They have a triple hit of lemon – lemon juice, lemon rind and sweet lemon curd – tempered with a gorgeous hit of almond. All the flavours are wrapped up in a moist, delicious cake that practically melts in your mouth. Plus there’s a rich layer of lemony cream cheese running through the middle and a crunchy streusel topping. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee anytime; they are so irresistible I once found myself eating them for breakfast!
My Lemon Almond Streusel Bars are adapted from a Triple Lemon Streusel Cake recipe in a book called Top with Cinnamon by Izzy Hossack. Izzy is also the author of a blog by the same name. As you all know, I love playing with recipes, and I couldn’t resist the temptation to add a bit of almond and make a few other little tweaks to the recipe.
You can cut this recipe in bars or squares, meaning you can serve 12 to 15 people with a pan full – although I will warn you, folks usually ask for seconds! Prettied up with a drizzle of glaze, they are as perfect for a formal tea tray as they are for snacking on straight from the pan.
How to Serve Lemon Almond Streusel Bars
These sweet treats are perfect for afternoon tea or as a snack anytime. I also love to serve slightly larger slices of Lemon Almond Streusel Bars on pretty plates topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream as a dessert. You can sprinkle a few chopped almonds over the ice cream if you like. It’s nice to offer small glasses of Amaretto or Limoncello to the adults to accompany the dessert as well.
Lemon Almond Streusel Bars
- Crumble Topping
- 2 tablespoons demerera sugar
- 3 tablespoons plain flour
- 2 tablespoons rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons cubed cold butter
- ½ cup butter, melted
- ¾ cup caster sugar (also known as superfine sugar)
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
- ⅔ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon cream cheese
- ¼ cup lemon curd
- ⅔ cup icing sugar (also known as confectioner's sugar)
- 2 to 3 teaspoons of lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C or 160°C for a fan oven).
- Grease a 20 cm (8 inch) square cake pan and line the bottom with baking parchment.
- For the crumble topping, combine the demerera sugar, flour, rolled oats and cold butter (first 4 ingredients) in a medium bowl.
- Cut the ingredients together with a pastry blender or rub with your fingers until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
- Set aside.
- Pour the melted butter into a large bowl.
- Stir in the caster sugar thoroughly and then add the lemon juice and zest.
- Stir in the buttermilk and almond extract.
- Beat in the eggs.
- Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt and oats.
- Mix until well combined but don't worry if the batter is lumpy, that is because of the oats.
- Set the batter aside.
- Stir together the cream cheese and lemon curd. Set aside.
- Spread a half of the batter in the prepared cake tin.
- Spread the lemon curd and cream cheese mixture over the top.
- Drop the remaining batter by tablespoons over the top of the lemon curd mixture and spread the batter to cover the top evenly.
- Sprinkle with crumble topping.
- Bake for 35 to 45 or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool completely before glazing.
- To glaze, mix the icing sugar together with enough of the lemon juice to make a smooth, drizzle-able glaze.
- Drizzle the glaze over the cake.
- Allow the glaze to set before cutting into bars or larger squares.