Swedish Visiting Cake Bars
These Swedish visiting cake bars have a soft layer of almond cake topped with toasted almond meringue topping. These bars are quick, easy and absolutely delicious!
I’m partnering with OXO and Cookies for Kids’ Cancer to bring you today’s recipe. All opinions are my own. Thank you for helping me work with companies I love!
Baking for a Cause
Today’s post is extra special because I’m baking for a cause. I’m partnering with OXO to support Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. We’re providing you with delicious recipes (like these Swedish visiting cake bars) in hopes that they will inspire you to host your very own Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale.
This non-profit organization was founded by two OXO employees that were inspired by their son’s battle with pediatric cancer. Like always, OXO is donating $100 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for each blog post that is dedicated to this campaign during the first week of September, which happens to be Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. How cool is that?!
When we were given the recipes to choose from, I knew this one would be a big hit at our house. We love cake and we LOVE anything almond. These bars have a thick cake base and a crunchy meringue topping.
Not only are they insanely easy to make (15 minutes is all you need), but they look and taste like you spent all day on them.
What is Visiting Cake?
Swedish Visiting Cake is meant to be shared with friends and visitors over a cup of tea. The idea is that it’s so quick and easy to make, you can start making it as the visitors are pulling up the driveway, and it will be ready to enjoy by the time they sit down to enjoy a cup of tea!
Of course, this version is a little different as it’s cut into bars, but it’s still a quick and easy treat that’s perfect for entertaining company.
How to Make It
MERINGUE. The first thing you’ll do when making these bars is whisk together the meringue topping. Unlike traditional meringue, all you have to do is whisk the powdered sugar, egg whites and almonds together. No beating involved.
BATTER. Then in a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand held mixer, combine the sugar, eggs, salt and extracts. The combination of vanilla and almond extract gives these bars their wonderful, unique flavor. They taste *almost* like marzipan. Swoon.
ASSEMBLE. Fold in the flour, then the melted butter and pour into a lined heavy duty 9-inch non-stick baking pan. Smooth into an even layer and then pour the topping over top.
Note: You’ll need to carefully spread it so that it completely covers the cake batter. I tried to be neat and used a spatula at first, but I found using my fingers was way more effective. Either way works.
BAKE. Bake the bars for about 30 minutes. You can remove them from the oven OR you can broil the top like I did to get the meringue nice and crisp. It added so much flavor and nuttiness to the bars.
COOL. Let the pan cool on a wire rack before removing them from the pan. I gave them a good 10 minutes because I’m always super nervous about them splitting or breaking during the transfer.
SERVE. Once the bars have cooled you can dust them with powdered sugar and cut them into bars or triangles. They would be great with fresh raspberries and vanilla bean ice cream, don’t you think?!
Make it a cake: Making these into a cake is super easy! You can literally make and bake it the exact same way, just don’t slice them into bars! If you want you can use a 9inch round pan instead of a 9inch square pan.
- Sliced and peeled apple
- Use shredded coconut as a substitute for the almonds
- Lemon zest: There are some recipes that include lemon zest to add a little bit of brightness to the dish. Feel free to add the zest of 1 lemon.
Let the cake bars cool completely before covering them. STORE them at room temperature.
Freezing: You can wrap individual pieces in plastic wrap and foil for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to eat them let them defrost in the fridge overnight and then bring it to room temperature before you eat it.
For more similar recipes, try:
Swedish Visiting Cake Bar Recipe
For the topping:
- 1 c. confectioners’ sugar
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 c. sliced almonds, blanched or unblanched
For the bars:
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 2 large eggs - at room temperature
- 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. pure almond extract
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 stick - unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- Confectioners’ sugar - for dusting (optional)
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 9-inch square baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
- To make the topping: Put the sugar in a medium bowl and pour over the egg whites. Using your fingers or a fork, mix until the sugar is moistened. If there are lumps, ignore them. Toss in the almonds and stir them around until they’re coated with the sugared whites. Set aside while you make the batter.
- Working in a large bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs and salt together until the mixture lightens in color and thickens a little, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the vanilla and almond extracts. Switch to a flexible spatula and gently stir in the flour. When the flour is fully incorporated, gradually fold in the melted butter. You’ll have a thick batter with a lovely sheen. Scrape it into the pan and use the spatula to work the batter into the corners. The layer will be very thin.
- Give the topping another stir, or a run-through with your fingers, and turn it out onto the batter. Use a spatula or your fingers to spread the almonds evenly over the mixture, making sure to get nuts into the corners too.
- Bake for 28 to 32 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with only a few crumbs stuck to it. The meringue topping will be pale golden brown. If you’d like a deeper color on the topping, run it under the broiler until you get the shade of gold you like best.
- Transfer the pan to a rack and let rest for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the cake and unmold it onto the rack. Very gently peel away the parchment and invert the cake onto another rack to cool to room temperature.
- Transfer the cake to a cutting board and, using a long, thin knife, slice it into nine 3-inch squares. For smaller portions, cut each square into two triangles. If you’d like, you can dust the bars with confectioners’ sugar just before you serve them.