyone likes these. Going to try the icing next time.

  9. Carolyn says

    I used to eat a cookie called Yon Hagels at my grandparents home. I wonder if this recipe is similar – can’t wait to try them! Thanks for sharing.

    • Dipti says

      Just made these bars and they are simply irresistible! Am having to rein myself in from reaching out for them. Couldn’t resist adding a drizzle of dark choc instead of the icing, though. Thanks Mary, for the fabulous recipe!!5 stars

    • Mary says

      I have no idea, as “real almond paste” here is ground almonds with sugar and wouldn’t behave the same way in a baked good. You might be referring to something different though, in which case, I really wouldn’t know.

  10. KarotzCupcakes says

    These were outstanding! I will try the same base next, but substitute hazelnut extract for almont and top with sliced hazelnuts for a variation. I’m definitely keeping this in my recipe box. Thank you!5 stars

  11. CT says

    I tried substituting almond flour and doing everything else the same but they puffed up and then collapsed and started browning all over in just a few minutes.. is that because of the difference in flour or did I do something else wrong?

    • Mary says

      Yes, almond flour does not substitute 1:1 in baking recipes. It’s actually quite fussy as far as baking flours go.

  12. Elizabeth Horton says

    Not a fan. 20 mins in the oven for the base was not nearly long enough. The squares tasted like raw dough. Luckily I hadn’t iced them yet. Put them ba k in the oven for an additional 20 mins
    By then, they looked less ew, more done. The sample was tasteless so I drizzled raspberry jam on the bars before I cut and iced them. Not ba# but wouldn’t make again1 star

    • Mary Younkin says

      I can not fathom what went wrong, Elizabeth. My guess is an issue with the oven temperature. I’ve made these hundreds of times exactly as written and they get raves from everyone else who makes them. Did you make any substitutions?

  13. Deborah says

    These almond bars are delicious! I have now made them four times and each time they disappear in minutes. So easy and SO GOOD! These will, without doubt be included in my Christmas baking and all year long ! Thanks for a wonderful recipe !!5 stars

  14. Babs says

    I’m allergic to eggs but these look so delicious I want to make them. Have you ever substituted the egg and if so, what did you use? Do you have any recommendations for egg substitute? I can’t wait to try them.

  15. Mary Anne says

    I love almond flavor so am looking forward to making this recipe. Could you use parchment in the pan to make it easier to remove them before cutting?

  16. Joanne says

    I love anything almond. Easy, delicious, and I know my family will love them on their tray of cookies for Christmas. Thank you.5 stars

  17. Sue says

    Baked them 22 minutes sat them for 5 minutes, cut them they were raw in the center. Besides additional baking, do you recommend a 350 oven instead?

  18. Stephanie says

    Love this recipe and made them several times! I am just wondering with this can I use cookie cutters for different shapes ?5 stars

  19. Ginny Baer says

    Have you ever used some almond flour instead of all regular flour when making these wonderful bars?
    This recipe is absolutely yummy, can’t eat just one, the neighbors love them, too❣️
    Ginny B5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Hi Ginny! I’m so happy to hear that you love the almond bars so much. Unfortunately, it isn’t a simple conversion for almond flour in this recipe. However, I’ve shared a gluten-free version that is linked in the above post. Happy baking!