Scandinavian Almond Bars

Scandinavian Almond Bars ~

Scandinavian Almond Bars are soft, chewy shortbread bars jam packed with almond flavor ~ they freeze beautifully, and make fabulous holiday gifts…but don’t give them all away, save a few for yourself, you deserve it!

Scandinavian Almond Bars ~

These bars are from my friend Mary, from Barefeet in the Kitchen ~ she’s made them for years, and every time she shares them on social media I start to lust after them. She says they’re one of her most requested recipes, and I can see why. If you love all things almond, this is a recipe for you.

Scandinavian Almond Bars drizzled with glaze

Almonds lovers, you know it’s true ~ you can get a perfectly good ‘high’ just sniffing the almond extract bottle ~ it’s heaven!

I made sure to dose these bars with extra extract ~ you can never have too much. In fact there’s 3 layers of almond baked into these buttery babies, starting with the almonds themselves, along with the extract, and then almond meal. Each ingredient adds its own special ‘something’ to the mix and the result is pure almond bliss.

Buttery Scandinavian Almond Bars sliced and cooling on a rack

This is one of those super easy recipes to throw together, it’s even easier than making cookies because you’ll just pat the dough right into a pan. It’s similar to a shortbread, but the addition of an egg gives it a slightly chewier texture.

TIP: If you want a thicker bar, double the recipe and bake it in the same 9×13 pan. The baking time will be closer to 30 minutes. The texture will be similar to a blondie.

Scandinavian Almond Bars cooling on a rack

Mary says she often doubles or quadruples the recipe, especially during the holidays. You can cut these into bars, or squares, and they make a great addition to a holiday cookie assortment.

TIP: The secret to these bars is that they need to be slightly under-baked. They cook at 325F and only long enough to set the dough. As they cool, they firm up, but retain a soft chewy texture. Don’t wait until they look brown to take them out of the oven!

Reader Rave ~

“Thank you for this recipe – it is just what I was looking for – chewy, moist and almondy! Thumbs up from ten guests from a coffee morning!” ~ Julia

*Recipe slightly adapted from Barefeet in the Kitchen (Mary’s recipe is gluten free)

3.55 from 35 votes

Scandinavian Almond Bars

Author Sue Moran


  • 1/2 cup 1 stick, or 4 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp milk or cream
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds


  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • milk or cream to thin


  • Set oven to 325F Butter a 9x13 pan and set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg and the extract.
  • Whisk the flours, baking powder, and salt together and add slowly to the bowl. Mix until everything is well combined.
  • Press the dough into the pan with your fingers. I find it it easiest if I scatter the dough in crumbles across the pan and then pat it down. If you don't have quite enough dough to fill your pan, you can stop it a little shy of one edge...the dough will stay put as it bakes. Take a little time with this step to ensure you've got an even layer of dough.
  • Brush the top of the dough with the milk or cream, and then top it with the sliced almonds. Press them down gently with your hands.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes, or just until the dough is drying out and just beginning to brown along the edges. The bars will appear under-cooked, but will firm up as they cool.
  • Let the bars cool for 5 minutes in the pan, and then slice them. If they seem too soft, let them cool a bit longer. Carefully remove the slices to a rack to cool completely before you ice them.
  • To make the glaze, stir the sugar together with the extract, and enough milk or cream to thin to a glaze. Drizzle over the cooled bars.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Make it your own ~

  • You can use cake flour for an especially tender bar.
  • If you don’t have almond flour, just use all regular flour.


thanks for pinning these yummy Scandinavian Almond Bars!



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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Thank you for this recipe – it is just what I was looking for – chewy, moist and almondy! Thumbs up from ten guests from a coffee morning!

    • Reply
      January 30, 2019 at 1:40 pm

      I’m so glad Julia, it sounds like the perfect coffee morning treat 🙂

  • Reply
    Shirley Cayze
    December 12, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Just tried these – seemed under done. Are they supposed to stay soft and doughy? Or did I undertake them? Otherwise, delicious flavor!

    • Reply
      January 30, 2019 at 1:41 pm

      They should be soft but not doughy Shirley, so it sounds like they were under-baked somehow ~ could your oven be running off temperature?

  • Reply
    January 3, 2017 at 6:14 am

    These look wonderful. Sounds like something that is bound to become a family tradition for many people!

  • Reply
    December 22, 2016 at 10:06 am

    I made these yesterday and they turned out perfectly! Thank you so much, Sue, for your excellent directions and another wonderful recipe. I can always count on your recipes turning out beautifully!!! Merry Christmas!

    • Reply
      December 22, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      I can’t imagine a nicer comment, Natalie 😉 Thanks, and have a wonderful holiday week yourself!

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci
    December 20, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    One or two of these buttery bars is just what I need! Love that pretty almond drizzle!

  • Reply
    December 20, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    These are awesome! I made a double batch and put them in a half sheet pan. Just perfect for a nice and chewy almond fix. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      December 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm

      Thanks for the super quick feedback Kelly!

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