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Award Winning Almond Dessert Bars

These unbelievably delicious almond dessert bars are so good, they won 1st place at a local baking contest. The baker of these bars was kind enough to share the recipe with us. 

almond dessert bars recipe almond bars

Almond Dessert Bars

It’s awesome to be back in the rhythm of routine on our stomping grounds of Minneapolis. After an epic trip to Berlin+ 3 long flights back home, I’m almost over the jet lag. I’m happily back at my local coffee shop with laptop, armed with hot decaf and nuts that I can’t stop eating.

Talk about eating. These Award Winning Almond Dessert Bars are no joke. These custardy, shortbready, almondy bars were entered into a local bake-off contest and won 1st place.

There were a lot of taste-testers judging these bars among tables full of delicious baked goods. I personally had a [couple] plates full of like 75 treats to taste-test. Don’t feel sorry for me.

It’s no surprise these Almond Dessert Bars took home the prize. Lucky for me, I took home the recipe. Special thanks to Jim Schmidt, who was kind enough to let me share his recipe with y’all…he’s not only a fab baker, he’s got major skills behind the camera as well. Go check out his photography and then come back for the recipe…

almond dessert bars recipe almond bars

How to Make Almond Bars

There are 3 basic layers to these delicious almond dessert bars: crust, filling, and frosting.

The crust is essentially a simple 3-ingredient shortbread. Butter, flour, and sugar are combined and pressed into a 9×13 pan. Bake until it transforms into a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread crust. It’s insanely delish. So happy it’s the thickest layer.

The filling is a 4-ingredient combination of eggs, cream cheese, sugar, and almond extract. It is SO SO GOOD. After a bit of baking, the filling becomes an irresistible creamy almond-flavored custard.

The frosting is a simple combo of sugar, butter, milk, and almond extract. No baking needed here; just frost and chill. If you haven’t tried almond infused frosting…OMG. It’s time.

almond dessert bars recipe almond bars

Why You’ll Love These

  • They’re a triple threat of YUM, with 3 delicious AND easy layers
  • Thick buttery shortbread crust
  • Creamy custardy center
  • Easy almond infused frosting
  • Perfect for all the parties, get togethers, and bake-offs 😉

Enjoy – it’s officially baking season!

You’ll want to bookmark this recipe, too

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

almond dessert bars with slivered almonds on top, cut into squares

Award Winning Almond Dessert Bars

4.59 from 74 ratings
These unbelievably delicious almond dessert bars are so good, they won a 1st place at a local baking contest. The baker of these bars was kind enough to share the recipe with us. 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 18
Author: Amy Dong


For the Crust:

For Filling:

For Frosting:


  • Preheat oven to 350F with rack on lower middle position. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside.
  • Make the Crust: In a large bowl, combine the butter and powdered sugar; using electric (or stand) mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together on medium high speed until light and fluffy, 3-4min. Gently add flour and mix on low speed just until combined. Mixture will be crumbly, so use hands to form a dough ball. Press evenly into prepared glass pan to form bottom crust (I use bottom of a flat glass cup to press down evenly.) Bake 18 minutes or until lightly browned and set. Remove from oven, but leave oven on.
  • While the crust is baking, make Filling: In a large bowl, combine eggs, very-soft cream cheese, and sugar. Whisk together until creamy and no lumps remain (it really helps if your cream cheese is quite soft to start with.) Add almond extract and mix to combine. Evenly pour the filling over crust, using rubber spatula to scrape all filling. Bake 15-20 min or until set. Let dessert cool completely on wire rack.
  • Frost the Bars: In a bowl, combine all frosting ingredients. Whisk until smooth and no more lumps. Evenly frost over cooled dessert bars (be sure bars have cooled completely before frosting.) Cover, chill, and serve with almond slices on top.


  • This Almond Dessert Bars recipe can be made a day ahead of time. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  • Plan for the cooling time needed before frosting.
  • Dessert is easiest to slice if you take it out of the fridge 30 min before serving.
  • If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating ❤️

Nutrition (per serving)

Serving: 1g | Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 149mg | Potassium: 31mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 595IU | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Method: Bake

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Add a comment

Recipe Rating


    • Becca
    • 5 stars

    These are the most delicious bars, especially if you love almond flavoring! My niece has asked me to make them for a large get together before her wedding, I’m wondering if I could make them ahead of time and freeze them? If so, how long ahead of time do you think they’d be okay in the freezer? Would 1 hour out of the freezer be enough time for thawing & cutting? Thank you so much for sharing this fantastic recipe!

      • Amy Dong

      I’m so glad you all loved these! I’d recommend completely cooling and cutting the bars prior to freezing. Freeze them in a single layer, airtight container. They should thaw in 1 hour, if it’s at room temperature. Congratulations on your niece’s wedding!

    • Judy Dunn

    Why did the filling separate from the crust?

      • Amy Dong

      Hi, Judy! One reason it may separate is over-baking; you can try taking the bars out 5 minutes earlier and see if that doesn’t fix it! 🙂

    • Lois
    • 5 stars

    Bar is delicious but why does the filling separate from the crust.

      • Amy Dong

      Hmm, it should not separate…try letting it cool completely at room temperature to fully set.

    • Cinnamon Glassbrenner
    • 5 stars

    Who isn’t giving these 5 stars?

    • Irene
    • 5 stars

    I made these today and they are yummy! I had the same concern about the frosting being on the runny side, but saw in other comments that it should thicken. I will see how they are in the morning! I have to wonder if I over did it on the almond extract for the frosting. (I poured the extract into measuring spoon over the frosting bowl, stupid mistake). The almond flavor was pretty intense.

      • Amy Dong

      Thanks, Irene!

    • Erin
    • 5 stars

    Currently making these and just a note if you’re a worrier like me, it took about 10 minutes and cranking my mixer all the way up before I got ALL the lumps out of the cream cheese mixture. It was very cattahe cheesy for a while but slowly it smoothed out and it was delicious after it was done!

      • Amy Dong

      Tip for softening cream cheese: microwave block of cream cheese in 20-second increments until super soft, and then add to the mixer 🙂

    • Janet C
    • 5 stars

    I made this. It was easy and hit the spot for my craving for something sweet with almond flavoring. Delicious.
    FYI, making this comment was extremely difficult to do on my phone’s small screen with all the banners and ads covering everything. So I hope you appreciate it.

      • Amy Dong

      Thank you so much, Janet!

    • Iaintgontellyou
    • 5 stars

    These are very good! I put significantly more almond extract in the frosting than it called for, and it seemed to separate, (I would assume because of the alcohol), so make sure not to do that. The flavor was still great, but the texture of the frosting was not what I’d like.

      • chewoutloud

      I don’t blame you for loving almond extract! 🙂

    • Velma Z
    • 5 stars

    I just made these almond bars and they are delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe. How long do they keep in the fridge?

      • chewoutloud

      They’ll keep nicely for 4-5 days in fridge, and can also be frozen in airtight container. So glad you liked these, Velma!

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